Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Frost and Flame

Well, I wrote this big long thing about my personal practice a few days ago, but then my fingers hiccuped across the keyboard and I somehow managed to delete the whole thing. Immediately frustrated, I closed the window and swore at my computer.

Guess all this sitting and calming I've been trying to do hasn't quite crept into my whole life.

The past week in Shanghai has been wet, dreary and dark. It rained for seven whole days and on the last day the rain turned to snow. Dismal. This morning, however, the sky is miraculously blue and the sun is shining into every last bit of darkness on the streets. Still cold as hell, though. I taught a private this morning, and have a flow class tonight at the studio.

I've been teaching this woman for awhile now, and it's been so nice to see her progress. We do a lot of core focused work---navasana, crunches, lots of plank. This morning, in the spirit of my other classes, we slowed down a lot. She's still very aware of me, of herself in the mirror(we practice in a gym in her apt compound) and extras like her ponytail or what is happening outside. I hoped by creating an even bigger routine than normally in the movements this morning we'd be able to flow with greater ease. It was freeeeeeezing in the gym this morning, so we got started right away.

plank for three breaths
dog for three
neck rolls/shoulder rolls
1/4 sun salutes x 3
lunge salutes x3 -first round with knee on the ground
baby chatarunga, baby cobra, rocket cat (this shall hence forth be referred to as baby vinyasa)
chair for three breaths(picked up this next sequence from Nina, it's awesome for getting into core right away)
navasana for five breaths
roll to standing/tadasana
knee to nose x 3
crescent lunge
warrior II
reverse warrior
side angle (times two each time)
baby vinyasa but before going back to dog, lifted back up into the 'inchworm' chatarunga by pulling the bum back up and pressing the hands into the floor. this is suprisingly challenging!)
same thing on the left side
roll onto backs
bada konasana crunches x10
twisted root crunches x10 (legs intertwined ala eagle with hands interlaced behind head, exhale to bring the nose and knee together)
bridge x2, third time with support
supine twist
mini savasana (was really too cold to be laying on the floor!)
sat for a few moments, working a slow rolling inhale to let the exhale wash down the back of the body.

Somewhere in there we also did three dips from dog into up dog. I think post-Warrior II sequence. Despite all the work we did, neither one of us managed to really warm up, and that was disappointing. Normally about ten minutes into it, I've shed my sweater and socks, but not this morning.

My plan for personal practice was to do one of Zen Muffin's yin classes, but I'm still too chilly! Our apartment is a bit drafty and there is no central heating. Holding plank for a few breaths always gets me immediately warmed up, so alas, it will be a yang practice this morning. I have been working on pulling my belly button back towards the spine, to keep my core engaged--I'm occasionally guilty of letting this go, and my low back has started arguing with me as a result, I think.

I'm hoping to get a video up here soon of a few sequences, so stay tuned!

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