Monday, October 03, 2005

In yoga class tonight, Ruth started a series of classes focusing on twists. We haven't done any in-depth study of twists yet. This year we've studied back bends, inversions, forward bends, and standing poses. In addition, we've looked at mudras and vayus.

Ruth said the important thing to remember about twists is that it is not the spine that twists. Rather we are looking for the the movement of muscles, ribs, and organs around the spine. That is what produces the action we seek and gives us the benefit.

Tonight's poses included:
Baddha Konasana
Upavistha Konasa
Marichyasana I
Jathara Parivartanasana (This is a hard pose to do correctly. It is very easy to move the hips off to the side, thereby avoiding the stretch.)
Rope work to practice Jathara Parivartanasana
Utthita Trikonasana
Parsvakonasana (Also at the wall, with the overhead hand pressing into the wall to help get more of a torso twist. Very challenging.)
Ardha Chandrasana
Parivrtta Trikonasana
Rope work to work on Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana
Sirsasana
Parsva Sirsasana
Sarvangasana
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
Savasana

A good, invigorating practice.

In addition to the physical challenge of doing the postures, I find myself trying to handle the mental and emotional challenges that come up as well. With standing postures especially, I find myself drifting into self-criticism and judgement. I figure that after almost 9 years of practice, I should be able to do Trikonasana, Parsvakonasana, and the other "basic" poses perfectly. But I can't. Ruth aluded to a similar sentiment on her part tonight. She was at an intensive led by Mr. Iyengar last week. And she said that afterward she wondered how she could come back to teach after learning how much she didn't know. She wondered whether she really had anything to offer. This from someone who has been working on her yoga for 25 years.

The important thing for me to remember is that I am where I am. Sounds trite. But also true.