Wednesday was another busy day and led to an evening practice but this time I made it up as I went along. This is a fun test to keep your mind in action, always thinking a few steps ahead. The beauty of attending an instructed class is allowing your mind to completely focus on the moment and what you are doing with your body. When practicing from memory or knowledge, I found myself hesitating slightly between poses but mostly focusing on what my next couple of moves might be. This lessened my ability to make any micro-adjustments needed, but I discovered I know individual poses and some of their sanskrit by heart, AND I know series of poses; this was helpful to let my mind skip ahead. It may not have been the most beautiful flow and I was a little all over the place (especially with Jack kisses and playtime mixed in), but I was able to get a great practice in and play around with some arm balances that I don't always get to in taught classes. Learned a lot about myself and where I am in my experience and ability!
Thursday evening was spent with Simon and Jack. We had Indian take away for dinner and shared a bottle of wine – I was sure I was going to fail on day 4. We went for a nice, long walk and somehow I found my motivation and way out of the curry and wine daze. The only thing I was capable of was a bedtime series and wow did it feel great! I googled evening yoga and discovered a fantastic resource for home practice on youtube: Yogatic. A woman that lives in Cork, Ireland has a channel completely dedicated to yoga practice. She is very thoughtful with her instruction and has uploaded a large variety of videos. Tonight's practice was exactly what I needed.
Friday. I decided that since I had such a light practice the night before and I knew it would probably be a repeat of an evening, I would take advantage of my natural morning energy and do a video on Yogatic before work. I did three, in fact. The first was a morning flow – awakening and energizing the body. Fantastic! Next up I wanted to practice headstands so I first did her headstand prep video which focused on shoulder opening poses. Finally, I set up against the wall and called Simon in to spot me. Low and behold, I was able to get my feet up into a half-headstand almost effortlessly! All I needed was Simon's hand touching my leg so that I could have peace of mind and have a feel for my bearings. I held it for a few breaths, feeling the strength and centering myself and then began to lift one leg straight up and felt for the wall. Once I moved my other foot I froze. Emotionally hit a wall of "I can't do it" and came out of the pose. I enabled myself only to go half way and told myself it was okay – I can't. But really I COULD! Next time, I don't want to hold myself back. I want to encourage myself rather than be okay with part way.
In these last 5 days I have already learned so much and can see that this is an amazing journey to go on. Battling fears, building dedication, patience, and strength, exploring and discovering mental, emotional, and physical abilities and inabilities. A common dialogue I have with myself is instinctually thinking that to "practice yoga everyday" means I have to practice an hour long power flow. While that would put me into incredible shape, I am realizing it is not a truth and in essence not what I set out to accomplish. Yoga is a practice of honoring your body and it is naïve of me to think that I will be able, emotionally or physically, to dedicate a full hour of power yoga every single day. Ultimately, I want to learn about the practice and myself. Looking forward to more!