Thoughts on self practice

As the end of June approaches, my morning yoga classes also begin to wind down.  I’ve been doing yoga in the morning now twice a week for 6 months only missing 2 classes. Although the 1st week of July I will be very happy NOT to get up at 615 am to rush to class, I will also miss being there. Pat has decided to do a 2 week intensive class, for the beginning of July then to begin the twice weekly classes again in the middle of the month.  So July 1st is my last class for the summer.

I believe that the past 6 months will encourage me to continue my morning practice by myself.  Some mornings, when I don’t have yoga I can feel my body wanting to stretch, to feel my shoulder blades slide dow my back as my arms reach overhead in the beginning movement of sun salutations.  It’s this feeling that I will be relying on until september. 

What I have realized is that you don’t have to do a “routine” to do yoga.   That was the biggest lesson I learned.  I was so used to doing X# of sun salutations then moving onto X# of Sun salutation part B, that when Pat began to teach things “out-of-order” it threw me off.  However, I find that I really enjoy it being different every time, it keeps me interested. It also keeps my body in better shape, although it’s getting used to doing the same poses getting into them in a different way keeps the muscles from remembering the route.

Moving into poses like downward dog, which was never a tough pose, is now like breathing.  I’ve actually caught myself pushing up into this pose with a little too much energy, realizing that my body flows into this pose now almost on its own accord.  Plank pose use to be tough to stay up in, now seems like a resting pose (almost), even side plank is getting easier. However when she asks us to lift the top leg, grab your big toe then straighten it out in front, well, lets just say that one still needs a little work.  I’ve also noticed that my core work is getting much better and this is the reason that the other poses are becoming easier.

There are poses I still need to work on, I always ‘step’ to the front of my mat rather than jump, and bow pose?! forget it, I can’t seem to get my knees up high enough to grab them with my hands, never mind balance poses, which are getting better, slowly.  Since, I’m going to be practicing on my own, I now have time to stop and work on these things.  It might be that one day my entire practice will be about sun salutations or I just might use one or two of them to get into the other poses.

I was saying to Pat this morning that I wish I could just Skype into her morning classes, that way I wouldn’t have to miss any of them, I just need the audio not the visual.  Oh well maybe one day she can set something like that up and I can join the class ocean side from the cottage, that would be the ultimate for me!

Until then I’m trying to learn as much as I can  to do by myself.  I’m trying to learn beyond the pose and the order she does them in and to learn how it feels to flow from one pose to the next. To really listen to what my body is saying to me.  This is the part that can be tricky, as a student you tend to not hold the poses for as long as you should, that’s why the teacher kicks your ass when you get to class, but I don’t want to over compensate either.  I’m going to take a few of the yoga DVD’s I have as well, there is a surfing one that I would like to conquer, where there are a lot of push ups. However I don’t want to rely on DVDs the whole point is to be able to do this by myself.

My main goal is to end the summer doing yoga at least 4 times a week and to continue that when I get home as well as going back to Pat’s classes in September.  Really the goal is to not stop so that when I do go back to Pat’s classes, it won’t hurt as much.



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