My hip joints are aching a little from Friday's Hotflow class. R. put us through several series of hip-opening poses, especially the Lizard Utthan Pristhasana. Usually for the power classes we work a sequence towards a peak pose; peak pose for Friday night is Eka Pada Koundiyanasana II (shown in the picture on the left).
At this point of my practice, I can only manage to lift the front leg (somewhat unglamorously). R. tells us it takes a see-saw action and CORE STRENGTH to lift the back leg up into that beautiful balance. Ah. I have, what is politely called, "Baby Core." So.
I can feel a gain in strength over the past few months of intense power classes. But these are muscular strength in my limbs. Core strength is still elusive. As CS reminds us every Ashtanga I class -- it is the core that gives us that lightness to "float" back and forth. CS enjoys demonstrating that floating action. I have seen him float from Crow up into a Handstand. It's impressive.
I wonder when will I be able to do it? (Yes, I know yoga is more than the asana, but damn it! I want!)
But this week's practice has its highlight on Wednesday: On Wednesday evening, M. felt a general low energy in the class. So she decided we should work on backbends instead.
Thank you, M. I love backbends.
We tried a Full Pigeon, but alas, my arms can't reach my back toes yet. One day. One day I will be there. Meanwhile, I continue to practice.
But most of all, the Wednesday practice allowed me to practice some of my favourite poses, like the Side Plank with a backbend variation -- which was something B. used to lead us through in his Anusara classes. Sometimes it would lead up to the Wild Thing, which never fails to invigorate me.
As Anusara teacher, Desiree Rumbaugh wrote, "Anusara founder John Friend teaches that it's not just the shape of a pose that can make it magnificent or therapeutic, but the energy and intention behind it, as well."
The Wild Thing is a great heart-opener taught by John Friend. Your heart soar, your entire body just open, release to something greater than yourself. This particular pose resonant with something deep within me. Each time I come to it, I feel wonderful, as though in a state of grace. I love it.
I miss my Anusara classes. *sigh*