No pain no gain. Yesterday I had a good tolerance to stand pain. Something moves. I could go deep into hanumanasana, the pose I always add no matter which series I practice. Being able to do hanumanasana is necessary for the third series asanas in my view. Limits were reached at almost all asanas and pushed a tiny bit, so it felt.
The vinyasas of primary were not good. I think it's lack of knowing how to do it. Still. Frustration was felt. I substituted the "oh no, so lousy" with "I can". At once the next vinyasa was better. A tiny bit at least. I won't give up here. The vinyasas are part of the Ashtanga game.
After the poses of the middle part of the first series I took a little break. Then I wanted to start with the third series, with the exercises I've found helpful. How can a phone call, an Email spoil my excellent practice? It could. What a beginner I am, I thought, what a beginner. After this distraction coming in from modern technology I couldn't go on with my practice. My mind was thinking wildly, the body got cold and stiff, my feelings needed attention like a diva. I stopped practicing. Yoga is a concentration exercise, it's all about focus......and my body was so willing yesterday......it's over. A missed opportunity to stick on the sticky mat. Better is to take a break on the mat.
A new day has come. I'll observe what will happen today.
Dwi pada sirsasana (see picture):
How I balance: The legs move upwards, the bandhas are engaged, the hands press against each other. Thighs and arms press against each other, too. All this in combination gives stability.
The next steps: It would be good if the knees were more behind the back. The movement starts from the hips. There is still potential to enlarge the flexibility of the hips. If the legs cross a bit deeper, it should be possible to lift the head. The feet could be more behind the shoulders, but I repeat for safety reasons: The movement starts from the hips.
This pose needs time, patience, trust that it is possible. When dwi pada sirsasana is possible also supta kurmasana, the tortoise is possible. From the above pose one lowers down and binds the hands behind the back.
Primary is on the schedule today, too. I'll repeat those poses that are not yet as they are supposed to be. Especially supta parsvasahita and upavishta konasana.
1. Practicing yoga is a mental exercise, too. Yeah, yeah, yeah, we all know this, but it's often neglected. It starts with stepping on the mat at home when you're alone.
2. To keep going is the next challenge for the mind. Most of the time the body is not so exhausted that it's impossible to go on when I (we) take a break.
My trick to point 1: I start my practice with 2 very relaxing exercises. First I lie on a block, so that my back is rounded backwards. I breath and lie there. It's rather passive.
Then I hang forward as next preparation. Most of the time I'm ready then.
My trick to point 2: It's helpful for me to have the book by Matthew Sweeney on my sofa next to me. When I get weak and when I want to stop I look at the pictures: Most of the time I think: oh only these few poses, this is possible.
Find out what works for you.