It's Sunday today and I practiced at home. Before starting I prepared my camera. My pictures are an excellent learning tool. Filming could be even better. I feel not yet ready to film my practice that became so slow. Pain is still there. I needed about 40 min for the sun salutations and the standing asanas and a twist. I take care not to overstretch after the break.
The break was too long, but who knows. It can be that it was the best that I could do. There is still this inflammation on the right side of my back.
I haven't lost so much flexibility, but I got very weak.
I used the break of my Ashtanga yoga practice to read a lot of books. When a body grows older usually it becomes weaker. Most people don't do anything against it. But if one wants to age without experiencing that life aggravates, strength training is recommended.
Strength training also protects from injuries. It is very important. Ashtanga yoga training makes stronger, but it is not enough. I wasn't able to perform some asanas (i.e. pincha mayurasana) because I was too weak.
If I have learned anything during the last year it is that I have to adjust the practice to my needs, to my age, to my abilities.
Classes offer usually on practice that shall fit to all students the same way. This is simple, but dangerous. In my case it led to a serious injury, that lasts over a year already.
Downdog is the first asana in the Ashtanga yoga practice. It's the first pose we hold 5 breaths when doing sun salutations.
Here comes the next adjustment I do because of my age. After every pose comes a counter pose. This is relaxing and helps to balance the body. A counter pose of forward bending asanas is upward facing dog. To hold it only for one breath is not enough for me. I don't reach my limits, I cannot relax when I practice a counter pose only for one breath. I feel free to prolong the pose.
I summarize some of my experiences:
1. Adjust the practice to your needs.
2. Cultivate a home practice.
3. Strength training is recommended and even necessary at my age.
4. Hold counter poses longer than one breath, if the body needs more time to get into a back bending after a forward bending asana i.e..