A blindspot in the bodyscape

I have the habit of taking inventory during class. As I progress through the warmup, the sun salutations and other vinyasa, I take mental notes about the areas that I need to work: I need to work on the form of my leap forward from downward facing dog; I need to strengthen my core; I need to work on flexibility in my shoulders, etc. After three years of yoga, I already know the list by heart. And when I go home, I can possibly fit all these areas into a single practice.

What I’ve started doing, instead, is to identify one thing from my class that I can take into my home practice and make it mine. For instance, in a class at Thrive Yoga with Lisa Johnson, she had us push ourselves up from dolphin to down dog. In other words, from resting my weight on my forearms to resting on my hands and extended arms. It was surprisingly hard to lift myself up. It was like having a blind spot in my bodyscape. It was clear that my body had never consciously done that movement before and did not know which muscles to contract and there was also a physical weakness in that spot.

So now, whenever I find myself in dolphin pose, I try to fit in a few reps of pressing up to down dog. As to my “one note” per session, once I have found my “discovery,” I can then get back to focusing on my movements and alignment, and practice acceptance of where I am in my personal evolution.