Restarting a yoga practice can mean breakthroughs, too

Photo: yogi folds forward over leg
Janu Sirsasana at Bryan Kest's master class at Thrive Yoga

As I mentioned yesterday, I have gone into beginner’s mode again, after a long lapse in my vinyasa practice due long work hours and family tragedies. I took Marylou McNamara’s hatha yoga class at Thrive Yoga as my remedial course in yoga basics so that I can start rebuilding from the ground up as I regain strength and stamina for a more vigorous practice.

When I got up this morning, I knew that I would be better served by a slower class because I was still feeling the aftereffects of yesterday’s class — sore thigh, hips, and chest, a crick in my lower back, and general fatigue. I grabbed an extra hour a sleep.

My biggest surprise was that in Head-to-Knee Forward Bend pose (I know, there’s no good name for it in English, that’s why everyone calls it Janu Sirsasana), I was able to get my folded right leg firmly down on the ground, with the aid of a blanket under my sit bones. For the past seven years, my right knee always popped up, and I had to put a blanket or a block under it so that it had some support. When I reverse the pose (right leg outstretched, my left left folded back), my left leg rests on the ground.

Over the past year, my emphasis on loosening up hips has meant that my leg has slowly been coming closer to resting on the floor, but this was the first time that I did not need to use as much as a towel to support my leg. Admittedly, I still need a blanket under my sit bones, but I am certainly headed in the right direction.