After operating in non-verbose mode for the past few weeks, I am now ready to get back into the swing of things. I survived a rather intense time with urgent work that did not leave me with much to say about my yoga practice. That does not mean that I did not keep up with my classes, 3-5 times a week, and practice at home mainly focused on breathing and meditation.
Surprisingly, I passed three yogic milestone that show that I have been getting better:
- Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow Pose, Backbend, or Wheel): previously I had done this pose with the assistance of an instructor by grabbing onto her ankles with my hands. Another thing holding me back was that I was fearful about straining my right shoulder more. Now I can do the pose on my own because I’ve loosened up my back, especially my upper back, and also focus on using the appropriate muscles to push myself up.
- Salamba Sirsasana (Supported Headstand): the key here was the I was able to lift my legs up over my body without assistance and without swinging my legs up against a wall. It was done all with core strength.
- Bakasana (Crane or Crow Pose): Another pose that requires core strength and, for now, dry legs. In most vinyasa flows, this pose comes after we’ve worked up a sweat and my shins tend to slip off my triceps. Also, after making my thighs burns with some intensive Warrior and Chair poses, I just don’t have the stamina to hold myself together in Crow consistently. But in a recent class, we did Crow early enough that I could pull it off, and now try to do it every time I can.
What’s allowed me to get this far is working on core strength for the past three months. I’ve been doing yoga crunches, leg lifts, and reclined bicycles as if I was still in high school gym class. I’m a long way from being strong enough to handle these poses on a consistent basis, but I can seem progress.