Following Monday's post, there were so many awesome comments from so many awesome people (yes, we're Ashtangis and we're all a little bit intense. Deal with it, thanks!), that I have been thinking more about the state of my practice. (Thinking about my practice? No shit, Sherlock!)
I mean... Now that I'm back in the Dam and coasting along at work (it's the calm before the next big storm), I'm trying to build a routine into this new apartment I've moved into too. And of course, when you talk about routine, the Ashtanga yoga practice figures pretty prominently, right? (HAHA.)
I've been trying a home practice out. I was totally inspired by my practice at the shala in London last month, so I figured I'd ride that wave back here. Unfortunately, the moment I came back to the Dam, I twisted my foot and then had to modify like crazy in order to keep practicing.
Needless to say, it has been quite the struggle. The foot is still not 100%. I can pretty much do most standing poses now, except Utthita Hasta Padangustasana while standing on the left foot (the arch still hurts a bit), and I can't do any lotus poses where the outer top part of the left foot needs to be stretched. UHP is starting to hurt less on the left foot, and I tried it with full extended right leg yesterday, but was WOBBLING LIKE CRAZY. It was like being a beginner all over again.
Practice has started to feel MORE AND MORE like a struggle these days. I guess it's a combination of practicing at home, practicing with a busted foot AND practicing in colder weather. The sun isn't up till 8am these days, so it's HARD to roll out of a toasty bed into the cold and dark living room.
My Sydney teacher used to say "Guruji said if you start your practice in the winter, you will have your practice for life."
It's so true!! The eff-ing freezing cold is such a deterrent.
Hence... You can see why I've been thinking about my practice, right? How to get myself motivated. I'm thinking it's something as simple as: I need to get me to a shala already.
The new-ish ashtanga shala that opened here a few months ago has morning Mysore classes, but as they only have them on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, I initially wasn't interested coz... Well... I LIKE MY ROUTINE! What am I supposed to do on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays? Yes, yes, practice at home right? ...At the time, it just didn't seem like the ideal scenario to break up shala and home practices on alternate days.
Now... this idea is more and more appealing, just coz I think I'm at the point now where I need a teacher to motivate me, aka: give me an ass-whooping. HA! Not really... But I miss getting adjustments. I miss the group energy. I miss having an experienced eagle-eye push you just that little bit further, taking you somewhere you never thought was possible before. It's hard to find that in a home practice - you either over-do it or not do enough. And at some point, I feel a little bit lost. I mean... Hello? I've been at Laghuvajrasana for like 10 months now? Sometimes, you are your own best teacher, but sometimes you need a little guidance.
You know how for some people motivation to get on the mat comes in the form of buying a new mat, new yoga clothes or towels or other kinds of paraphernalia? Whatever it takes to get you on that mat. But this time, my motivation to get me to the shala is the most random thing. A rain-suit.
Y'know. Beyond the raincoat, a rain-suit is made up of ugly rain pants and a poncho on top. The Dutch all have one to get around on their bikes in the rain. Sometimes they also carry an umbrella while cycling (this is where having only back-brakes on the pedals comes in handy - no hand-brakes to manouver!)
I have been resisting buying one, purely from an aesthetic point-of-view. They're ugly. Which is kinda stupid coz in the winter it rains even more here than it does in London, and the kind of rain I'm talking about is really like that French phrase: "Il pleut comme un vache qui pisse." (And if you've been to a cow farm, you'll know where that phrase comes from!)
Seriously... Look at this week's weather forecast:
The thought of having to cycle through the cold, dark rain at 6am to get to the shala is giving me the heebyjeebies. (No wonder morning mysore isn't a popular choice here at all!)
Now I also have to work up the nerve to get that FUGLY rain-suit.
The things we do for yoga.