Friday, 11 December 2009

The Camel's Back that Creaked Days 14 15&16/30

Bikram 101

Days 14 15&16/30

Day 14

I’m beginning to feel my muscles in my back now. My backbends in HalfMoon is going further and further, but I feel that my back muscles are still not stretched or utilised to the maximum, especially when I do Hands to Feet - Padahasthasana. Oh man, I just can’t stretch my legs out. I never knew I had so many muscles in my back! Well, it feels like that anyway. Especially when I do Camel Pose - Ustrasana. I always stretch it a bit further every time.

I need to deepen my concentration when doing Standing Bow Pose - Dandayamana Dhanurasana. Joachim complimented me on my pose, and I fell out of it! Not good! I need to focus more. I am watching my movement a lot more closely and I can feel some progress with it.

I have found out that I have enough energy… until I get to Rabbit Pose - Sasangasana. I am learning how to stretch my spine as the days go by.

I have learnt to put my weight on my knees and ground myself to the floor. This is really strange for me because I never really appreciated the ground, by putting all my weight on it. It sounds strange, but I never really trusted the ground to melt into it. I always thought that something would give away. I think that it years of always sitting on chairs, and chairs could collapse for whatever reason, be it a deck chair or a chair with a dodgy leg.

Although I was exhausted I still kept on with Head to Knee and Stretching Pose - Janushirasana and Paschimotthanasana and followed the directions that Jessica gave me.

Slowly, day by day, I am able to complete the poses now without leaving the room. I still ache the next day though. I checked myself on the scales, and although I haven’t lost any weight, my trousers are dropping off me, and any navvy who wanted to pick a fight with me would probably leg it after seeing my biceps and shoulders.

Crutch Watch

I don’t take my towels anymore
I didn’t take in my stripey towel and so I didn’t use it as a marker in Awkward Pose - Utkatasana.
I am still drinking a lot of water when I don’t need it. This is something that I need to work on.

Day 15

My back is really creaky. I don’t know because I did my class in the morning and my body was still stiff. I have realised that in Hands to Feet - Padahasthasana I really need to glue my top torso to my thighs, and once this is done, then I can lift my heels. This does takes some time. Camel Pose - Ustrasana makes my back go off like a firecracker, I can hear cracking in my back. I found it quite disconcerting. I think my back is looser, but it can get tense quite quickly and I still have very stiff shoulders.

I still find Half Tortoise Pose - Ardha Kurmasana quite a challenge as my hips cannot touch my heels and I can feel every muscle in my back when I do this pose.

I am progressing with Toe stand - Padangustasana quite well. I am going down on one leg, but cannot sit on one leg yet. That will come.
Day 16

I didn’t feel like coming in today, but once I did, I really did appreciate the heat soaking into my aching muscles. I parked myself in a new spot, and really liked it. It was at the front to the left. I think I will aim for there tomorrow if possible.

I still need to work on my Deep Breathing – Pranayama. I am still keeping my knees locked, but my deep breathing is still not deep enough. I am happy with the progress of Half Moon - Ardha Chandrasina but I still need to lock my knees, as I still don’t think that I am locking them out enough.

I did fall out of Eagle Pose - Garurasana, but went right back into it before the end of the set. I set myself up rather slowly in this pose, but it will speed up. I also get the odd twinge in my knees due to my pronated feet. However, as I know the reason for this irritating pain, I know how to tweak my posture to stop my pronation.

I was really proud of how I coped with Standing Head to Knee. Not once did I drop my foot. I may have had to fall out of the final position, but I always went back to the basic position and tried again. I was really proud of my determination.

I enjoyed my Standing Bow Pose - Dandayamana Dhanurasana, even though I fell out of my pose several times. I discovered that I have to concentrate on locking my knee and even fixing my gaze on it to ensure that it is locked before engaging my shoulder and foot in a firm kicking and pulling grip. I pushed further out than before and stayed in position for 5 seconds at least.

My pose did attract some attention, which I didn’t mind this time, as I was busy concentrating on developing my pose. What I do find irritating is when people are beside me and see it as a competition, when I am busy developing my pose. It can get quite aggressive. Sometimes, it can cause me not to push myself as I do not want to attract attention. Because I am not strong or focussed enough at the time to switch them off, I have had to move mats. For this reason, I would avoid going to evening and weekend classes. The morning classes would have students with the determination to get their poses down. Concentration was even more vital as muscles will be a lot stiffer in the mornings so poses will be more difficult to form. There is no time for competition.

In this sense, I really miss Paul Dobson, a tutor who once taught me. If he so much as glimpsed any one attempting to compete with others, he would bark out, ‘LEAVE THE EGO AT HOME!!!!’ and that would generally stop them. I guess I must learn how to defend myself now. 

I do love working beside people who do have really deep and good poses, but are really encouraging and happy for people that they are striving to further themselves, or generally do not feel threatened by (what I don’t know) and give off really feel good vibes. They are a joy to do a yoga session. When it happens, it is really joyful.

I don’t feel excessively tired when I do Triangle Pose - Trikanasana now. I feel now that I have enough strength to tweak and push forward in this pose. This is such a difference to a year ago, as I would not have been able to complete two full sets.

I am now finding Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee - Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Janushirasana really tiring now. Maybe I didn’t do it correctly or I am just carrying out the many directions given out by the excellent Jessica and Sam. I am definitely not resting in this position. Sometimes I am wobbling all over the place. It feels good though!

I really need to work on my Bow Pose - Dhanurasana. I know that I am not pushing myself, because I don’t really know how.

I got some direction from Megan with Half Tortoise Pose - Ardha Kurmasana, I cannot sit on my heels, nor place my forehead on the floor with my hands. On the second set, Megan pushed my heels to my hips, and it sort of bounced back up. She started to massage my back half way up, then pressed it back down again. It still didn’t go down that much. I have such a stiff lower back. Or is it just stiff hips? Whatever it was, it felt like it had rusted into that position and needed a gallon of WD40.

I could hear my back creaking in Camel Pose - Ustrasana. I am pushing forward with this pose as I wanted to. I think it is because I could hear it cracking the other morning when I did this pose. Gotta work on this pose.

I liked this session, and now I am getting into the swing of things. I can feel my body changing. I can also now feel excess mucus in my body. The only explanation for that is that I am eating/drinking more dairy than usual. I think I need to keep an eye on my diet.

I had a cup of delicious Chai which was prepared by the studio and got chatting to a couple. The lady had been going for two or three years and finally convinced her partner to go. He is loving it and has been going for the last 7 months. There is hope for me to try and convince my other half that Bikram Yoga is good for you.

Right now I have muscle pains in my knees and my legs, and the muscular aches are happening in 5 second flashes all over my back and the rest of my body. I am off to bed now.

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