NEWSFLASH!!! DG said to me: “Frances, you’re getting stronger.” “Frances, YES! Your chaturanga is getting better.” “Good, Frances!” “Nice!” “Yes, Frances, that’s right!” WHOA!!!
Yeah, kind of groundbreaking stuff considering that in my most recent post about David I said I could count the number of positive things he’s ever said to me on one hand. No more!
This past weekend with David G was quite a treat. My hip flexors and back are crazy sore today, but at least no tears were shed. FY and I have been super lazy bums all day, relaxing in bed with this funny little dog we are taking care of, catching up on episodes of Mad Men, cleaning up the house after a weekend of messiness (too busy to put dishes away etc.) and of course, eating as American as we can on this national holiday with veggie burgers and corn on the cob. Yum.
Here’s the run-down on the events of the weekend:
Friday afternoon we all gathered for a sweaty and sweltering Mysore practice at the Barn. My knee was feeling so much better and so I was able to practice all the lotus poses (except suptra vajrasana). I practiced up through kapotasana with lots of deep dropbacks at the end (it’s kind of awesome that I’m catching my ankles now with absolutely no pain in my low back…progress!). David is a total machine in the Mysore room. It’s amazing. He flies around adjusting everyone, sometimes two at a time!
After Mysore practice, we chugged some coconut juices and then sat down for lecture (which of course included asana practice, no rest for the weary!). DG was on fire and we all laughed a lot. His topic for the night was how to “Fortify your First Series”: the 5 allies of asana practice and how asana is the sharp blade that cuts through our awareness into higher consciousness…whoooa…more on this later.
Saturday morning was all Second Series. We broke down each pose up through karandavasana. It went by quickly but I felt really receptive physically to all the information he was sharing with us. We repeated each pose a number of times, often with props, like kapotasana with blocks. I might have gone a little overboard with that one. I think I did kapo 10 times. Needless to say, I regretted it the next day.
David teaching us this fun trick against the wall to get into Eka Pada.
After this practice, we broke for a short lunch before another lecture on Nadi Shodana and the concept of purification, cleansing the pranic channels, prana vidya – the knowledge of prana – and tapas.
The rest of the afternoon was spent doing Asana Kitchen – looking at troublesome poses and breaking them down to better understand them. We looked at setu bandhasanana, parsva dhanurasana, uthita hasta padangustasana, purvottanasana (good one for me because for some reason I can’t get my darn toes to touch the ground), parsvotanasana, parvritti parsvokanasana and more. We practiced adjusting each other in a few of these poses as well, which is always a helpful learning experience.
Sunday morning we concluded with another Mysore practice. My body was sore from all the repetition of Second Series poses the day before, but I felt very strong and grounded in my practice. I was so grateful for the opportunity to put into action so many of the things we had discussed during the previous days.
And – cherry on top! – David allowed me to move on! 3 new poses. Bakasana. Bharadvajasana. Ardha Matsyendrasana. It feels like it’s been a long time coming plus I’ve been injured and frustrated so that prohibited me from moving forward too, but anyways I’m super psyched to have these new asanas to practice. I’m also very pleased to have David’s encouragement to progress in the series.
I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to practice with David. He’s such an inspiring teacher. He challenges me in the best way. He challenges me to go deeper – physically, emotionally, energetically and more. This does not always mean to physically push harder, but rather, go deeper in my awareness, deeper into the subtleties and complexities of the practice itself.
Tomorrow I will share with you notes from his lecture on the 5 allies of practice. It’s super important stuff that really touches on why Ashtanga is such a deep and powerful practice of energetic forces.
For now, thanks for stopping by Lila. I look forward to hearing from you.
PS -Photos courtesy of the lovely Joy Marzec.
PPS – Please excuse the changing format of the blog…I’m feeling a bit ADD and I’ve been messing with the blog’s appearance trying to find the right look. I promise to commit to something soon! BTW, what do you think of the new look?