Monday, June 2, 2008

Back on the yoga practice track this week

I had a busy week. I finally got back in the groove. I have been on a roll. Monday was advanced class with Nina. Wednesday evening was a gym class with Nuvana. Friday afternoon I taught Surya Namaskar to the kids class at school. 30 of them all at once. It was my last class before summer break. They made a thank you card and then did a puppet show with yoga poses. It was fun. All of them including their teacher are true yogis. I felt on cloud nine. We will back again in September.

Two hours later there was a personal yoga session at Nuvana's house. Given my trouble with hand stands we worked on chest opening poses and arm strengthening. The stress and the lack of practice had collapsed my chest and work was needed to push. We did several arm strengthening poses starting with dog pose and then variations of chest openings. At the end she asked me to try the handstand again. I did much better. I could kick up higher and my shoulders and arms felt much stronger. We will be focusing on this for weeks to come. That is the magic of Nuvana. She is simply the best.

Its Saturday morning - another class with Nina. Today's class like Monday night's advanced class was one of the best classes I have attended this semester - maybe the best ever. I like restorative poses - its something I enjoy doing and got a plenty of it at RIMYI in Pune this April. Many of my private session with Nuvana are similar. They are a great way to relax your mind and at the same time stabilize your emotions and your blood pressure.

Nina's theme was out of the last few pages of Light on Life by Guruji. Asana's for emotional stability - how appropriate! Asanas for balancing your head with your heart, balancing emotions with intelligence. We started with a restful Adho Mukha Svanasana with the forehead on a block. We spent several minutes in that pose. It was followed by a supported Uttanasana. This really allows your mind to relax and is excellent for managing and controlling high blood pressure. This was followed by a 5 minute shirsasana. I HAD NEVER DONE 5 minutes, but the relaxed approach and focus on keeping myself up helped me stay for 5 minutes. Combination of balance and wall support helped. These poses according to Guruji are to calm the mind.

The next sequence included Viparita Dandasan on chair, Chair Sarvangasana, Nirlamaba Sarvangasana, and supported Halasana, followed Setu Bandha Sarvangasana - my favorite restorative poses. Yes there were weights on my thighs. All these poses were done in an extended manner, with Nina setting the timer. These chest openings were to balance the heart intelligence. The next three poses were to balance the heart with your mind, that included Upavista Konasana, Badakonasana, supported Paschim Uttanasana using the chair or bolster, and then Viloma Pranayam (sitting or in raised Shavasana pose) and then ending with Shavasana.

My week of yoga is not over yet. Tomorrow there will be another on hour class in the morning at the gym with Nuvana. I have rekindled my yoga practice and I am committed to keeping up with it. My next few blogs will hopefully have more pictures and videos of my home practice where I will show some of these restorative poses. So if you are feeling stressed, lethargic or demotivated that your practice is not what it was - its never too late to restart. Get up and get to class and then repeat the practice. Practice makes perfect.


The Yogi

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