Sunday, July 6, 2014

Ashtanga Standing Series, Day 6

Last week, my friend and teacher Debbie Philp told me that she had decided to do the standing series of poses from the Ashtanga Primary Series every day for 30 days.

I've been finding myself drawn to the Ashtanga practice lately, and I'm not sure why. Maybe it's the warmer weather. Maybe it's because I feel like I have more energy these days when I'm not so worried about stacking wood and keeping the fire going and just trying to stay warm. Maybe it's the rhythm of the series, the predictability, the routine.

Whatever the reason, I figured I would join her, and today was Day 6.

I decided to make it a little mini-Ashtanga practice, beginning with 3 Surya Namuskara A and 3 Surya Namaskara B. Those alone get my heart pumping some days, and I don't feel bashful about dropping down into child's pose instead of downward facing dog towards the end of those Sun Salutations.

I didn't get up early enough this morning to do my practice before I went off to teach at the studio, so after I came home, had lunch, flew a kite with Colden, went swimming with Colden, and walked around the backyard a few times, I decided it was time to do a little yoga.

It was around 4 in the afternoon, and it was hot. The temperature on the back porch was probably close to 90. And something...happened.

Because it was so hot, I decided to take off my tank top and just practice in my shorts and sports bra. For the first time, probably ever, I wasn't ashamed of my body. I didn't feel fat. I didn't feel chunky. When I looked down at my legs and my knees in downward facing dog, I didn't see "chubby" - I saw strong, legs like tree trunks that rooted me down into the Earth.

When I gazed down at my stomach, I didn't cringe at the stretch marks or the bulge of my belly. I thought, geez, how the hell did I squeeze an 11 lb. baby in there?

I may not have felt terribly flexible, but I certainly felt strong and light as I moved through each asana. THIS, I thought, is a real yoga body. I was nearly perfectly content with my body and what it could do and how it felt in that brief 55 minutes of practice.

At the end of my practice, I gave myself a nice long break in a supported shoulderstand; then a restorative fish pose; and finally, a good 15 minutes in savasana.

24 more days to go. I wonder what else I'll discover along the way...

No comments:

Post a Comment