Friday, May 13, 2011

Yoga with Glenn Black - Day #5

Last night I had a mad craving for chocolate, so I had a vegan chocolate brownie from the Cafe. And whatever that brownie lacked in animal products, it certainly made up for in chocolately chocolateness. It was a chocolate explosion. And since I ate it right before bed, I didn’t really sleep that well.  
So today, I paid the price. I was a bit tired and I could really feel the difference in my ability to be strong and present in class today. I’m always telling my clients about the importance of sleep in a healthy life, and today I was living proof. Some of the things we did today were things I don’t typically struggle with, but I was struggling today.  And some of the things that I typically struggle with, I was struggling with MORE today. I also found it hard to stay focused and aware during my Corpse pose relaxation. 
We did a lot of kettlebell stuff first thing today.  We did many of the standard swings and then a few things that I’ve never heard of before.  One new-to-me skill I did today was laying on my back, putting a six pound kettlebell on my forehead and lifting only my face up toward the ceiling. Obviously, the lifting will help to strengthen the muscles of the neck, but what was really interesting, was when we brought our heads back down to the ground, I could feel it lengthening my neck, as if it were creating a traction and allowing more space between the cervical vertebrae.  It was actually quite refreshing.  We didn’t do a lot of them, but just a few of them did the trick.
And then the other new and impressive thing was laying on our backs with the kettlebell in one hand and the arm extended up toward the sky. Then, without bending the elbow or lowering the kettlebell, we stood up! And then we laid back down, and stood up etc. When he told us what we were going to do, I didn’t believe it.  And then when I was able to do it, I still didn’t believe it. But I did it. Believe it. 
Today we did more yoga than we’ve ever done.  We probably spent a good 40 minutes of our three hour session doing the Warrior 1, 2 and 3, Revolved Triangle, Side Angle and Revolved Side Angle Poses, in addition to our regular repertoire of Bound Angle, Pigeon and Seated Wide Leg Straddle Poses. 
We didn’t have an afternoon session today, so some of us met in the studio and just had our own yoga jam. It was nice to practice and really practice. This is the way yoga should be practiced, I think. We would observe each other and let each other know about misalignments we saw.  And we could assist and inspire each other. We played for about two hours. By then most of the others were gone, but I stayed and laid in Corpse Pose for half an hour. 
I felt wonderful afterwards. 
It was supposed to rain today, and it looked ominously gray most of the day. In fact, it did sprinkle a bit at one point, but it never rained.  And I’m so glad it didn’t.  Not that I don’t like rain. I do. I love it.  But I only have a small amount of clothes and I can’t afford to have my socks wet. I also think it would be a big mess if it rained here.  Lots of mud.
Many of the participants of other workshops are leaving today. More typically, the workshops here are either five days (Mon - Fri) or a weekend. So it’s kind of interesting.  This isn’t a big place so you see the same faces over and over again.  But today it was a whole new selection of faces. 
Tomorrow is the last full day here, and then Sunday we’ll have a half day. I’ve already gotten what I came for, so anything else after this is a bonus. 

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