It is a lovely 4 day weekend, but I have not allowed the extended time off to stop me from Yoga. Keeping with one of my refocusing activities for 2011 I rely heavily on Yogajournal.com to keep my focus. Jason Crandell has to be one of my favorite's at Yoga Journal. His no-nonsense approach, straight forward explanations of the poses and (of course) his soothing tone of voice is a wonderful thing to wake up to in the morning. I do wish at 3am I had the fortitude to practice, but I am lucky if I remember how I got into the shower and what I need to do while there. So today being a holiday I was able to wake up gracefully, on my own time clock, and start my day with Jason's Awakening Practice.
Wow! I have only just started the 21 day challenge and have been relying on my old copy of Living Arts All day yoga for beginners, particularly the PM practice with Patricia Walden 3 times a week. The past weeks videos from Yoga Journal have been great, but some were a bit beyond my reach and so I decided to save them for when my body was a little more used to moving into poses. Not to mention ready to deepen my practice and stop a rut from forming.
When I start exercising there are three agreements I have with myself: I should not do too much at once, only do what is comfortable for my body, and slowly work my way into a 90 minute practice. I start with 3days a week then increase slowly (depending on need or want) to 6 days a week. If I jumped whole hog into 90 minutes I don't think moving afterwards would be an option. Not to mention it would make the practice, which for me is a joyful experience, very unpleasant. And that in itself had been what always influenced my excuses not to do it. Thus stopping me from achieving this goal of a 6 day practice.
The awakening practice was a nice challenge for me. It allowed me to experience some new poses as well as old standbys. I used to hate Downward Dog. Hate it. It made my legs burn, my arms ache, and I was always frustrated with why I could not get my heels to the ground. Then one day as I was in down dog and wishing for the next pose I realized that I had too many expectations for myself, was competing with people who had practiced for years and sometimes decades that eventually got their heels to the ground. I let go and allowed my heels to hang where they fell. I began to enjoy the stretch of down dog and found my heels began to sink lower towards the floor.
Jason Crandell's Awakening Practice will be one I use much more often and become as acquainted with as I am with Patricia Walden's P.M yoga practice for beginners.