The day when your practice…sucked. What an irony, as I wrote blissfully about the interior experience of the Intermediate Series the other day. Today was an interior experience of hell.
I wake up around 4 usually as I have to be into work by 7. Usually, between 4-4:45am, I coax my body that it really wants to get up, with strong coffee and good doses of positive affirmation. By 5:00am I arrive at the shala, one of the first few to practice while Andrew and David are practicing. I have to be out by 6:30 usually. Today I had a later start. I woke up at 4:30am (gasp! sleeping in!!) and felt VERY sleepy still. But there is no rest for the wicked, they say, so up I go. Stumble into the shala by 5:15am. On the mat by 5:30am.
Already I could tell that it was going to be that kind of morning. My body felt like molasses, stiff and tired. I don’t know why because I had a good night’s sleep (staying up by 9 is a late night for me). It took effort in those first seated poses. When Pasasana starts off with an internal sigh, it is not a good sign. You can imagine the internal struggle with Kapotasana. Barely caught heels and my arms were trembling. Nearly lost grip in Supta Vajrasana.
I think it fell apart after Karandavasana. Tried two times before I could get it right. Mayurasana was a flop and by now I was thoroughly embarassed. I thought about hitting the “abort” button in yoga…meaning that I just stop, go into the finishing poses and finally to Savasana. But no, I kept on going…and each of the poses unravelled a little bit more. I realized something. I don’t know a damn thing about these last poses in the Second Series. I thought I did, but really, honestly, I don’t. The little tricks and techniques I thought would work failed miserably. I cheated in Supta Urdhva Pada Vajrasana…couldn’t catch that foot no matter HOW much I wriggled and strained my arm. Finally came up with my arm halfway behind my back. I was afraid that Andrew or David would see and make me do it again, but they didn’t.
My dropbacks felt heavy. Then Andrew helped me with the backbends, and luckily didn’t make me catch my heels. I think Andrew could tell that I was feeling tired. That’s the funny thing about practice — your teachers pick up on things too, sometimes even before you do.
By the time I lay flat on my mat for rest, I felt completely defeated. Intermediate Series kicked my ass. And it hurts.