Much as I loved my super relaxing holiday I was rather pleased to get back to yoga class this week. I was looking forward to having a good stretch and maybe working off some of the cheese I ate on holiday. Of course in an ideal world I would have taken my mat on holiday and got up early every day for a little bit of yoga to make the most of the warm weather…… However much as I love the idea I am very lazy when holidaying so that is unlikely to ever happen! Nevertheless I still felt slightly guilty for my inactivity. I have an amazing capacity for feeling guilty about things and generally fretting. So amazing indeed that I can even bring it to a hobby as relaxing as yoga!
So, trying to ignore feelings of guilt about recent gaps in my yoga practice I turned up to class expecting to struggle through. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the class sailed by and rather than struggling through the postures I was really enjoying putting my body through its paces. We did a lot of work on our elbow dog and I was encouraged to find that I am finding that posture easier and easier to hold. Despite my little break from yoga I can still see how my body is getting stronger and how my overall practice is improving.
Towards the end of the class it was time for forearm stand. The more progress I make with inversions the less apprehensive I feel about having ago. I was thrilled to find that I managed to hold an assisted forearm stand (emphasis on the assisted!). One thing I really enjoy about partner work with inversions is the chance to see how other people are approaching the posture and to get encouragement from them and tips on how to improve. My partner suggested that I try moving my gaze and looking at my hands rather than straight down. This was a really small change but one that has really helped me make sense of the posture and given me hope that one day I’ll find myself in an unassisted forearm stand and maybe even transition into and out of the posture with a little grace!
My improvement with forearm stand gave me the encouragement to try out a full wheel rather than a standard bridge for the back bend at the end of the class. In recent months I have been avoiding this posture feeling too tired at the end of the class but this time I felt inspired to try. I couldn’t hold the posture for as long as I’d like and I’m sure that my alignment needs a lot of work but I’m inspired to make a really good full wheel my next project!