This past weekend was Month 7 of our nine month Anusara Immersion. As we enter the last third of our 108 hour immersion experience with Christina, we are devoting more time to asana practice. Both Saturday and Sunday’s gatherings were highlighted by 3-hour practices which were quite demanding as we focused on arm balances & twists.
We started Saturday’s practice with handstands and Pincha Mayurasana which of course suited me just fine as it is my stated goal to be able to come into both of those asanas away from the wall and held with definite controlled balance. Some 2 1/2 hours later, my arms were tired and my body was ready for savasana. I was grateful when Christina instructed us to lie down on our backs. Happily, I rolled over and closed my eyes, only to be abruptly instructed to push up into Urdhva Dhanurasana — not once but 4 (or was it 14) times. AND THEN, we got to work some drop backs. Savasana was still a distant 20 minutes away!
Following a good night’s sleep, I came into Sunday’s class feeling rested and not nearly as sore as I had expected. I rolled out my mat at the front of the room, ready for a new challenge. Sunday’s practice combined twists and arm balances while we worked with the theme of Karma & Kriya, work & play.
As the practice reached the midway point, I tapped into muscle reserves that I weren’t sure existed & I began to regret my choice of mat location. To drop into child’s pose here would be an obvious defeat. I might as well wave a white eye pillow in surrender. And so, I soldiered on.
Another twist, another arm balance, another furtive glance at the clock on the studio wall. Would I make it until 6 PM? I found myself secretly longing to be pregnant as I glanced back at my friend Suki, who was quietly resting in Supta Virasana.
But I did survive & at the end of the day, I was grateful. And not just for savasana. As I sat at the dinner table with my family recounting the weekend, I shared with them the joy I felt when I “caught air.” I felt proud of the effort I had sustained. I had strengthened not only my arms, but my confidence.
It was at then that WORK met PLAY!
Eka Pada Koundinyasana I
Demonstrating Here that Ever-Shaky (& I do mean SHAKY) Balance of Work & Play