February 9, 2011

Hello Out There!

Oh my goodness, I feel as though I haven't been here in a while.  It feels as though Life has taken over.  I started a new job in January - it's great, very challenging but my brain has been kicked into overdrive and it basically stops working when I get home and all I can think about is my glass of wine.  I had Lasik eye surgery last Friday and can you believe it, I can see!  I wake up in the morning and don't have to fumble for my glasses.  I go to sleep at night seeing clear outlines of the furniture in my bedroom.  My yoga, I haven't practiced since Friday morning before the surgery.  I'm not allowed to get sweat in my eyes for at least a week and I tell ya I'm grateful for the forced break.

I've developed a hate on for my yoga in the last few weeks.  Well, not my yoga - the yoga that I love and that keeps me sane and strong - it's the yoga where I leave my house at 5:45am; scrape or defog my car windows; drive to the yoga studio to find it too cold; listen to the same damn dialogue; finish class 5 to 10 minutes late; rush home; shower; blow dry my hair; dress; get to the bus stop in 25 minutes so that I am work for 8:40am.  I am exhausted just writing that.  Now, I must confess that I don't have to be at work at 8:40am, I could walk in at 9:00, so I shouldn't complain too much but I don't like finishing work at 5:30pm - I just don't like it.

So, the week before my surgery I did a few at home practices.  They felt so amazing and it was so indulgent to not have to rush.  I used to have a personal practice when I was involved with Iyengar yoga that I would do 4 mornings a week so I've been incorporating what I learned through my Iyengar practice with my Bikram practice.

I do a vigorous standing series which lasts 45 to 55 minutes.  It includes many of the poses from Bikram's beginner series, as well as Sun Salutations and Warrior poses.  I then get to the floor series which is another 45 minutes.  I work on some back bends and forwards bends to get my spine really supple.  Then comes the Full Camel attempt.  I would love to get into this pose.  It is so beautiful.  I think I saw my toes the other day but I was practicing sans eye sight so I'm not sure if I really saw them or not.  Next come the hip openers in preparation for Pigeon pose - this is another beautiful asana where I am trying to get into the full expression.  When I was training for the competition I attempted this pose everyday, it wasn't until the competition was over and I was at home in my own living room completely at peace that I was able to get deeper than I ever have before.  My inside arm is able to grasp the wrist on the arm that first grabs the foot.  When I first tried this I would feel dizzy and sick, which is typical of backbends but it would always stop me from trying to go further.  I think I needed to be in the right mind space.  Finally, I do some preparatory poses to get myself grounded to attempt Tittibhasana (often called Crane or Firefly).  This is a challenge for me but I am enjoying the attempt and I definitely notice a difference in my ability to find my balance and strength than from when I first tried this pose in my very first advanced class.  I complete my practice with Spine Twist and then Savasana.

I love my home practice.  I feel very peaceful, in control and free.  I turn up the heat so that I am warm and the sweat comes in the Standing Series.  I listen to Patrick Watson and find a peace that I've created for myself.

This could never replace my studio practice because I love the teachers, the heat, the pure dripping sweat and the other students but I definitely am in need for some kind of change.  I am going to try practicing in the evenings to start.  Although I will miss seeing my mum in class, I think this will be a nice change for a while and will stop this "every evening a week" wine habit I've created for myself.  I want to keep practicing at home.  I love having control over my practice and I have a hard time starting my day without yoga, so yoga in the morning at home and then evening yoga at the studio sounds perfect.  I also really want to try a new studio in town which is solely an Ashtanga studio.  It is close to work and I could go there after work an evening or two a week.  I met the couple who owns it and they were so encouraging, open and enthusiastic - I would love to learn from them.

Haha!  These ideas for the growth of my practice have been in my head for a couple of weeks and now that I write them down it appears that - I may have to quit my job.  How in the world am I going to fit all this yoga into my life and still have time for friends, LW, downtime and family?

I'll just have to take it one step at a time.  My first step will be getting my eyes healed enough so that I can go sweat in a hot studio.  My second step will be to try a couple evening classes at the Bikram studio and some at home practices in the morning.  And then - well - I guess I'll play it by ear.  The Ashtanga studio isn't going anywhere and I need to be confident in my belief that when the time is right for me to try the Ashtanga yoga it will all just fall into place.

Here are some gorgeous photos that the lovely SDP took of me.


Yolk E said...

It is good to hear from you and read about all the new changes. I admire you for doing a home practice. Admittedly, I cannot maintain a home practice--I just know I don't have the discipline to stick to a long routine.

I'm curious about the Lasik! I have terrible eyesight: -5.50! That's legally blind without glasses! Sounds like you're happy with your decision.

Good luck on your gentle and gradual return to the studio.

Lady J said...

Thanks E! I think it was all the practice for the competition that has given me the motivation to practice on my own for so long. Before that I could only last about 45 min.

I had a -8.5 prescription! So I definitely know how you feel. The 15 minutes that the surgery took, were not the most pleasant at all, but so far I am very pleased. I could see nearly perfectly the next day. Seriously incredible.

Lala said...

how exciting about your surgery! i've yet to muster the courage to do it, but one day i'm sure i will.

as i opened ur links to the advanced poses, i quickly shook my head and closed them, simultaneously giving secret props yogis who do them. i'll be cheering u on from a distance :)

Catherine said...

I'm -10.5 in one eye, and -11 in the other. It was downright terrifying to find out a while back that contacts aren't made past -12, and my prescription has never stabilized. So - question about the Lasik: Did they make you wait a certain amount of time where you were stable at one prescription before they did it? What is it like to wake up and seeeee?
Congratulations to you, and the pictures are stunning!!

Lady J said...

@Lala: Thank you! You could always go and talk to them re the surgery. Where I went, they give free consultations.

@Catherine: It is so liberating to be able to see! I'm still reaching for my glasses:)
Wow, it's not very often I know someone who has eyes worse than mine. That is terrible that contacts aren't made past -12. My eyes have been stable for some time. But I went in for my initial consult, which was free, and they tested my eyes to see if I was a candidate, I then booked my appt and the day of, they retested my prescription. I would book a consultation, I think it's normally free and they would be able to give you better answers than me:)

Lala said...

uhm, clearly i need lasik. i had thought the pictures are of your friend SDP. but as i was about to close my browser, i realized they're of you! aww cool. tres cool!