So, after 6 months; I *think* my practice is probably where it was when I took a two month break back in November.

After a couple of months of practicing 2 to 3 days a week, I am now up to a 4 day a week practice and my shoulder seems to be holding up ok. Practicing with an injury is probably good for you in terms of awareness, even if it is a total pain in the butt.

Other than the dreaded back bending, I think I am as strong, if not stronger than I was six months ago. I have been practicing up to Supta K for two months now, which, until last week I was doing without having my ankles crossed. But last week, it was nice and warm in the shala, I was obviously looking more flexible and H crossed my ankles without difficulty. He has done this for the rest of the week, so I suppose I can ‘do’ it again.

This leaves me with the dilemma, or whatever it is, about how/when to add the rest of primary back on. I don’t really see any reason now that I can’t just plough on through right to the end. I can’t foresee any problems doing the rest of the series, for me Supta K was always the summit, and its a downhill journey to backbends.

I do have some concerns about putting baddha konasana back in, as it was a b*stard for giving me sciatic pain in the past. Maybe not, this time around?

At the moment I am doing one ‘gym’ yoga class a week, on a Sunday. Although I was skeptical the after the first class, I am now really enjoying it. The class is an hour and a half long, slow but very strength based. We concentrate a lot on alignment; which I think also does me good. Being a gym studio, there is also the issue of practicing with mirrors….. It makes for a very different practice for me. My ashtanga practice is very ‘inward’ as I don’t wear contacts in the morning, and can’t seem more than about 10 cm from my face. I don’t get distracted by anyone else as I can’t see them properly anway. So, mirrors is fascinating, to spy on myself! It has been interesting to see how ‘off’ some of my postures can be. What feels right in my morning practice look a bit askew in reality! One thing that surprised me is how bendy my lower back looks, trikonasana and virabhidrasana are particularly bad; I really need to work on the bandhas and straightening my lumbar spine. If only the rest of my back would bend so nicely!

Right, this post is digressing into a total brain dump! Back bending. This still isn’t great. My lumbar is quite tight and doesn’t appear to be happy doing more than one back bend. I need to open my chest, but this doesn’t seem to happen when I push up, I just jam the lumbar more. I am totally paranoid about doing drop backs , for fear of hurting my shoulder again.

Right, I think this ramble may end now. Tomorrow, I suspect I will add on Garbha pindasana and maybe baddha konasana. I’ll see if I can catch H for a chat about it too.