David Roche, Day 2: Agitation, Smells, Psoas

October 20, 2011 § 9 Comments

Practiced with an agitated mind today, which made for an unusually wobbly standing sequence, especially in Parivritta Trikonasana, Parivritta Parshvakonasana and UHP. Seated was much better. I’m starting to be able to touch the chin to the knee in most of the seated postures, with the extended leg kept straight. Never thought this would happen.

Skipped the vinyasas between sides and did three assisted hangbacks with Ms A, but only after being prompted to do so. My back is still sore from yesterday’s experiment and with Led Primary tomorrow, I want to save some juice to last through that. Woke up with a cranky piriformis which I think is a result of all the driving I did yesterday, and in backbending, felt the same “wooden board” sensation that Pakistani Ashtangi describes in her latest post. When I spoke to Ms A about it she thinks it could be a result of the psoas tensing up, that I’m letting the pelvis tilt back too much when dropping back without keeping the abdomen engaged enough. She showed me an exercise to stretch the psoas out – sit on the edge of a solid table, lie back and bring one knee to the chest while keeping the other leg engaged and hold for a few breaths, then switch sides. Because I don’t have a solid wooden table to practice on (and my kitchen counter isn’t big enough) I’m going to try it on the bed and see how it works out. She also said that doing really deep lunges before practice would help stretch those muscles out, but will demonstrate them on Sunday.

No adjustments from David today, which is kind of a bummer and a relief too I guess. Got the usual adjustments in Prasarita C (head to the floor, yay) and Supta K from Ms A. I guess if I want to get more adjustments I’ll either have to arrive earlier or later, or get a spot right smack in the middle of the room, among everyone else. I’m not so hot about the latter. Practised there yesterday and the smells from hairy sweaty men and their Mysore rugs were so nauseating that I had to stop practicing a few times and bury my face into the facetowel that I had wisely perfumed with a few drops of lavender oil. Or risk running to the bathroom to retch. Yes, I am very sensitive to smells, and yes, it is that bad. Do people wash their Mysore rugs at all????

Led Primary tomorrow. I hope (a) the back eases up by then, (b) I get a spot on the edges of the room and (c) I survive it.

Psoa update: Just did a couple of stretches on the edge of the bed, and ohmygod, that right psoa sure needed to be stretched! I did about 4 stretches each side, holding them for 5 breaths each and really pressing the knee into the chest. The back feels a little better, not as sore to the touch. I then spent 15 minutes massaging the piriformis with the tennis ball. It was so painful I had to laugh, but at least it’s not as bad now. I think Ashtanga is turning me into a masochist of sorts….

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§ 9 Responses to David Roche, Day 2: Agitation, Smells, Psoas

  • fivefootwo says:

    Ohgodohgod…I am the biggest baby when it comes to bad smells. I will Keep the lavender tip in mind when I go to other places. I do have a solid table and I am going to go give that a try! Thanks D.

    • D says:

      I am SO HAPPY to learn that I’m not the only one who can’t stand bad smells. This is why I have no plans to be a yoga teacher! Let me know how your stretches go.

  • progress. this is good. i LOVE how pissy you are. i’m staying tuned….

  • i hate lavender more than bo.

  • bibi says:

    Sorry to hear about your back hurting, I know it sucks… I’ll try your stretch too and see if it does anything for me. Sounds a bit like your pain is a bit lower down than mine though, but I guess keeping the psoas happy isn’t a bad thing anyway! My lower back, by the way, has gotten tons better by keeping the feet very very close in upward dog (as in, sometimes almost touching, but never wider than my hips) and by dropping back with feet completely parallel, with a serious determination not to lift the heels during dropping, and by keeping the legs straight longer before bending them in the drop. It feels more difficult then at first but over time it seems to do wonders to the lower back – at least mine.

    As for the smell I totally know what you mean – in the US this summer there was a lady who stank so badly that I almost had to give up and leave, I just couldn’t breathe! If she’s still there when I come back next time I’m determined to discretely tell the teacher that unless she’s taught to have a shower before practice I just can’t practice in the same room as her….would that be very mean of me?

    • D says:

      Thanks Bibi! I tried keeping my legs closer in upward dog today and I could definitely tell the difference. Going to consciously keep them together from now on!

      As for keeping them parallel while dropping back, that is tough. My legs have a tendency to rotate outwards in UD, let alone when trying to drop back. I know what you mean about keeping the legs as straight as possible before bending them, but it feels as if my thoracic spine is very limited in its curvature! Gotta keep working at it I guess. Thanks for sharing your tips and I hope the psoa stretch helps in some way.

      I totally empathize about the smells. I have had so many occasions where I really wanted to get up and leave too. It’s hard. I’d suggest speaking with the teacher about it and making the point of staying as far away from her mat as possible while practising? I don’t think it’s mean if you expressed it diplomatically, you’re just being practical. Well, to me anyway, since I’d do the same thing if I were you!

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