17 July, 2013

You won't ever surprise yourself if you don't try

Today was Vinyasa with Tonya in Hawaii.

I am intentionally leaving off the studio name from this entry, and probably spelling her name incorrectly, since the circumstances of her being the teacher were a little wonky. The intended teacher was not present, and there was a scheduled substitute. The scheduled substitute was present, along with two friends of hers, both yoga teachers, and one other woman who was also a yoga teacher (continuing this apparent trend of what seems to be only yoga teachers taking yoga classes at this studio). After a brief discussion, the group of teachers decided that Tonya should teach the class.

Tonya taught an amazing class. It felt very much like something that I might experience with our wonderful teachers at Be Luminous, back in Seattle, but there were some creative variations in the class, such as doing a series around a modified Warrior II, with the back knee down and pivoted, as we went from Warrior II, to Extended Side Angle, to Reversed Warrior II, and finally transitioned from that into Side Plank.

She started class with us on our backs, and we did a fair bit of core work, followed by some stretching, before beginning the poses that evolve from Sun Salutations. The pace was good, there were a reasonable number of Chatturanga, without it being over-the-top. The energy in the room just felt really good, and Tonya did lots of hands-on adjustments and very gentle massages of shoulders and feet at a few points during class, making it feel quite nurturing.

The moment that earned this blog post its title is that, at one point, in the midst of a series of balancing poses, Tonya had us go into Parivrtta Hasta Padangusthasana. This is a pose that I virtually always take in a modified form, holding my knee instead of my foot or big toe. The reason is because THIS IS A POSE THAT I DON'T DO. That's what I tell myself anyway, and it's been the case for many moons that I have not even tried it. Today, for whatever reason, I decided that I was going to go for it, and was surprised that I was able to get the big toe, straighten the elevated leg, keep my standing knee nearly straight, keep my back reasonably upright, and do a little bit of the twist with my free arm behind me. This was a huge milestone for me, to be able to do this pose without a complete loss of integrity. It certainly helps that I was not exhausted by the point in class where it is typically offered, but it's still interesting information.

What else can I do that I don't even try?

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