Free-running fun, open practice night

thursday and friday i was able to get out of bed with the same level of soreness i would have if i were practicing yoga every day. which is a way of saying ‘relatively little’. and it felt gooooood! this morning, not so much. the 2-day recovery rule seems to be in effect- first day for the superficial soreness, second day for the deep tissue aches. the body is amazing!

one of my favorite yoga sutras is the following:

1.14 it is only when the correct practice is followed for a long time, without interruptions and with a quality of positive attitude and eagerness, that it can succeed.

thursday night’s session was open- we got to choose what we wanted to work on, which makes me wiggle with excitement! on my list: back tucks, kongs and precision jumps. yes, the dreaded precision jumps (practice, practice, practice). the bruises on my feet are healing so they’ve become a better indicator of when i’m landing wrong without being too painful. so essentially, 1-2 things i’ve already learned and need to work on, and something completely new.

ashtanga also has a two-pronged approach to learning- led classes and self-practice (though it wasn’t always that way). in led classes you receive blanket instructions and the instructor sets the pace; it brings discipline and meditation to one’s practice. in Mysore-style self-practice you get to explore your edge, play around your strengths and weaknesses, and reflect on where you are that day. when i can get to a proper led ashtanga class it is total, complete bliss! i love surrendering completely to the instructor and inform my mind to take the next hour and a half off. when i self-practice, i pick 1 or 2 things i want to work on (something old and something new) and hold that focus in my mind throughout my practice. both learning environments are necessary to deepen elements of the practice and strengthen the mind-body connection.

according to ayurveda, I am vata, a combination of ether and air. i’m also an aquarius, an air sign, and i love my element! i love the feeling of weightlessness that you get at the peak of a jump (or speeding over a hill). i love roller-coasters, trampolines, and flying in small airplanes through thick clouds. i LOVE being upside down, and i love doing back tucks into the foam pit. if it weren’t so tiring (the climbing out is the hard part) i would do them forever! and i giggle like a fool every time. i can think of very few things more fun that practicing insane things into a foam pit. so i had a smile on my face most of the night. if i had known that free-running was so fun i would have started ages ago, of course, i feel the same way about ashtanga.

and the new element i learned: kongs. i like them because they look cool, but they should be familiar to any ashtangi- they’re essentially a jump through to sitting, except you do it at a run and you land on your feet. yi-HAH! so for the love of ashtanga I’ll devote a whole post to kongs because they are pretty cool, but I need to practice them more. i love it when my practice feeds into the fun stuff! that’s when i know it’s working!

in my daily yoga practice, i get one chance in each posture, then i move on and see what tomorrow will bring. when practicing parkour and free-running maneuvers and tricks i can keep repeating them over and over as long as i have the strength and stamina. this is a new learning situation for me! if i do something incorrectly or i don’t like the outcome, I can do it again, and again, and again. each time i do it, i learn something- right then and there! the feedback loop is more immediate and tangible. i LIKE this way of learning! but now I’m curious…what will my back tucks be like next week? and i can’t believe i have to wait so long to find out. learning something new and in a new way is amazing! definitely a positive reinforcer to keep going!

note: i love lululemon, but have finally found a flaw in their designs…foam pieces stick to luon like styrofoam peanuts do to everything on the planet! i was covered in foam thursday evening and tracked it everywhere. apologies to the TUKS gymnastics people and my washing machine.

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