On Sunday I had an astonishing practice – my first in exactly 7 days – it was precisely a week since the final workshop with Darby. I hadn’t practiced since then because my flu made a frightening comeback. I even called in sick on Wednesday. My appetite totally deserted me – all I could take in was fruit, water and green tea. And I lost at least 5 lbs. I now carry 138lbs – that’s pretty light even on my relatively modest 5’7″ frame. (By the way I’ve lost 27 lbs since I started practicing asanas regularly in 2001 – I’ve dropped about 17 lbs of those since last April when I went ‘daily’ Ashtanga. But of course the most recent weight loss had nothing to do with asanas).
The resultant practice was tough as I was still weak. Also, so soon after the workshop I was still focused on the lessons learned and I pushed myself and sweated quite a bit. But what I found remarkable was the difference dropping 5 lbs makes – and it was suddenly and very apparent to me because I’d only just lost it since my last practice. Poses that are ‘just there’ become easy – in Mari B my forehead to the ground; and in Mari C I both wrists with room to spare; Yoga Mudra was laughably easy and Mari D so so nearly there. My concentration was worse than usual and my mind wandered all over the place – but some of that’s down to lacking full fitness.
My wife saw me as I came out of my practice room and remarked that I looked ‘scrawny’. To me I look fitter than ever – but admittedly, at 26 (which I was when we first met), My fitness regime was more typical of the North American male – weights, bikes, snowboards, canoes, hikes. Mind you most of that would still be there if I still had the kind of spare time I had back then except now there’s Yoga and it makes all the difference. Also, I’d only just given up meat. I’m still muscular now, but I have no where near the bulk. (I’ve lost 27 lbs after all!). When I suck my ‘gut’ in, I actually look like one of those pictures you see in Yoga texts illustrating nauli.
Physically though, this was a landmark practice and I’m going to try to make some of those habits of the past week permanent; even more raw fruit and vegetables than I usually eat for example (and tons of my favourite juicy fruits – grapes, kiwis, oranges); Evening meals early – no later than 7 (and only fruit or water for snacking afterwards).
I took Monday as a rest day after Sunday’s exertions, and came back on again today feeling a bit sore in the hamstrings but again I had the same fine practice. Here’s hoping for more of the same tomorrow.