Week 4: Moving towards balance with Rodney Yee

So I had a big shock and a little break. Now comes the rebuilding of all my little habits and routines. It’s easier said than done, particularly when you wake up to find it’s September and raining and the misery monster has decided to camp out in your chest.

Having said all that I didn’t stop my working through the Rodney Yee course, I’m just behind writing about it. I’ve just started week 6 but still got weeks 4 and 5 to write about, so here goes.

Week 4 was twists. I quite like twists, or so i thought. Turns out I like standing twists like deep twisting lunges and revolved triangle, and lying twists are good friends to me too. Seated twists are something else entirely. I do at least one seated twist in each practice, usually ardha matsyendrasana (lord of the fishes twist) but they’ve always been a bit of a challenge for me because of my stiff ankles. I just can’t ground myself, my hip won’t let me! So I’m used to this discomfort but what I’m ashamed to say got me in this week is boredom. I found it boring to sit on my bum and twist one way and then the other, twist one way and then the other, twist one way and then the other. Legs crossed, (attempted) half lotus, lord of the fishes, marichyasana 1 and 3… too many seated twists for one practice! I had a painting behind me that I was thoroughly sick of looking at by the end. Plus the thing about twists is they actually need quite a lot of mental agility and determination. The week I was doing this I didn’t have much of either, my brain was dull and sad. I did it but I cut it short.

On the good side I found that one pose that has been the bane of my heavy-legged life is finally becoming possible. What Rodney calls reclined straight-leg twist or in sanskrit is jathara parivartanasana has been so unbelievably difficult for me. Yet it’s one of these movements that people in classes seem to have no problem with. So everyone’s calmly keeping their torsos straight and backs flat and lowering their straight legs to the left and hovering, to the centre, to the right and hovering, to the centre ad infinitum. Whereas I’m almost falling over, everything’s shaking, my shoulders want to leave the floor, I want to leave the room, I’m straining and straining and feeling incredibly weak. I’m tempted to say it’s a question of proportions (to save my ego), I have very long, heavy, meaty legs and a little tiny torso. My poor muscles have to work extra hard to swing those substantial legs around. My theory anyway. I’m working on it and it is getting easier.

So next time I’ll be writing about inversions!

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