Archive for August 13th, 2012

Practice Notes: Portland

Monday, August 13th, 2012

I have been at a conference all week in Portland and chose my hotel to be close to Yoga Pearl, home of the Portland ashtanga mysore program. It is always interesting when someone new has a look at your practice. (Mine is a little sorry right now, after a month of traveling around in Australia and only practicing a couple times). Anyway, mostly so I don’t forget, here is one change and one observation from practicing in Portland:

1) Turning hands out slightly in chaturanga, upward, and downward dog. I had my middle finger forward, he suggests the first finger forward, or maybe even a little more turned out. This felt good for my shoulders, and demanded a bit more from the “pull-down the scapulae” muscles that I know need to work more. A similar suggestion applies in backbends.

2) My hamstring flexibility exceeds my hip flexor strength: I can passively stretch my leg quite high in the first part of UHP but can’t actively hold my leg above waist level in the last part of UHP. This is the same reason that I was shaking today in urdhva mukha paschimottanasana. I noticed this particular weakness when I returned to practice last week after travel to Australia. Ugh. This on-again off-again practice that I do when i travel makes it likely that I will injure myself because I retain my flexibility more than my strength.