Wednesday’s yoga class at Dragonfly Yoga Studio was a full Ashtanga Primary Series with Arlien Alcoseba. Actually the class was not full primary, there were no vinyasa for each side of the seated asanas, vinyasas were done selectively though there was still a lot. The Ashtanga classes I joined before are shortened ones, with the difficult poses taken out (like kukkutasana). Although we went through the ‘full’ primary, I skipped a lot of the poses and had to modify my chaturangas because my upper arms hurt and I only did one pathetic wheel. There were poses wherein I could feel my body creak especially my upper back during seated forward bends. I was struggling most of the time from beginning to end.
Since I knew that Arlien would be leading the class, I made sure I was more prepared than usual. I didn’t do any yoga the night before, I had a more filling breakfast than usual (which is pancakes and coffee) and used my yoga mat towel. During the class, I paced myself so that I won’t tire out and didn’t go deep into the pose to protect my back and hips.
One highlight of the class was saying the opening and closing mantras. Again a first for me though I memorized the opening mantra a few months ago. Now I am trying to memorize the closing mantra.
After the class there was eating, chatting and hanging out with the other yogis and teachers. Jeanne hired a couple of masseuse who gave mini massages to everyone. I opted for a back massage with oil, I wanted to hog the mattress but everyone wanted to have a massage.
This is now my second Ashtanga class since I hurt my back. So maybe a couple of times each month when I feel strong, I can start integrating Ashtanga back into my practice.