Day Sixteen, Lizzie’s Yoga Challenge: Yoga with Laura Gate Eastley


As far as the Yoga Challenge is concerned, the past three days have been a wash, due to familial responsibilities and work. If I had been sitting around on my rump I would feel slightly more guilty about it, but as it is I feel a little disappointed in myself not to have put more of a priority on my own practice. On the other side of the coin, I’m hoping that a bit of a break from twisting and bending will aide in my wound recovery, which is proving to take on the longer side of forever. Ho hum.

After Monday’s schedule shifted around several times during the course of the morning, I found myself taking the tube to Soho for Laura Gate Eastley’s class at Triyoga. For me the journey on the tube was the first time I had taken public transportation in almost a year, after the doctors told me to avoid it due to my low immunity. Going into town was a welcome treat from my normal routine, and it was nice to return to Triyoga Soho after quite awhile.

Laura’s class began lying in a supine hip opener called supta baddhakonasana using blocks to open the chest. We did a short warm-up that included cat-cow and sphinx pose, followed by about 35 minutes of asana that included one sun salutation followed by standing postures such as warrior 1, warrior 2, reverse warrior, extended side angle, half moon, parsvattonasana and rotated half moon, interspersed with the option to “take a vinyasa” or stay in downward dog; we also came down from time to time to take rounds of cat/cow/puppy ( stretching arms foreword with chest touching the mat) and forearm plank. We took one “official” backbend as camel pose (with lots of back bending preparation work), before sitting for pranayama in the form of nadi shodhana. We were then given the option to stay seated in meditation or lie down for savasana. Quiet ‘yoga-music’ played throughout the class up until the pranayama.

There were no seated postures or inversions, and it felt a little abrupt when all of a sudden from camel we were seated for breath work, but then, an hour is an hour, there is only so much one can fit into an hour.

Laura was kind and relaxed; welcoming from the beginning, and giving attention to those who needed and offering variations for everyone in the room.

Still, I left wishing either the class was longer or perhaps the time had been allocated a little differently, so an inversion and a seated posture could have been included. It definitely leaves me contemplating whether an hour class can be long enough for a class practice. Perhaps I will have to try a few more hour long classes before the end of the challenge, but at this rate, I would say I have already failed at my self-inflicted project! I have certainly not made the goal of practicing 30 days in a row with 30 different teachers, but perhaps in the midst of finishing up the Rolfing training, fresh out of the hospital post transplant with a nearly four year old son, it was not a very realistic goal.

Here is to hoping for a longer practice tomorrow and a more dedicated practice week. I guess in the end, that’s a big part of what the challenge is all about. Exploring practice, what is available in the form of classes, and finding out where I am with mine; acknowledging, even respecting, my obstacles…

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