This morning was the inaugural workout for my Manduka mat. Amazon reviews promised it was heavy, stinky and slippery. They were right on all accounts. I was sliding everywhere on this thing. I even fell over getting up at the end of class. In return, my knees and ankles felt great, my balances were more stable and the mat is built to last a lifetime. Manduka promises the mat becomes sticky and stops smelling with use. I believe them and will wait it out.
The normal instructor was on vacation, so class switched up quite a bit. It threw me a little, but I did still experience some small incremental improvements. My mom says I was flowing better, and I was able to stick chatarunga a few times. The new teacher helped me with alignment on warrior 2 and told me when to use a strap with an arm bind, which were both positives in her favor. I do prefer the calmer, quiet demeanor of the regular instructor.
I managed to get through 3 yoga books this weekend - two instructional and one memoir. The instructional books had a lot of small tweaks I think will help me out, including a nice adjustment to the arm position in eagle that highlights what must be the shortest muscles in my entire body. I think stretching out my upper back with that movement made chatarunga accessible to me on Sunday morning.
The memoir was an interesting read, through 25 years of a woman's life and how yoga fit in along the way. It could be summed as "enjoy being present instead of always fighting to improve". A good lesson I think, and once I am "yoga literate", I will embrace it.
My private session is Thursday morning.