Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Day 94 - getting advice + a four hour practice

At this time in two weeks, I will be done. I will have finished my 108 days of 108 sun salutations and my 32 hour practice will be complete. It's hard to imagine, so I don't bother trying. I'm just doing what I've done before: simply focusing on one breath and one posture at a time.

Today, I did my first planned out four hour practice without a break. It was really nice. I loved being able to linger in certain poses and really take my time. It felt luxurious. The first hour I did pranayama, mudras (hand positions), mantras, and opening postures. Next, Miranda joined me and we spent two hours going slowly through the 90 surya namaskar that remained for the day. Then, in the last hour I did the seated sequence of the Ashtanga primary without vinyasa. I ended with a six minute savasana.

As I mentioned, I'm planning on breaking up the 32 hour practice in segments of four hours or so with a 20 minute break in between. I will outline what I want to do for each four hour practice, but I'm open to modifying it according to how I feel. After all, it wouldn't be yoga if I was just forcing myself into poses simply because they are on my list. I really want to explore the subtleties of different postures and see what I can learn from doing a focused practice for so long.

This evening I met with Len Blum, co-director of United Yoga Montreal and a highly respected teacher. I had asked if he would help me plan out the eight four-hour practices. He agreed, but first he wanted to question my motivations... and my sanity. He said I seem mentally prepared for this challenge and that he was happy that I am interested in exploring the practice and delving into different areas of it rather than just plowing through a bunch of asanas for the sake of it. Len suggested that an outline is good, but that I shouldn't be too committed to it in case things come up along the way and I need to change the plan. I reassured him that I am fine with this. He also offered to be the yoga teacher on duty during what will likely be the toughest part, midnight to 8:00am. I am so grateful for this offering, as I know having someone there to help me through the night will make a big difference.

On that note, I'm going to go to bed and rest. I need to take advantage of early bedtimes for the next couple of weeks.

Please send along your suggestions. I am taking all feedback into consideration.

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