I'm a bit late checking in - I extended my 30 day to Oct 1st because I took an extra rest day, and, I wanted to save my progress picture for a home practice.
I had a sad start of the week - I lost my favorite teacher of 3 years last week. Then I found out my second favorite teacher of 2 years had to move, and I missed her last class and never got to say goodbye in person. I wrote a thank you note for my studio to forward to her via e-mail, so, that was what mattered to me most - to let her know how much she changed my practice. I'll expand my horizons to try more teachers and hopefully find adjustments I like.
Anyway, let's look at comparison photos! Please comment on anything, I will lovingly accept all feedback and not be offended. Now I'm looking forward to picking a new photo outfit for the next challenge... haha!
The reason why I love adjustments so much is because a lot of my body is hypermobile, and I am working on my self-awareness to remember what proper form feels like. Day 1 and earlier, I was just proud of myself that I could lift my leg up and only focused on extending my upper leg, and did not pay attention to what the rest of my body was doing. This challenge allowed me to see all the nuances in the body - if I try to straighten my torso but forget to keep my upper body still, my shoulders will become uneven. If I focus on making my shoulders level, then my leg and torso lean over to one side more, or, in one picture, my neck tilts in the opposite direction of my torso to compensate for balance (Day 1, first pic)! My oh my, I have no idea how to control my body it seems.
This challenge gave me a chance to deepen my home practice and discover all these nice advantages from using a tablet instead of the TV:
- Move the tablet around if I needed to see a demo and not crane my neck up to the TV in an awkward position
- Use extended earphones and practice while my husband napped
- Zero set up except for laying out a mat - with the TV, I had to move over a heavy coffee table, lift up the rug, and lay out my mat on the hardwood, and still run out of room sometimes.
- Enjoying blue sky and a palm tree as my view out my backyard during the daytime
- Add flexibility and lower stress in my life if something came up and I couldn't make the scheduled class times
What I learned from staring at myself:
- It's a pain to make progress pics when there are two sides to keep track of. Double the work, but, it's revealing where places are tight when I compare sides.
- Tightness will come and go, just like balance is worse than some days than others. It appears my left shoulder was tight on day 30, which is why it looks exactly the same on day 1 (2nd picture).
- The inverse of the above - some days will better than others, independent of time. The last picture I put Day 30 and Day 16 so I can see that Day 16 was a good day when my shoulders were level!
- Some torso leaning from the standing leg is OK if it evens out the shoulders? Please confirm if you know, or if this will straighten out more with more consistent balance. My hypothesis is based on the last picture - shoulders are even, but more tilt. And first picture, shoulders are even, but torso is still tilted (but got rid of the neck tilt.)
- Some more noticeable improvements just can't be captured in pictures. First instance, the 2nd picture looks exactly the same to me. But, getting into the pose was definitely a different story! The videos revealed more that I wobbled instead of hopping around to try to save my balance, so getting into the pose felt much more stable, stronger, and also, slower / mindful. Does anyone have recommendations for a free video editor to speed up videos or make them into gifs?