Link House, (Yoga), Kate Rowland, Bristol, UK - 23/08/2012
Second session with Kate: a couple more people made it who weren't there last time. She was also able to fit more stuff in, as there was no long talk at the start. To start us off, Kate ran us through that same standing pose, bringing the toes in. Begin by lifting your toes off the floor, big toes down, then little toes, followed by the rest. It feels a little strange at first, as if your knees are twisted inwards, but you eventually get used to the sensation.
As before, we breathed in while we raised our arms up, then out as they came down, before reversing the process for the next drill. Kate progressed to another pose from last time, where you're doing a sort of light lunge, turning to face the wall with your arms out. Lean to your right, but staying 'long' rather than crunching up your side. Bend as far as you can, keeping your head in line, not bending forwards or backwards or to the side.
After that Kate brought in some new material, all related to balance. The first one was the 'tree', where you put one foot on your calf and balance (e.g., Ian Anderson without the flute). The yoga mat I was using belongs to my girlfriend and handily has a pattern, so I could help maintain my balance by starting intently at one of the blobs. That's an old trick I first learned back in ZSK, where we also often did balancing postures (I can't actually remember why we did them: strengthening the legs, I guess? It's been a long time...)
Next was the 'awkward' pose, which Kate described as sitting in an invisible chair. It's a bit like a squat, but with your arms straight forward. The final pose was much tougher, as you didn't have you hands for balance. It's called the 'eagle pose', but strangely the 'wings' are not spread, which is what makes this harder. Hug yourself, keeping your elbows high. Bring your arms up, so that the backs of your hands touch each other. This is supposed to be like wings.
You then wrap one leg around the outside of the other, bending a little with your legs. Kate suggested we go near a wall for this in case we needed it for balance. We dutifully headed over, but as it turned out, everybody managed to avoid face-planting into the carpet. I think the next session may be the last, as Kate's teacher is coming up to observe (presumably she's getting marked on it, unless it is some kind of final practice run).
BJJGrrl: BJJ for Women
jnp's Grappling Principles
23 August 2012