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The Golden Week – Yoga, Painting, Reading, and Reflecting: Day 4

The impact of over exertion in my body can really be felt when I lay down on my bed. On the night of my third day, with a lot of back bend practice over the period, I could feel my entire back body aching – not really from because of doing back bend in a wrong way but rather because of over-usage – though I would also add that it also felt good waking up fresh in the next morning.

First practice: Power Pose

Déjà vu is real. On day 3, my first practice was Fire and Water by Honza and Claudine. On this day, my first practice was a sadistic practice Power Pose by Honza. I think just within this 30-mins practice, I was asked to do nearly 50 push-ups. And… you know, chaturanga push up is more painful than the normal body-weight training one…

The last time I dare putting this video up for practice was when I was at my prime back on Fonty. Even then, I still couldn’t finish the entire practice following everything he asked me to do. Not that I could do this time either. However, one thing I noticed is that I could do some burst movement better such as the “push-up to side plank” exercise or the “kakasana (crow) on fists to chaturanga” transition. I think I still need to improve my stamina more to pull this off in one go… may be I need a full breakfast before working on this haha

Second practice: Insight Over Anxiety

Patrick’s class is never easy as always. This class is, once again, all about inversion though not just handstand. It might be because of the excruciating Power Pose practice this morning; my body felt really fatigue and tired. However, there must be something in the way Patrick designed his sequence or led the class, I felt energized enough to push through the class successfully. I even managed to hold a few handstands during the practice.

One thing I really liked about the cue in this class is suggest thinking about the movement of the hip and where it lands. Hip position is the key to inversion, and I really need to think about this more (on top of everything else).

Painting: another attempt at Kyoto foliage

“When will you ever give up?” the lazy side of me ask myself

“Never!” I proclaimed

This might actually be a good representation of my painting journey – at least for this particular subject. This time, I applied the techniques I learned from painting bluebells and roses to this subject. As it turned out, the output is much nicer than the one I did two days ago. I guess perseverance works right?

Third practice: High & Low

This is yet another practice with Patrck (actually sounds fun – practice with Patrick). This one is focusing on arm-balance transition. However, although this is focusing on one of my usual strength – arm balances, I barely could do any of the transition. I guess this is mostly because the transition was from inversion (handstand) to arm balances or vice versa. Yet, I actually managed to get into all the arm balances entries, including three-legged dog to one legged crow!

Fourth practice: Ladder Flow 5

Coming back to another familiar practice – Ladder Flow. This one is a combination of core works (total of 90 bicycle crunches), twists, and handstands. Despite how much I hated core works, I actually really enjoyed this practice. The core works turned out to be a fun challenge – at least for the first two rounds. I even managed to do a few sufficiently long holds. However, one weird thing is that, at some of point, I actually dreaded doing handstand than core works. I guess it was the fear of disappointment for not being able to get into a handstand.

Painting part 2:

On top of taking another attempt at Kyoto foliage, I also tried painting another set of flowers – roses and bluebells. This one is also better than the previous one. I am very satisfied with my progress today.

Another painting I started was Kinkakuji Temple (the Golden Pavilion) in Kyoto. This painting was inspired by a video from Jeanne Haines on Venice. However, I quickly realized also that the exact same techniques cannot be used for Kinkakuji because of the inherent differences between Japanese and European architectures and landscape. Kinkakuji is blended in the garden; hence, I will also have to add on top of the atmospheric washes some trees and background. That is the difficult part of this painting – making it all these look loose without being messy in the process. I hope this will turn out well.

Last practice: Yin Yang Alignment

After all the heated practices today, the Yang sequence of the practice turned out to be quite easy for me. The surprising thing though was that some of the Yin poses, which used to be quite difficult for me, turned out to be much more relaxing than before. I didn’t realize that, on top of the strengths I gained through these tough and consistent practice, I actually gained more flexibility as well. Yay to me!

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