I did a lot of bike riding today. Throughout the month of September, Westchester County closes the scenic Bronx River Drive from White Plains through Scarsdale, Hartsdale and Tuckahoe, for four hours of bike riding. It’s totally family-friendly, with very few “serious” bikers spoiling the fun for people with young kids who have no gears and no sense of personal space. My kids were itching to go today, so that meant no yoga practice this morning. I had a really really looooong practice at home yesterday (swapped Saturday practice for Friday rest), with some really well-placed R&D (basically, I did all of my off-series poses before practicing and then whipped out a really clean Primary Series), even standing up three times from a backbend (still like a monkey though…), so I was really happy to rest this morning.
Well, not rest, exactly. I did bike ride with the kids. Then we went to the Reptile Expo. What a bunch of scary-looking creatures. And you should have seen the reptiles! Badum-bum bum.
Came home, oiled my gears and decided to test my mettle on one of the biggest hills I’ve seen in this here neighborhood, one which I am embarassed (but fully willing) to admit, I was unable to tackle on my bike a mere two months ago. But I should add the caveat that on that particular day, I was quite ill-prepared. My bike had just come out of storage and needed a little TLC. My tires were a bit flat. I was stressed from the move. And halfway up, as much as I hated to do it, I had to hop off of my bike that day and push it up the hill lest I roll all the way back down the hill, backwards. I should add, it’s LONG hill we’re talking about here. The street is about two miles long and completely uphill (unless, of course, you’re going the other way, in which case it is completely downhill).
Today, I am happy to report, I had no problem. It was challenging, but totally doable. In my excitement, I decided to continue riding. My plan was to head into the Greenwich back country and take in the horsey sights. But somehow, I made a wrong turn and ended up back in New York. And I didn’t have the motivation to head back up the hills (did I mention it is VERY hilly here?). And so I just let the roads take me home.
The good news is, this left time for practice! Yay. No seriously, yay. It was a GREAT practice. One of those unexpected pleasures. As I did yesterday, I did my prep poses first, which makes sense, since they ARE prep poses. And it helps immensely. Yeah, yeah, I know, the Ashtanga system is designed so that you don’t need to stretch first. You just need your Sun Salutations, and maybe the standing poses, right? But I’m old. And I’m on medication that makes my joints ache. And whatever. The thing is, I LIKE to do the bound version of Ardha Matsyandrasana, and I like to practice my Gomukhasana arms. And a nice bound Parsvakonsana never hurts either. Nor does a little leg behind the head action. And when I lie with a block under my thoracic spine for a while, my updogs are way way better. So, call 911.
Tomorrow, I’m Georgetown bound. And here’s the coolest thing: Valerie keeps the shala open on moondays because, as she put it, some of her students need the extra practice day because they can’t get to the shala every day of the week. Um, that would be…ME! Yay for Valerie! I will definitely be moondaying it this new moon week because later in the week, we Jews have other plans that do not include chanting in Sanskrit or bending like a 17-year old.