Monday, September 27, 2010

Training for Competition

424 classes (8 advanced) in 411 days.

The Nevada competition is fast approaching, and is now less than three weeks away. For over a month now, I've been training for this, along with the various other competitors. Of course, we've had a few people drop out over the past month, but we still have a decent group of people getting ready to compete.

For those unfamiliar with competition, you have three minutes to do seven postures. Five compulsory postures and two optional ones. The five compulsory postures are Standing Head to Knee, Standing Bow Pulling, Floor Bow, Rabbit and Stretching. The two optional postures are basically taken from the advanced series, and there's lots of choices.

Our training consists of various exercises to improve the postures, walk walking (great band bends), practicing each part of Standing Head to Knee, etc. And of course, practicing the routines, over and over again. It definitely takes some getting used to not doing postures in front of a mirror, since we're not going to be looking in a mirror on stage! Then we have various teachers give critiques of the postures. It's amazing to me how many details there are to every posture. You get some idea of this practicing in class all the time, but training really gives you a deeper understanding of the postures and how they're supposed to look.

And yes, I'm nervous! But it's been a fun experience so far, and my practice has certainly improved a lot, even though I'm very sore of late!


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New Carpet

410 classes (6 advanced) in 398 days.

Last week, after WAY too long, my studio got some new carpet. This is of course cause for great celebration, as anyone who has practiced there understands. So Friday the studio was closed most of the day, just two early morning classes. I went to West Side to take my class Friday after work.

So Saturday before I even went to class I was warned by one of my friends about the glue smell - and she was right. Definitely had that new carpet glue smell. Luckily I'm not too sensitive to that kind of thing and the smell wasn't too bad throughout class and now it's almost completely gone. However, it was slippery, and it still is. I can just stand there with my legs apart and I'll keep sliding and sliding unless I do some work to prevent it. It's gotten slightly better over the past few days, but it's still tricky. I put one foot on my mat and towel when doing Standing Separate Leg Stretching and Triangle, otherwise I'll slide all over the place!

There's one thing the new carpet doesn't have - lines. Apparently it would take another day or two to put the lines on. This has generated quite some complaints from various students. It's funny because some people REALLY like the lines and I understand why. They are important for alignment in certain postures. If they're painted on they also can help prevent sliding around. However, I've practiced in studios without lines and I don't always use them in class. It's not a big deal to me, but I do like to use them and I understand their importance. What I don't want is for the studio to close down for two more days.

Funny how something like new carpet in the studio is exciting to me...