Yes, today is a moon day, but I practiced anyway because well, that's when the led class happens. It felt really good to be grounded by my regular practice again, but the entire time I sort of wondered why the heck did I go sooooo fast in my Mysore practice last week? I totally thought I was keeping time to my teacher's normal counting. Either my teacher normally counts faster and he chose to count more slowly today, or alternatively, the burden of counting on my own felt so daunting I just rushed to get it all over with.
It's interesting how the mind works. Today I felt like my mind relaxed and allowed me to focus on how each pose felt at the moment I was holding it. In the Mysore practice it seemed like all my mind could do was to hear my breathing and do counting, that was it. Anything other tasks would become over-burden for the conscious brain. As I got into my janushirsansa b and c, I couldn't help but to wonder: did I even do these 2 poses in my Mysore class? I'm pretty sure I must have done them, but I have zero recollection of feeling my heel pressed into mula bandha, or the toe crunching / achilles tendon stretching sensations that I felt today in class. Did I bother going to my edge at all in my Mysore practice? I think the only perception I could manage besides remembering the sequence was that I felt no pain sensations.
It seems like a significant part of the practice of yoga is to understand our inner workings of our own minds. With this little Mysore back to led practice experiment, I discovered I have major blind spots in my brain. When the brain is occupied with being in an unfamiliar environment and new tasks, it drops the perceptions of less important things, like the details of how each pose feels in different parts of the body. Even though my focus on breathing was much better in the Mysore class (because it was what I used to pace myself) than in a led class, I felt less calm after the practice (more calm than before I practiced, but less calm than practicing at my usual class). I wonder when I will reach a point where I feel completely at ease and be able to fully enjoy the practice without being my own yoga police, worrying if my bandha's engaged, if my legs are straight, if my neck's crunched, if my shoulders are away from my ears, if my side bodies are lengthened, so on and so forth. I fantasize about a perfect practice with no extraneous muscle strains, everything stays aligned, jump-throughs don't feel like dragging a bag of heavy bricks across the mat, and my breathing feels super smooth. It's something I would like to work towards.