Like most everyone who commits to a home practice, i definitely struggle with getting into ruts. i tend to only practice the same poses over and over. while that's great for laying the ground work for going on to more challenging poses in class, it doesn't really take me any further in my own practice. and i don't get the sense of mastery over those more difficult poses that i would get if i practiced them nearly every day. this is ESPECIALLY true for inversions and arm/hand balances. i do practice inversions somewhat regularly at home but definitely not for any real length of time (not much more than 5 breaths for handstand, and forearm stand and maybe 20 for headstand and shoulder stand.) and arm balances tend to be limited to vasithasana and then attempts at other ones maybe once a month.
so then last week i watched/listened to a John Friend DVD i got for christmas but haven't had the energy to try out. i'd already practiced that day but wanted to check out what he had to say and see what the poses in the sequence are so i'd know when i do have the energy to try it. plus, he's just so amazing to listen to. thank goodness for modern technology. much of this DVD is focused on arm balances and he talks about how most people skip them in their practices because they require so much energy and full-bodied integration. and i was sitting there saying ... yup that's me. and of course, because i skip them in my home practice, i definitely don't teach them in my classes... so i'm setting up my students to skip them too. NO GOOD. time to get into action.
then on monday i got to take class when i usually teach and was able to practice with a teacher i truly enjoy. after class we were talking about the same thing... about falling into a rut with poses and feeling uninspired. one of the other teachers nearby said she knows a teacher who keeps a running spreadsheet of poses and checks off a pose when she practices it. K, the teacher i'd studied with, said she loves excel and was going to go home and do it. and i just brushed it off.
but then i got home, i had some free time and i started to see the value. So on Friday afternoon i spent less than an hour plugging in all of the Level I and Level II Anusara syllabus into an Excel spreadsheet on my computer. i practice in my home office and i realized i don't actually have to print it out i can just keep it on the computer (No extra paper). the nice thing about it is that just by reading through the syllabus i got class ideas and personal practice ideas and i was reminded of poses i skip simply because i'd forgotten about them.
so this month i'm keeping a tally and we'll see how it goes. hopefully the effort up front will pay off in the long run with a better rounded practice by the end of the summer.