Yesterday was my last Beginner's Mysore class and I don't want to stop! The studio I'm going to is a couple of suburbs over but I really enjoyed it and I think it's worth the travel. I've also started going back to my regular Jivamukti inspired classes again on weekends and my body and whole being is very happy indeedy. I know I keep saying this but yoga (mind, body and spirit) just makes life easier. It's worth reminding myself of this when things get a bit tough and my practice gets neglected. I focus on what's important and let the other stuff bounce off as much as I can.
I'm still not strong enough to hold myself in chaturanga dandasana though but the variations I learned has allowed me to get closer to being able to do this pose. I learned so much in this course, I even learned more about the bandhas and practiced them. How much easier does it make to your physical practice by knowing and activating the bandhas! I especially was impressed with the ankle bandha - kulpha bandha. My hips aren't as open as I'd like but by activating the kulpha bandha, it forces my hips to turn in a more beneficial way and gives me more strength and stability in the standing poses. Something so simple but so powerful. Mula bandha on the other hand was not so easy for me to grasp but the more I practice, I know it'll come. I need to find myself a resource that explains all the bandhas properly.
A great addition to my practice was purchasing the suggested Ashtanga Yoga book by John Scott. It's not an overly complicated book and the simplicity and lack of waffle makes it perfect as a beginner to Ashtanga, especially in regards to the fundamental sequences.
There's lots more I'd love to get down in writing as part of my journal to look back on but for now I'll just add some links (I'll add more to this soon).