Got to class early today, but found Instructor Dominique and Riki already working out - they'd both gotten there way early and Riki had to leave at 10:30. So I changed, told them that Judith would be late because she had to deliver her son to playgroup.
Ran around the dojo as usual, which means that halfway through, I started to walk. Still no crunches or push ups.
And, as we came in early and someone else came bang on time, she had us sit down after the warmup until the newcomer warmed up herself.
Not really a good idea.
Did the 24 movements. Dominique still counting *wrong*. The person leading the movements (and I've led, even though my arm and general lack of flexibility mean I have to modify some of them) gives an example of the movement and then repeats them four times with the class. Four is *the* number in Pakua. Dominique gives the example and then leads three reps. And we do not do the example with the leader. The three reps is really bad for movements that are really two reps on each side - we only do one side twice, then.
Did the kicks. Same counting problem, although she did do a little better. I think once or twice she counted to five, though.
Then she had us in a position I've heard three different names for - "riders", "horse" and her "horse dance." It's all the same, and all are good descriptive names, I think. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and bend your knees slightly. It's strong and stable. She then had us do punches and blocks - things she hasn't done in a while.
Then she taught us a crosshand self-defense technique. Cross hand means that the opponent grabs you on the same wrist - her right hand, your right wrist. These can be fun.
The technique, for yellow belt, was as follows: kick attacker in the knee, get into rider's position, then shift grip so that attackee is holding the attacker's wrist in her *hand*. Use other hand to "break" the attacker's elbow, forcing her to bend over. Kick attacker in the face. (Note that the kicks never connect in practice.) It was a lot of fun and I got it down almost to one movement quickly, and even managed to impress the orange and green belts among us.
Orange belt used pressure points to bring attacker to the ground; green *flipped* the attacker over on her back once she was on the ground.
We then went over the shadow movements once again. I did tell Dominique that I used them on Yom Kippur - the long hours of davening on Yom Kippur are hellish for backs. I've done a lot of back and neckrubs on Yom Kippur. So, when I got home for the break after the long morning services, I did the shadow movements several times as best I could. Stretched my back out nicely and relieved a lot of the stress. Which I think was worse because of my cold, which forced me to sleep half sitting up so I could breathe. Also hard on my back.
I'm still not great but I'm better at those.
Then we did the horizontal split. That's squatting on one's heels and then balancing on one's heels. Except I can't do that - lack of flexibility again. It's especially bad in my hips. When I started, I split on my knees. I can split on the flat of my feet now, but I can only go so wide. Master Katie understood this - she was bringing me along slowly to prevent injury. And Dominique had us bring our feet forward and then move them up and down.
I'm not going to say it was painful, but I could feel a stretching that was beyond just the normal pull of stretching. And I finally had to stop. I'm going to feel it *bad* in the next couple of days as it is.
And this all led to a discussion of reflexology. I know a lot of people believe in this, and I understand that, but I *don't*. I'm a complete skeptic when it comes to alternative treatments. So I sat there as the discussion flowed around me as to Masters and classes to take and...eventually she noticed I was looking uncomfortable. And I didn't and don't want to get into a discussion of why I'm a skeptic, so I fudged, which led her to believe I was in pain, which I could assure I was not.
I'm a coward about these things. I get emotional and unclear, and sometimes angry...and I didn't want to go there.
So the class ended, and afterwards I discussed changing to a different class next month. Part is that, reflexology aside - Master Katie also believes in it and she's incredible as a teacher - Dominique isn't the teacher I need. The other part is that I think I'm ready for two days a week, and I think I need it. And the only way for me to do that is to go at night. Where I'll be taught by a black belt, not a blue belt (not even red!). Fortunately, there's a women's only class at 7pm Tuesdays and Thursdays. I'll miss Judith, Jasmine, Riki and Penina, and even Dominique, but I think it's what I need to do.
So I'll start doing that in November.