Sunday, July 31, 2005

Psoas I was saying...

When I was in the dating scene in college and in law school, I could pretty much tell how a relationship was going by the amount about which I talked about the relationship to my friends. If things were confusing, if the guy was sending mixed signals, if I was ambivalent, then there was lots of talk. But if things were smooth and easy, nice and cozy, then I found I just didn't have a lot to say about it. I find that my Asthanga practice is like a romantic relationship in that same way: when it is going well, there simply is not that much to say about it.

I practiced today with Gary again, although I went through most of the entire practice without any assists (got one in Trikonasana - one of these days I am going to figure out once and for all what is going on in Ashtanga's version of that pose; every single teacher seems to have his or her own take on it!), right up until Marichi Awesome and Marichi Beautiful. Nothing major in the way of an assist - more of an adjustment to get my forward bend even deeper and to help me to really grab my wrists instead of my fingers. But the work really was all mine.

Right up until the Marichis, I noticed that I was practicing completely in synch with the girl whose mat was right in front of me - I will call her Rachael Leigh Cook, as that is who she looks exactly like. Then, she plowed ahead, as I slowed down and held A and B for 8-10 breaths each. And of course, I had to have some help in Caution - Jose helped me to join my hands and he gave me the most AWESOME twist. Just what I needed. Then I held it all by myself for ANOTHER 8-10 breaths. As I was waiting for Gary to assist me into D, Rachael Leigh C. was already Bujapidasaning. This is a supreme example, in my opinion, of how you know you are not ready to move on...the stoppages, the needing assists to get through, the leakage of prana. Someday, I assume that I will glide through the Marichis like Rachael Leigh C does (although she did fall over in D - after having bound it herself - it was cute - she just toppled over) and that is when I will be ready to add more poses.

Marichi Drama was nothing more and nothing less than it usually is for me. I did feel elation when I realized I was done with the hard part (yay)! and could get my dessert...Navasana through Supta Kurmasana.

I ha no help at all in Kurmasana or Supta K. And the most awesome thing happened - I really got deep into them anyway. I always do in Kurmasana, but to transition to Supta K, I lifted my knees, made room to bring my hands behind my back and then walked my feet together, crossing my right ankle over my left. And then I stayed there and breathed for a while, wondering if Gary was going to come over and lift me up. No such luck, so it was all up to me. And guess what? I pressed my hamstrings deeply into my triceps and got the palms of my hands to the floor with my legs still in the air (although no longer with ankles cross). Without any thinking or preparations, I simply pressed my palms down, lifted my butt and got mysef into Tittibasana! Nice! Swung back into a sort of Bakasana and then yelled at myself to jump back. I might have caught a bit of air, but not much.

I then did three backbends. Then waiting for Gary, I was told by Jose to do more and more and more backbends. Can't do too many, I guess. Then Gary came over and we did our dropbacks, and then I was done! (Well, I had to do the finishing poses, which I did, in kind of a rushed, abbreviated manner - it's a Sunday, after all, and I still have my family plus two classes to teach....)

All in all, nice!

But I do have to admit that I did spend quite a bit of time lying on the floor watching other people practice when I should have been in Savasana. Rachael Leigh went all the way through Kapotasana, and maybe even further. Pretty cool. And this tall, slim woman with a very young, pretty face but sort of greying hair had the most beautiful Second Series Tittibasanas (the ones where you walk up five steps an walk back five steps and then stand with your ankles bound and your head is right between your shins....). I can't help it - I learn so much from watching others, and from watching the teachers teach. Savasana was over for me - it's just that I stayed there even when it was over. Not too criminal, right?

I will be teaching a Basics class today - those make me very nervous. I feel comfortable with my Intro to Yoga workshops because I get to know my students, and I know why they are all there. In a Basics class, you never really know what you are going to get. I was thinking of focusing on the Psoas muscles today. Thus, the title of this post: "Psoas I was saying...."

Oh - almost forgot to mention: I didn't need any warmup or prep for any of the Ardha Baddhas today!

So, all in all, it WAS a very good day...

YC

5 comments:

tina said...

Have you ever thought about abstaining from commenting and commentating on others, specifically and primarily others' practice? How would you feel if someone who plunked down their mat near you talked about this-or-that pertaining to you or your outfit our asana on a public forum? When I used to blog about asana, I never discussed others. One time in a led class I had an ashtangi.net blogger next to me, and man, the vrttis I dealt with- will she discuss my postures? will she come up for a cutesy-but-demeaning name for me? were unbelievable. It's just gossip and monkey-noise, isn't it?

CCC said...

Nah, it's all a part of being human and truly appreciating not only your monkey ways, but the monkey ways of others. And truthfully, I love reading Lauren's observations. It's all so real and full of inspiration. She's me! I'm her! This makes me feel connected with others in the ashtanga world, especially since I cannot afford classes anymore. I smiled when she mentioned that the woman whose practice she was admiring toppled over. It's so funny when I'd see someone near me (how can you not notice) do something you know they feel silly about ... like when I'd get so engrossed in Garbha Pindasana that I'd roll right across the room and knock someone over. Tina, I wouldn't worry about whether someone is going to write about you. Chances are that if they do, it'll be complimentary and somehow reflect their admiration and respect for your practice. You do bring up an interesting point, so I really don't intend to be unkind toward you. I do however feel that Lauren is doing wonderfully on her blog. I so look forward to her new posts. Someday (by the grace of God when I can afford a 200-hr teacher's workshop), I'd like to teacher. Lauren motivates me in that direction. :o)

yoga chickie said...

Tina, you wrote: "Have you ever thought about abstaining from commenting and commentating on others, specifically and primarily others' practice?"

That is a bit of a loaded question, so I am going to respond to other things you wrote first....


"How would you feel if someone who plunked down their mat near you talked about this-or-that pertaining to you or your outfit our asana on a public forum?"

It would not bother me - I assume people talk about me, write about me; I should be so lucky if they did. I guess that is why I write about others' asana practice - because it wouldn't bother me, so I never really thought it would bother someone else. Also, I never ever talk about someone's asana practice in a mean-spirited way.

"When I used to blog about asana, I never discussed others. One time in a led class I had an ashtangi.net blogger next to me, and man, the vrttis I dealt with- will she discuss my postures? will she come up for a cutesy-but-demeaning name for me? were unbelievable. It's just gossip and monkey-noise, isn't it? "

I guess the reason you never blogged about anyone's asana practice is because you are sensitive to it, yourself. I feel your pain. I do. There are things I am sensitive about too. This just isn't one of them. "Rachael Leigh" has a beautiful practice - the fact that she toppled over endeared her to me more. The fact that I wrote about it, was a compliment to her, not an insult. The fact that I refer to her as "Rachael Leigh" is also a compliment. RLC is a gorgeous, adorable actress. It's not like I called her "Phyllis Diller". (apologies to Phyllis Diller, not that she is probably reading this, but then, who knows).

Lastly, Tina, I don't want to sound didactic, but you must realize that your vrittis are your own. You own them. Vrittis are not caused by externals at all, but rather our internal reaction to externals. Vrittis are based on knowledge, belief, memory, sleep, etc. (see the Sutras for the list of the causes of the vrittis). There is nothing in the Sutras that say that vrittis can be caused by another person's actions. I don't mean to push this off onto you. But you have to expect that there are going to be yoga blogs, and that sometimes there will be a remark about someone's asana practice. Hopefully, the blogger will be kind and refrain some saying mean things - that's all we can hope for. And that is what I strive to do.....Lauren

yoga chickie said...

p.s...to Tina...I appreciate your commenting. I don't mind a bit of debate and in fact, I quite enjoy it. So, please feel free to rebut if you feel the need....

Oh, and hi CCC!!! I found another great Oregon studio - Casey Palmer's...can't remember the name of the studio, but he seems like a cool guy and a great and knowledgable teacher. As for teaching, you should see if you can get a scholarship to a program, or do it in exchange for work study. I think you would make a very compassionate teacher...Lauren

CCC said...

Thanks, Lauren. Casey sounds like a great guy. I found his website a few days ago and thought how nice it'd be to spend a week in Portland (six hours north of me). I'd like to attend a 200-hr teacher training, but the fees are outrageous and don't include travel expenses. At this point I think I'd rather save for Mysore and slowly move toward teaching ashtanga. :o)

Copyright 2005-2007 Lauren Cahn, all rights reserved. Photos appearing on this blog may be subject to third party copyright ownership. You are free to link to this blog and portions hereof, but the use of any direct content requires the prior written consent of the author.

About Me

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Northern Westchester, New York, United States
I live by a duck pond. I used to live by the East River. I don't work. I used to work a lot. Now, not so much. I used to teach a lot of yoga. Now not so much. I still practice a lot of yoga though. A LOT. I love my kids, being outdoors, taking photos, reading magazines, writing and stirring the pot. Enjoy responsibly.

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