Saturday, August 20, 2005

Down downdog!

Today I tried to move through an entire Surya Namaskar A. Samasthiti ("Equal Standing") feels like it is getting better, at least as far as standing up straight with my tailbone pointing down and my chest not collapsing between my shoulders, although it feels as if my abdomen is all bunched up towards the top, near my ribcage. It feels like I ate a really big dinner. Only I haven't eaten anything. Not sure what that is other than swelling, and I hope it goes away soon. Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Hands - hands above the head) is way off the map right now. If I straighten my arms, they jut forward at a 30 degree angle. If I pull my arms back toward my ears, my chin starts to jut toward my chest. I am really surprised that abdominal surgery is doing this to me. It cannot be the breast surgery - that was so minimal! So, it must be the tummy tuck. But WHY? Who knew that the abdominal muscles had so much to do with drawing the arms upward?

And there is also some unexpected abdominal involvement in Uttanasana - the standing forward bend. My hamstrings feel great - no real loss of flexibility. But I guess I was naive to think that my super-long hamstrings (not long legs, mind you - just nice long muscle fibers) would take care of all the work in Uttanasana. When I fold over, I can't draw enough length in my torso to feel stable, even when I place the palms of my hands on the floor.

Inhaling to an extended spine (also known as "flat back", although I really don't ever see a flat back when I am teaching, except maybe in downward dog) felt like a great relief. But then even as my mind told my body to jump back into "catvari" (chatturanga - the bottom of a pushup), my body was having none of it. I crawled my way into a very tentative plank and then collapsed my knees to the floor. My chest followed. This doesn't discourage me has been less than two weeks since my surgery, and this was my very first attempt. I have been down this road before, and I know that what happens on the first day on the mat is NOTHING like what will happen even the second day or the fourth day or the second, patience...

Still can't get into an honest Upward Facing Dog. As soon as I felt my shoulders collapsing inward toward my chest, I changed gears, bending my elbows, lowering my abdomen and accepting a nice, honest low cobra.

Downward dog felt like a stab in the navel. So, it was "one, two three...ooooookay...that's not a good kind of pain."

I didn't finish my Surya Namaskar A. I didn't even take Savasana. My first impulse was to check for swelling because each day in the past several days, I have woken up to a nice flat abdomen (except for that puffiness at the top) only to watch it swell as the day goes by and my activity level increases, and I really don't want to swell up today since I have a lot of stuff to do, including a meeting in the late afternoon with Jiva Wellness regarding getting involved in a corporate wellness program...should be interesting!

Which reminds know the saying, when one door closes, another opens, or its corollary, when a door closes, check for open windows....well...I am feeling pretty joyous as the universe shows me what is behind doors number two, three and four, since door number one proved to be ...well...let's just say, not exactly the right door.....Stay tuned for updates on my involvemet with My Guru Guide and a possible Guide to Yoga in NYC in the works....

Of course, nothing is certain, but all is possible....



Susan said...

Moby is great. I do like a couple of Zero Seven... The one from Garden State is my favorite. Have you listened to the soundtrack from a film called 1 Giant Leap? It is awesome. Pretty much every song is amazing. This is the kind of music I like to do yoga to. Ashtanga sinner, I know!

Susan said...

Oh, and Theivery Corp Heavens Gonna Burn Your Eyes...
All time lay on the floor and turn it up loud song.

yoga chickie said...

I never even HEARD of 1 Giant Leap. I am pretty out of it, I guess...I didn't actually love the movie, Garden State - it put me to sleep each time I tried to watch it, and the relationship between Large and Whatever Her Name Was was very very unrealistic, especially the end of the movie. I mean, this is a guy who was trying to make it in Hollywood. Was he really going to stick around for this wackadoodle? I just couldn't really see their relationship as anything more than a fling, and I know, I know, I was supposed to. I just couldn't. Anyway, I did LOVE the Garden State soundtrack. The Zero 7 song on there (In the Waiting Line) is one of their most pedestrian tunes. So, you should check out Simple Things and Warm Sound. As for Thievery, the Garden State track (Lebanese Blondes) ROCKS, as does the entire album, The Outernationalist.

Since I am going to be away for a week (not from the computer, just from my home), I loaded my IPod Shuffle with all of the above, plus Enigma, Air, Buddha Cafe, Honeyroot, a little bit of the Magnolia soundtrack, a little bit of Mantra Girl (she is awesome), Deva Premal's Gayatri Mantra and a couple of chants by Krishna Das. And...Ashtanga criminal that I am, I started the playlist with Madonna's Shanti/Ashtangi. I can't help myself. I simply adore her, in all of her incarnations, but especially as an Ashtangi.

Whew...what a ramble....


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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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