Thursday, March 02, 2006

Backbend Chai

Still a bit melancholy. It's snowing here in NYC today. They expect 5-11 inches, but it doesn't really seem to be sticking. It's that grey-sky, drizzly-wet snow, salt-all-over-the-sidewalk, bitterly cold kind of New York day. Nevertheless, I got myself down to practice and had a nice, non-eventful practice. I like nice and non-eventful. I was perhaps my most relaxed and surrendering in a Mari D adjustment...ever. But that's not really eventful. It was par for the course.

I am a bit anxious to show that I can do it myself. But i figure if Sir wants to see if I can do it myself, he will give me the chance to do so. Until then, I will gladly, and calmly, accept his assistance.

Since my endurance seems to have increased such that I am not tired or winded by the time I finish Navasana, I am now making an effort to complete multiple sets of backbends. My true touch-point is 18, or chai in Hebrew. It just seems like an auspicious number for backbends, since it is an auspicious number in general. I start with a set of three low-backbends (bridge with hands clasped, bridge with hands on ankles, bridge with hands pressing up on spine). I don't count them toward the 18 though.

Next, I do three "easy" Urdhva Dhanurasanas, where my hands are splayed out (not my elbows, just my fingers point out) and my hands not even close to being under my shoulders when I press up. I stay for five breaths each.

Then I rest a moment and do three not-easy UD's, where I begin with my feet hip distance and my hands beside my ears and my fingertips tucked under my shoulders. I press up and hold for five breaths, repeat three times.

After resting a moment, I press up into a moderately easy UD - not quite with the hands directly under the shoulders, but at least the fingers are pointing straight back - and press up on an inhale and down to the crown of my head on the exhale: 9 times.

After resting another moment, I hold three MORE UD's, this time for 10 breaths each.

By the time I forward bend into Paschimotannasana, I really, really need it, and it takes me a little while to sink into it deeply. But I can feel the difference all of this backbending is making on my practice and my posture (no Lyndsay Lohan schlump for me).

Not that I spend a lot of time looking at other peoples' practices these days, but in the small, small 9 a.m. class today, I couldn't help but notice a couple of things. First, there's this big guy, huge muscles, shaved head, goatee. He has been working on Mari C since I have been at the shala. Today, I noticed he is up to Navasana! Yay for the Big Guy! His hands ALMOST, and I mean ALMOST touch the floor in Prasarita Pado C. And I almost fell over when I saw his backbends. A perfect portobello mushroom back, supported by four strong, straight limbs !!!! This shit works!!!! I wanted to tell him what I saw, but I was to embarassed that I had been watching. Second, I noticed that there are people around me who cannot do Janu C. They either can't get their bent knee down to the floor, or they can't really lift their bent-knee-heel. Interesting...because they all are further along in Primary than me. I also noticed that there doesn't seem to be any consistent observation of Janu B's correct bottom foot placement. My understanding is that the bottom foot is supposed to be on its side, not squashed flat under the seat. Is it that these poses don't matter so much? Or that they are viewed as part of the "all is coming" part of Asthanga?

Just wondering.

Must go read Television without Pity now to see what they had to say about this week's Grey's Anatomy and Lost. You know what they say...spare the snark, spoil the networks.

YC

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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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