Wednesday, March 07, 2007

So jaded so quickly

All it takes is one really really good hand bind in Supta K to ruin me for all other even marginally lesser "performances". I know, I know, it's not a performance, whatever, who can claim to be blissfully unattached to progress made in a posture that has been difficult for so long?

Today my hands came together nicely, but I couldn't keep them from slipping away from each other when it came time to cross the ankles. And even when Sir gave up on the traditional time-honored, Yoga Mala-sanctioned route, and allowed me to cross my ankles first, my hands would not, could not, did not stay together. They gripped. Yes, they most definitely overlapped and hooked together, exactly as they should. Except it just didn't feel quite right. It's like something didn't "catch". It may have been a millimeter of difference from yesterday that made all the difference today. But that millimeter left me feeling vaguely disappointed.

It didn't ruin my practice though. I left it behind and pulled together for Garba Pindasana, which took, I don't know, 10 or 12 rolls to get around and one "re-threading" in the middle when I klonked over to one side and stayed there like a dead turtle (haha) until I had to pull my arms back out, rethread and start again, midway through.

Hey, I never carried a child for a mere nine months either. If you count it by the lunar calendar, my due date was 10 months after conception, and if you count how late I went before I felt a single actual contraction in each pregnancy, and if you add them up, well, we are WELL into 12 months. And if you add up the two pregnancies, we are well OVER 24 months. Isn't that kind of like an elephant's gestational period? Elephant Fetus in the Womb Posture. How do you say "elephant" in Sanskrit, anyway?

I am really savoring my closing sequence now that I know exactly what I'm supposed to be doing in it. Five minutes in shoulderstand. Five minutes in headstand balanced on the front of the forehead - the Setu Bandhasana touchpoint. Yep, that's right...I've been doing this for two years and never knew that I wasn't supposed to be balancing on the tippy top of my head. Then five breaths in Ardha Sirsasana. And another five to 10 breaths holding my head completely off the floor, a sort of modified forearm stand/pincha mayurasana, only with hands lightly clasped. And that's another thing: the hands lightly clasped. It's odd for me to release that death grip, palms together, that I worked so hard to perfect following my training at Om. They were such sticklers for that too, while my instinct was to have my hands softly interlocked and cradling my head. I guess I was always an Ashtangini - I just didn't know it at that time.

Yesterday, it felt so odd to me to have my hands lightly interlocked that with all my rootching around, my elbows kind of slid out to the sides creating a very open triangle among the three points of my head and my elbows. I kept touching one foot back down on the floor because balance was elusive for like the first time ever (I may be challenged when it comes to binding easily, but balancing, and especially balancing upside down, has always been a rather effortless blessing bestowed upon me - we all have our gifts, you know). Sir was like - bring your elbows in. It was the first time I've ever heard a peep about my headstand, or for that matter, just about any posture in the finishing sequence. It's good to feel, finally, like the closing sequence matters.

Child's pose is apparently meant to be held with the hands still in the Sirsasana mudra - not that child's pose is even part of the sequence, officially...but still. So then why am I the only one who doesn't have my arms alongside my body?

Later on, we began the Teaching Techniques portion of the training, and let me tell you, it is not easy to go back to square one and learn to give the verbal cues all over again in a different way from the way I have been doing it for the past three years. Interestingly, at Om, we were trained to teach an Advanced class. Here, the focus is on teaching beginners. This makes SOOO much more sense to me. And is SOOOO much harder.

I'm quite scattered today. So much trashy tabloid stuff to read, so little time what with my rejuvenated Yoga Mala studies and my analysis of Sanskrit counting. I can't wait for tomorrow. But first, there's Lost.



sally said...

Hi YC,

I have also recently been re-visiting my techniques in the closing sequence (I love how ashtanga can make poses seem new, even after so many years). I, too, have been focusing on having my fingers interlocked loosely, and in applying pressure through the whole of my arms, especially at the wrists. I find this really helps me to peel my shoulders away from my ears - a movement that I am feeling echoed in pincha mayurasana... The wonders!

Happy headstanding.

Ursula said...

I like your focus on that one asana. I wish I could focus on anything like that. Best wishes for holy supta kurmasana

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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