Saturday, June 28, 2008


As in, right toe. As in, I caught my right toe yesterday in Kapotasana. Myself. Will wonders never cease?

Granted, I had to contort myself far beyond what is normally acceptable in Kapotasana. Then again, I did not have to contort myself beyond what the Good Doctor would do - a kind of spinal twisty backbendy grab with elbows akimbo.

Still, the bind was made.

The left side is not happening as easily. Not sure why the right side (the scarrier side) is yielding faster than the left. Not sure it matters why.

I am definitely sick of talking about the finer points of asana. If you do it over and over, you will yield, that much I am sure of.

Today, I practiced Primary, as has been my patter of late: skip Wednesday, practice Thursday and Friday full practice up to Eka Pada or beyond, depending on where I am (if I am alone, I might do all of the leg-behind-head poses, or if I am with the Good Doctor, apparently, I am going to be allowed to do this as well, along with Pincha Mayurasana, but this remains to be seen starting on Monday at New York Yoga), and then Saturday, pretend it's Friday and do Primary only.

Without particularly rushing it, and without checking my watch during it, I did the entire practice including Savasana in 61 minutes. This is significant because it means that I am not pausing between breaths, and I am not agonizing over postures. It used to be that I would look at Mari C and D and Supta Kurmasana with a mixture of excitement and dread. Now, I just do them. Not too much thought, even with the gimpy toe. The thought seems to revolve around how not to squish the toe. Not much other thought going on. At least not today.

Backbending was fine. Not as quick to yield today as yesterday, with all of the Second Series backbending poses as a prelude. But by the fifth or sixth (not doing dropbacks because of the toe, so I am doing six press-ups instead), I felt all bendy in my front body, all yieldy and comfy. I like that.

Something I have sort of kind of been thinking about lately is DZM's video of walking her hands in. I apologize for not providing the link, but I imagine you all know where to find it. The issue she posed and which was addressed in the comments was whether it's okay to let the heels come up as the hands walk in. I have been observing myself as I walk my hands in, and I have decided that as soon as my heels need to come up, that is when I need to STOP walking my hands in and just BE there. Once the heels come up, I find that I am just MOVING the backbend into my knees. So, what's the point then? If I want to work on opening the front body and bending my back more, then I need to not allow all the work to start migrating into the flexibility of my feet and my knees.

What I HAVE been experimenting with is taking one hand off the floor entirely and resting it on my hipbone, thus moving MORE of the work into the hand that remains on the floor. This seems to stretch the chest even more. Then I do it on the other side. It feels great. What do you call that? Eka Hasta Urdhva Dhanurasana?

I am really loving the backbending this week. Can a broken toe really make the back more flexy?

Or is it just summer?



Carl said...

Why is one side scarier in kapotasana than the other?

Regarding letting the heels rise off the mat: I don't get it either. Once it happens I lose all the drive from my legs. That seems opposite how it's supposed to work.

Also, when you're doing urdhva danurasana, try walking off your mat a few feet and then walking back. It's intense but it helps accomplish some neat things.

Yoga Chickie said...

Good observations, Carl!

My right side should be scarier because I had radiation on that side, so I imagine the skin just bursting open. Gross, I know. Sorry. But it turns out that the stiffer side is my left side. Maybe it's not stiff so much as uncoordinated?

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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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