I really have to learn more about this.
…to imagine this with the background music I used this morning: Staying Alive, the Beegees. If you need lift-off, the Beegees are the go-to guys.
And yes, I know I need to stretch out more fully. And pull the camera back. Still, it was fun.
Okay, so I’m doing handstands and am dogged by the fear of going over backwards. Once I flipped pincha mayurasana, it was all downhill from there — no fear equals get the pose. I want to solve for handstand fear.
“What if I just go over?” I asked Muscle Man (meaning, what if I just went over into a backbend).
“Don’t do that,” he said.
“Don’t do it?”
Then he showed me how to go up, then start to fall backwards and twist until my hips come around and my feet land. Well, he showed me HIM doing it. My brain isn’t convinced, though, that what my eyes saw will translate into what my body does, when push comes to shove.
So I’m looking for stories about how people overcame fear of flipping over backwards from handstand. Does everyone twist/crappy cartwheel out of handstands?
I have serious problems with two kinds of candy: candy corn and Junior Mints. So I don’t buy them.
Last week, I asked someone on my team if she still had a book I lent her over a year ago. She thought she’d returned it, so was mortified to find she still had it. She returned it to me with a box of Junior Mints.
I tucked the box up in a cabinet over my desk and forgot about it, until I saw her catch a glimpse of it during our 1:1. I felt ungrateful for leaving it up there, so packed it into my bag and brought it home.
“Yay! I can freeze them and eat them three at a time.” That was my plan. Except, who was I kidding? I ate them all. I had a sugar hangover before I even went to bed. Then I was restless and had nightmares all night. I woke at 12:30, looked at the clock and thought, “WHEN will this night be OVER??”
Ugh. Not good. Practice was actually fine, which was a pleasant surprise. Despite my candy-consumption, I am suddenly on the other side of the winter vata thing. Feel really grounded and stable, even in the midst of madness at work.
Thought of the day: If an indication of progress in practice is reduction in muscle tension, I’m going to have to quit my job.
Happy Tuesday! (And just say no to sugar.)
This morning, I practiced at home, since I’m going to have lunch with My Gift during the time led intermediate happens. It’s interesting that I’ve gone from all home practice all the time to all shala practice all the time. An interesting pendulum that swings back and forth.
Sunday home practice isn’t my favorite because Sunday practice is such a crap shoot to begin with. So I incentivized myself by practicing to David Swenson’s intermediate CD — an experiment to see if he takes as long to get to karandavasana as I do when I practice at the shala. (Answer = yes.)
I’ve been struggling with the lotus in karanda, so looked forward to being able to struggle struggle struggle without driving a teacher crazy. I even pulled out the video recorder. Sure enough, what I saw was that though I am pulling the left leg back far enough to get the right leg into lotus, I’m not pulling the right hip back far enough once the first leg is in and I shift to tucking the left leg in. If the right hip isn’t back enough (and it seems to involve some twisting — externally, I believe, though hard to tell when upside down) the whole thing just keeps tumbling down. Good to know! And such a good feeling to finally get a lotus bound up while on pincha arms!
I also practiced close enough to the wall that I could save myself from flipping backwards, but far enough away that I could see what my legs would do in a flip (Answer: the lotus immediate pops undone). Another good thing to know, because it means that flipping out of karanda will be the same as flipping out of pincha, provided I refrain from any panic flailing.
All in all, a good enough practice for a Sunday.
Renaissance Man subbed on Monday and today and did two great things:
1) Turned the effing heat down. To 80 instead of 85. Thank you!
2) Gave the funnest karandavasana assist ever.
Okay, so yeah, when I was leaving the room last week, I looked at the thermostat. Set at 85, and the room — heated by a bunch of ashtangis practicing for an hour and a half — was hovering at almost 90. The hardest part about balancing in pincha mayurasana in that kind of heat is the way my thudding heartbeat makes me sway.
But the karanda assist! Okay, so he swings me down to touch my knees, then up again (no 5 breath hold), then down and up again — repeat for five. Wheeeee! Super fun. Helps me see how the exit really is a backbend, for one thing. And it’s a dynamic strength move! It reminds me of two things:
1) Weightlifting days. When I would always wake up sore, back in the days where everything could be solved by brute strength. (*sigh*)
2) Dynamic climbing moves. I love dynamic climbing moves. Instead of reaching to grab a handhold, you jump and grab! Motion! Momentum! A chance you might miss the hold! Very fun.
So yes, I am loving the dynamism of karandavasana. The only pain right now is my SUPER shaky lotusing of the legs. The balance is very weird when it’s a forearm balance (versus, say, a headstand). If any cybershalamates have advice on the pincha-armed leg-lotus, let me know.
I’m having very zippy practices these days. 60-75 minutes (60 on days like today, when thoughts of an early meeting keep me on a particularly quick pace). I know I’m going fast compared to others in the shala, but seem to be clocking in at the pace of a led class, so I think I’m okay.
Practiced at the Posh Spa this morning. God, I love their towels.
I try to get in a little before 6 AM, so I can wrap up savasana by 7:20 or so. Despite good driste, I had the sense that I was speeding along as compared to everyone else. That was confirmed when Muscle Man asked me, as we finished up the karandavasana assist: “What time did you start?”
I asked if I was going too fast and he said he didn’t think do. Apparently he moves along quickly as well. I don’t watch the clock, and I don’t want to, but I know that if I keep up a good pace, I can do my whole practice, get ready, and be at work early enough to get some work done before everyone else shows up and the circus begins.
Funny moment in
pincha mayurasana karandavasana. I did a down dog with some extra breaths before launching pincha mayurasana since I didn’t want to be in an inversion when my heart blew a gasket (seriously, I think they must crank it to at least 90 degrees in there). I got up into pincha mayurasana, got wobbly, and flipped. Went back up and stuck it. Suddenly Muscle Man was there, tapping on my right ankle. I kind of moved it in the direction of the tap. He then took my ankle and kind of did an outward rotation. “Geez,” I thought, “My alignment in pincha must suck.” Then I realized he was indicating that I should lotus my legs. Oh! I get it! We’re doing karandavasana! Duh, I was still on pincha mayurasana.
Alrighty, so after months and months of self-practice, I went to a Sunday led intermediate at a studio in the southern part of the valley. Great fun, a nice, funky studio, and a small regular crowd of friendly yogis. Sweet.
Then The Poetess started offering Mysore on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Volleyball Guy’s studio, which is right by my office. The Poetess teaches late some evenings, so I offered to open the place up so she could come in a little later and not have to worry about students standing outside waiting for her. Perfect. I can go in at 5:30, turn on the heat and get started.
And last week, I headed over to the newest studio in town, where Muscle Man is teaching Mysore on Monday/Wednesday/Friday. The studio is super-plush — reminds me of Pure Yoga in Singapore. What a great place to get ready for work after practice: stacks of scratchy white cotton towels (my favorite!), peppermint bodywash, shampoo, and conditioner, Q-tips, hair spray, deodorant, hair dryers, even containers full of disposable razors. There’s a mouthwash dispenser and little cups by the sinks. The Poetess told me she washed her hands with it before she realized what it was. Ha!
The Mysore room is beautiful, except for…um, mirrors on two walls. And what appears to be a teak floor. Hey, I like luxury materials as much as the next person, but cork woulda been my choice, not the hardest wood on earth. But that’s just a quibble. The place is gorgeous. And they turn the heat up to a thousand degrees.
“It’s like practicing in India!” I said to The Cop.
“Except for the luxurious surroundings and plush toiletries.”
So anyhow, much Mysore these days. Which is nice. And probably useful given karandavasana. In the Sunday class, the teacher doesn’t adjust that pose. On Monday I took two shots at it with Muscle Man. He did one assist standing behind me and grasping my knees, and another standing in front of me and pushing against my knees as I curled down (interesting, right?). This morning, The Poetess did the traditional hip grab assist.
I need to set aside some time for my own work with the baddha hasta sirsasana lowering, ’cause I think that’s good for strength. In the meantime, though, plenty of opportunity for help with this pose.
Yeah, what he said.
I’ve been using the Maehle technique, too. It’s consistent with the principles of deliberate practice.
One of the things I’ve always been amused about, when it comes to deliberate practice, is that it is recognized right up front that deliberate practice is not fun. The whole idea is that you are practicing at the very edge of your capability, which means you won’t be getting the ego-fulfillment of being able to do something easily. Basically, it’s grind, grind, grind, stretch, stretch, stretch. Sounds familiar?
This morning is led intermediate with Andrew Eppler, who is visiting from Oklahoma.