Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I seem to be on a roll with my practice. Today, I practised with the Sharath led Primary recording again. Again, had a wonderful, sweaty practice. Again, I tried to do everything 'by the book.'

The great thing about trying everything is that I'm discovering what I really can and can't do. I've fallen into a comfortable routine in my practice, so it's good to shake things up a bit.

For years, I've had notoriously tight hamstrings. I've modified, modified, modified to protect my back. But the hams really aren't that tight anymore. I'm capable of coming deeper into forward folds than I have been. And I'm learning that I'm not going to spontaneously combust if my back rounds a little bit. Lengthen, extend, yes, but in deeper forward bends, there is going to be some rounding of the back. There has to be.

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana is one example. I haven't had the flexibility or balance to bring my chin towards my shin in this pose. For months, I've just been working on getting my extended leg straight while keeping a long spine. Once I arrived in this comfortable place, it was easy to 'stay comfortable.'

On Sunday at Shala Central, I knew I couldn't get away with staying in my comfort zone, so I decided to 'try' to bring my chin to my shin in Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana. My greatest concern was actually keeping my balance, but I was stable. Yesterday and today, I worked with the full expression of the pose, chin to shin. Well, the chin isn't even close to the shin, but I'm working on it.

Sirsasana was better today - I stuck it out for the full count. Yesterday, I conked out in half-bend. I need to lift my legs a bit more to take the pressure off my shoulders (Teacher P pointed out that I'm lowering them too far in half-bend).


Michelle said...

Isn't it wonderful to discover these new things? Again, Kai, I am in awe of your dedication to the practice.

Kaivalya said...

What blows me away is how I can do this stuff. After a while, I quit trying to do Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana properly, but I've managed to sneak my way into it without really practising it *specifically*.

There's some dedication involved in my practice, a bit of lifestyle factor (no kids, no office-type job) and a lot of it is just routine and habit. Kinda like brushing your teeth: you wouldn't think of skipping and no one questions it either.