Thursday, February 11, 2010

Astanga

Today was yet another day of Extreme Astanga Reluctance, except this time it was paired with a distracted mind. Oooo! A deadly combination. So I sat on my mat and studied my fingernails while a fascinating flurry of thoughts swirled through my busy little brain.

I had a little break after the sun salutations to take a phone call and then I *finally* settled into my practice. Everything fell into place around Marichyasana A and I was flying. Full Primary today led by the Sharath CD, self-led finishing poses and this time, I managed to do Savasana!

The lift-ups are going well! I’ve added a sort of quasi-jumpthrough to my routine, lifting into Lolasana (this link has a wonderful video by Patrick Stewart with detailed instruction and a couple of different variations for the pose) and then extending my legs forward.

I’m feeling stronger every day and my feet now clear the mat every time. It’s probably time to lower the blocks again - except, the blocks are as low was they go. I did a quick web search for 2 inch cork yoga blocks, but didn’t find anything. It’s just as well. I *really* don’t need to feed my ‘block habit’. I already have quite a collection! :-D

I see two options:

1) Phone books. Our lobby is full of them because the new ones just came out and nobody wants them anymore because we all surf over to Canada411 when we need a phone number. But I could wrap two in duct tape to make them more solid, then use them as thin blocks.

or...

2) I could just raise the blocks up again and work on the jumping-my-feet-back part. This seems like the most logical solution. But once I get the jumpback, I’m still stuck with trying to do it from the floor.

For fun, I’ve been exploring the different site referrers in my access stats. Since many of you read regularly but don’t often comment, I’m starting a new feature to recognise readers who blogroll or link to me in some fashion...

Referrer Thursday

This week’s referrer (and also a Google Follower) is Lew over at the Pratyahara Blog

Lew started blogging in October of 2009 after her practice of the Astanga Intermediate Series was curtailed by a diagnosis of Graves Disease (reading the first post is a very worthwhile for getting her back story).

Lew has a gorgeous practice, cute dog pictures, an absolutely lovely Urdhva Dhanurasana (I'm JEALOUS!) and you can find posts with titles like this: ‘Fear and Loathing in Kapotansansa’.

Astanga is a challenging practice for someone who's perfectly healthy. I have heaps of respect for anyone who perseveres with their practice in the face of an illness.

6 comments:

The Misanthropic Yogini said...

"So I sat on my mat and studied my fingernails" -- This made me chuckle. I have these awkward little moments on my mat, as well, scratching my head and letting the mind wander.

lew said...

Aw shucks - I'm touched! Thank you-what a kind soul you are!

I think my practice is pretty bread'n'butter, but it has definitely helped me keep some semblance of sanity over the last few months, and that's the part that really, really matters.

cheers,
lew

LadyRayCello said...

Two cutting boards may be your next step... but i guess you'd have to have matching cutting boards.... also accidental butt-ramage may not be so fun with cutting boards. So nevermind. Heh.

Claudia said...

It is interesting that you used the blocks for a while and now they are not short enough... I guess the phone book could be an alternative... I have never used them, maybe that is why I am still not able to jump back or through without my toes lightly touching the mat...

Arturo said...

hi Kai
if i haven't added Lew already to my side bar, i will. now my roster is super long, but i do keep up with what people are saying.

i have practice times like yours. i argue with people out loud by myself for minutes on end before i realize it's time to do sun salutations.

hugs
Arturo

Kaivalya said...

@Misanthropic Yogini and Arturo
Distraction is definitely a problem for me when I'm getting started with my practice in the morning. Meditation helps a bit, but I still get caught up in these mind waves and 'storytelling'.

@LadyRay
I hadn't considered cutting boards, but thought about going to Home Despot and getting 2inch chunks of wood. Wrapping them in duct tape would make the edges softer (and be oh-so-MacGyver-esque)

@Claudia
That's exactly what I'm trying to do - gradually 'work my way to the floor' but without my toes touching.

@Lew
I'm really enjoying reading your blog! Thanks for sharing your experiences. It's really helpful and inspiring to me to read about how others approach their practice. :-)