The Shala was HOT. As I stepped on my mat and started chanting the invocation, big blobs of sweat were already running down my face (that’s never a good sign!). My shirt was soaked before I even finished the standing poses and it was all downhill from there. I like heat and I usually handle heat well but today was NOT one of those days. I felt off-kilter and my pace was slowing to a crawl. I was stalling, futzing around between poses, mopping my face with a towel. I rarely do that stuff anymore - it was weird and discouraging.
I *knew* I was being a big baby, but I couldn’t seem to stop.
I think I was really just dreading backbends. I didn’t mind the first four because Urdhva Dhanurasana is something I *can* do. Lift from the floor, walk hands in, rock 5 times? No problem. But standing up is so FOREIGN to me, completely awkward and I just don’t know what I’m supposed to DO with my body.
It’s all fine and good that R is able to bring me up (and I’ve stopped worrying about injuring her through my own incompetence; the woman is strong like an ox) but I don’t feel like I’m *participating* in standing up. I don’t know HOW to participate. It’s maddening! I *should* be able to do this (I’m strong! My backbend is deep enough). I’m just stumped.
R implored me to breath. Hm, yes, good point! I really *was* trying, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I was holding my breath out of a simple freak-out reflex.
With help, I stood up three times, very, very badly. R looked disappointed and exasperated with me. I was exhausted and shaking like a leaf, with rubbery legs. During the post-backbend Paschimottanasana squish I was shaking so hard that R actually commented on it.
I wanted to crawl into a hole and die. Instead, I did my finishing poses, then wrapped a towel around my head so no one would see me crying in Savasana.
Oh my, the DRAMA!!! *sheepish grin*
Today is a holiday here, but my classes were still running. I rode my bicycle into the city centre and it felt so good to feel the sun on my face and the wind on my damp clothing (which had dried by the time I arrived at the gym). The ride lifted my spirits. I took a quick shower, picked up a protein bar at the variety down the street and found my second wind. I did some core work, then set up in a quiet corner to do my spiderman routine against the wall.
I worked on rocking, keeping my head down (something R had mentioned in this morning’s critique). I walked up the wall three times. At the halfway point on the wall, I kept rocking, inhaling to stand up. I noticed that when I really get going with the rocking, the heels of my hands lift off the floor. I think this is a *good* thing! I remember DR mentioning it in the backbending workshop I attended last month. It means that there’s a weight transfer happening, moving weight into the feet. This seems like it would be essential.
Maybe that’s what I need to focus on when R is working with me? Keep my gaze down, and try to push the hips forward so the heels of my hands lift?
As always, advice, comments, tips are welcome. (Grimmly, I have no idea how you learned to do this on your own, but I’m filled with admiration)
Here’s the best part: Tomorrow, I’ll schlep down to the Shala and do it all over again. I don’t want to, but I will. I’m stubborn that way. Practice and all is coming. Even when it’s not.
I didn’t forget the 70s yoga ladies this week!
Everyone has their off days! Today, one of our ladies demonstrates the starting position of a ‘Special Series for Women’:
It’s called it the Anguished Faceplant. I’m doing it right now!