Sunday, May 30, 2010


For those of you just tuning in, it’s ‘Nervous Breakdown Week’ here at The Reluctant Ashtangi. And the fun continues!

First, the good news: The melatonin worked and I managed to go to sleep early-ish (with only minor difficulty), then slept deeply the entire night. I woke up at 6 a.m., feeling pretty good. I’ll continue taking the melatonin this week and report back on how it works for me.

Next, the weird news: On the way to the Shala, I had a panic attack that more-or-less continued throughout my practice. This is new - I almost *never* feel random anxiety. Simple pranayama usually calms me down in stressful situations (2-1 ratio breathing) so I kept a focus on my breath and decided to carry on. I thought the flow and focus of the Suryas would set me right and they *were* helpful. The standing poses were okay, if a bit surreal. Then I got to the seated poses and just tried to keep my attention on the vinyasa. I didn’t lose my shit until after Kurmasana and I was still okay, just a bit overwhelmed and spacey (R had remind me of a couple vinyasas).

Yesterday, I mentioned deepening the half-lotus in my Marichyasana B and D in order to protect my ankle. Today, I tried that deeper half-lotus across my entire practice and it was great! I found a deeper forward fold in both Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana and Ardha Baddha Padma Padottanasana. And yes, Marichyasana B and D were much better! I had an easier wrist bind in D, though it was a bit tight on one side. I think my rotation was better in that pose too. And my lotus knee was able to move closer to the floor.

I repeated Bhujapidasana three times because I kept screwing up the exit, but on my last try I managed an *almost* respectable Bakasana and jumpback. The exit after Kurmasana was even better. Holding the Bakasana for a second or two is a good strategy because my jumpback is smoother.

The lotus jumpback after Garba Pindasana wasn’t too shabby today! It’s coming along!

Backbending (6 total): I always expect the first three to feel terrible, but they were not so bad today. R wants to hear ‘bigger sound’ from my Ujjayi breathing in those first backbends. I was trying, but my breath felt and sounded jagged. After that, I did three more backbends, resting between each and I worked on the rocking.

My rocking is not good. R had some new suggestions for me. She wants me to work on pushing my hips forward, so they’re aligned over my ankles (rather than just pushing my knees forward, which is what I’m currently doing). She thinks it would be helpful for my legs to be straighter. I suggested that perhaps I shouldn’t walk my hands in quite as far, focusing instead on straightening my legs. I tried this and it felt like I was able to press the hips further forward.

Sometime this week, I’d like to film this at home, so I can see what she’s seeing. I think I could benefit from some extracurricular hip openers and shoulder openers this week. Those legs are not going to straighten if my hip flexors are tight!

I made it home okay and rested for a bit. My nerves felt so raw! Thank goodness for Rescue Remedy (it really works for me - I’ll make sure it’s in my Shala bag from now on). I teach private students in the afternoon and it was ‘good medicine’ to shift the focus from my self to others for a few hours. I feel much better now!

I’m going to be more mindful about taking my Calcium/Magnesium supplements in the future. I bought a good B-complex supplement and some Gaba, which came highly recommended for quick relief of anxiety (it seemed to work).

Boodi has me interested in gemstones now, so I picked up a few of those too - ones with nerve/emotion-balancing, calming qualities. My favourite is the ‘chrysacolla’, which is colourfully gorgeous if nothing else. I also got a ‘nuummite’ (‘sorcerers stone’; protects against negative energy), ‘infinite’ (healing energy, useful for mucles/joints) and ‘tourmaline’ (lucky stone, dispels negativity, enhances creativity).

My flake-o-metre is off the graph these days! My practice is giving me ‘the Crazy’ :-D

I hope the rest of this yoga week is blissfully boring!!!


Boodiba said...

The melatonin worked! I'm happy to hear it.

I went to the crystal shop again twice today. I really love that place. I was looking at these huge, honking pieces of black tourmaline, but $220 each. I restrained myself. I did get a nice, hematite necklace though, only $18 and it looks good with the tourmaline. Is supposed to be very grounding and god knows...

Arturo said...

hi Kai
funny name to the week. i'll pay attention to your blow by blow description of coming to standing from UD for when i'm ready.

Kaivalya said...

Yes! It really did work! I took the melatonin during my salt bath and I could feel myself getting groggy and winding down. Thanks for suggesting it!

You would love the gem shop I went to today. The prices were very good! I spent just under $36 and got a variety of smaller gems, plus a really lovely crystal cut tourmaline pendant set in silver.

Boodiba said...

I usually take mine about an hour before I want to be asleep. Unless I'm upset about something it really helps to wind me down in a very gradual way. You are welcome! I used to have very bad insomnia, about seven years ago, and I know how frustrating it can be. One night of it is one thing, but if it goes on it's like torture.

What's the name of your shop? Email me the web site if they've got one! Not that I can spend in unlimited fashion but I just love this stuff.

Kaivalya said...

I'm just joking around about the 'nervous breakdown'. My plan is for the rest of this week to be very boring and ordinary!

I keep posting everything I learn about standing up in hopes that it will help other people with their practice. I hope it's helpful to you! :-)

Kaivalya said...

I already thought of that! But no website!!! I picked up a one-page guide to gems and a few gem descriptions. I can scan and email them to you.

Boodiba said...

Thank you in advance!