Saturday, May 15, 2010


Yesterday, before the hormonal shitstorms hit, I managed to clean up the apartment, do all the laundry, go to the bank and the library, plus catch up on my bookkeeping. It was a whirlwind, but worth it. Because today, I was allowed to be LAZY!

Okay, well, I *did* go to the Market and teach one class, but it was sandwiched in between lazy and lazy!

At least, as lazy as one can be when the body is programmed to wake up at 6 a.m.! Argh. I took a hot bath and went back to bed with the Yoga Sutras (still working on Satchidananda), read until I was sleepy and took a nap. I spent much of the morning reading. In the afternoon, lunch and more reading.

I wasn’t sure what I would do for my practice today. I wasn’t feeling great this morning, but by the afternoon, I was a bit more like myself.

On Friday, I picked up a Jivamukti DVD at the library, so I decided to try that. It’s the standard ‘Transform Yourself With Jivamukti Yoga’ with Sharon Gannon and David Life. They both teach it and in the menu, you have the option to pick one or the other. I chose David.

It’s a very basic vinyasa class with sun salutations and a variety of standing poses, followed by some warm-up backbends, then Urdhva Dhanurasana, followed by forward bending, a supine twist and some inversions (which I didn’t do, a la Lady’s Holiday). It has a good pace and I was warmed up by the time the backbends rolled around. I stopped the DVD after the two Urdhva Dhanurasana and did three more on my own, then worked against the wall.

My latest strategy: Walk in the hands in until the heels lift, pause, then push the heels back to the floor while pushing up through the hands, keeping the arms straight. When I do this, I feel a stretch across my lower abdomen. Working with the wall, I did three dropbacks and stood back up (using the wall). The first two times were dodgy, but by the third try, I was feeling pretty confident.

I used my new camera to shoot a few photos of my current backbend. The new camera allows a customized self-timer up to 30 seconds. That’s waaaaay too long. I dropped it to 20 seconds and that allowed plenty of time to come into the pose and work it a bit before the photograph was taken.

This is my current State-of-the-Backbend:

For comparison purposes, here’s the State-of-the-Backbend from April 22:

This is a huge change! I knew it felt different, but really, I had *no* idea. I was floored!!!

Theoretically, I think I should be able to stand up, given the distance between my hands and my feet. I was playing around with that today, but with no luck at *all*. I can’t even rock my hands off the floor. Here’s my theory: my body has absolutely no idea how to stand up. It’s like my muscles are confused about what to do to make the action happen. I think that walking hands up the wall will help me find the co-ordination I need to stand up. I think it’s a matter of strength too.

But I’m SO close!


Tonight, I’m donning my ugliest floral bridesmaid dress (it’s actually my old wedding dress from waaaaay back, when I was in my early 20s!) and I’m going on a ‘drunken bridesmaids pub crawl’ around the city. I did this three years ago and it was absolutely hilarious!

To participate, you MUST wear an ugly dress of some sort. Even the guys! In fact, some of the best dresses were on the guys!

I’m so glad I don’t have to go to practice tomorrow. I’m going to nap for an hour this evening and stay until the bitter end this time! The rules state: “Bridesmaids drink like ladies. They get tipsy, not shitfaced.” Okay, for me, this translates into one or two drinks, maybe three if I space them out enough.

Here’s a photo from the last pub crawl. I’m easy to spot - look for the grandma couch:

(photo credit: Brian Tao)

I tried on that dress this morning, wondering if it would fit. Last time, I could just barely zip it up. This time? It was too BIG, literally falling off of me! I’ll have to do some last minute alterations with safety pins to keep it on. Thank you, Astanga and CRON! I’m too slender for my wedding dress. That’s pretty awesome! :-D


Spina said...

Wow, your backbend! This is some serious progress!

krista said...

aaah love the backbends. beautiful!!! I'm working on standing from backbend too and know what you mean about the muscles just being like, wtf?
i find if I rock my body back then forward, like push my pelvis towards my feet, the momentum helps and I can sometimes get up. Also, I notice have to spread my feet wider apart. this is probably terrible form or something, but just intuitively that is how i've been trying to get up and sometimes it helps.

susananda said...

Much deeper backbend! Awesome!!!!

Btw, I've really enjoyed catching up on your shala journey. I actually read about two weeks in the Bangkok airport but couldn't comment cos the wifi ran out :) Glad it's working out for you

Kaivalya said...

Thanks, everyone, for the shared and excitement and positive feedback. I was SO excited to see this. Seriously, I haven't seen any real progress in years, so this is BIG.

Sounds like you're on the right track. These are all things my teachers are asking me to do in order to stand up.

Yay! If *you* think it's deeper than I'm definitely moving in the right direction!

Arturo said...

hi Kai
now i see the difference, because you had a costume change. the bike is not in the picture in this one, and the Buddha is clipped out too. haha. but really, yes, there is a marked improvement in the upwards arch.
word verif: kviest (a play on your name?) Kai is the kviest? haha.