Monday, June 7, 2010


My gremlin, Nitara, is fading. Last night, I massage my neck, working out a few little knots and hitting all the pressure points. When I was finished, Nitara had decamped to my right shoulderblade. When I woke up in the morning, she had moved back over to the left. With some more massage she melted away into simple soreness.

My practice this morning was refreshingly ordinary. We’ve had a cooling spell and humidity has eased. It wasn’t as hot in the Shala. I barely broke a sweat except for my head. I’m a head sweater!

Everything was do-able today, though P had to apply a firm squish in Marichyasana A to get my forehead to my shin. I repeated Bhujapidasana three times after thudding gracelessly onto my bum the first two times (I was ROFL, literally!). On the third try, P stood behind me, coaching me to inhale on the lift-to-exit. He pointed out that my inhale needs to be long in order to last for the entire lift, which means I need to exhale completely before I even attempt it.

Sometimes, Bhujapidasana is smooth and effortless. Most of the time, it’s a comedy show, but I really enjoy working on it. I’ve been trying, trying, trying to get my knees far enough up my arms on the exit to manage a jumpback from Bakasana. No luck.

I was reading Maehle over the weekend and there’s this great line about ‘sucking your knees into your armpits’ while exiting. I love this imagery! I enjoy imagining my armpits as mini Black Holes sucking up knees, (or maybe they’re a vacuum! or a breach in the space-time continuum!). Now THAT would be a great Siddhi!! Obviously, I’m not even close. ;-)

My finishing poses all feel fine now. Sarvangasana is no longer uncomfortable and I managed a smooth Sirsasana up and down, including the half-bend. The only lingering gremlin-related issue is the wrist bind in Marichyasana D and the last few Chakrasanas. I’ll probably add those back in tomorrow. Don’t know about the Mari D, actually - I may need some help to get my wrist back.


I did 9 backbends today because I flaked out on #7 and came down too early. This is how it unfolded:

Warmup backbends, #1, #2, #3: head to floor *briefly* between each one, walked my hands in for #2 and #3

Second set #4, #5, #6: I’m trying to build strength, so I repeated the above with more handwalking and deeper backbends.

After #7, P told me to stop ‘moving my feet’. He was actually standing on my feet as he said this. I asked him, “How exactly am I moving them?”

“As you walk your hands in, you’re moving your feet forward!”

Forward?! Oops. I guess that kind of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?

#8: I tried to visualize my feet, set in concrete. P asked me to walk my hands waaaaay in. I did. My heels lifted. I pressed them down. I think I managed 4 breath cycles here. It was not quality breathing, though. WHY does my breathing get all weird in Urdhva Dhanurasana? Argh.

#9: I did one more for good measure, trying to replicate the depth of the previous backbend. When I get this deep, it feels intense - not painful, just fierce. My breathing totally fell apart here and I came down.

I feel like I’m on the right track.


But enough about me.

The weather is lovely and our 70s Yoga Ladies are embracing the sunshine with a picnic on the back lawn.

On the menu: Siamese Yoga on a picnic blanket. That pose looks a tad uncomfortable and, um, shouldn’t she be wearing something over those tights?

Wait a the driste Parsva or Nasagrai? Open your eyes!!!


Boodiba said...

“As you walk your hands in, you’re moving your feet forward!” - they are trying to get AWAAAAAYYY!

susananda said...

That is the most ridiculous looking yoga pic I've ever seen. What is she doing??

Re breathing in backbends, I find it's important to exhale really fully, otherwise the lungs remain kind of permanently expanded and no more air can get in, hence the feeling of gasping for air. So you kind of sit on the exhale, and make the inhale really low-key, it just happens by itself because of the position of the ribcage. Nice n mellow :)

Kaivalya said...

Yup! In fact, the feet are moving straight towards the exit door. They want to escape, taking the rest of my body with them (too bad there's always a teacher blocking the door, they'll NEVER get away!)

Re: Siamese Pose
According to the book, the pose "slims the waist, strengthens the lungs and increases their capacity...massages the colon and kidneys." Part II coming next week!

Re: breathing
Thanks, I will try what you suggested.