Saturday, June 5, 2010


I just love Saturdays! I still tend to wake up early, but after that, it’s all lazy, lazy, lazy. I took Princess Fur for a walk in the park before the entire neighbourhood woke up and it was so peaceful.

I’ve regained full range of motion in my neck, with lingering soreness in some positions. I’ve been trying to sleep on my back to keep my neck neutral, but last night, I was actually able to sleep on my side for awhile. I think belly-sleeping is out for the time being. Don’t laugh! The Neck Book actually discusses various ways of sleeping badly and I’m the poster child for all of those positions! I’ve been sleeping that way since I was a baby - I confirmed it with my mum. I also shouldn’t sit in bed/windowseat reading because I don’t have good posture. The gremlin is stealing all my fun!

Today’s practice was restorative. I lolled around on my mat for about an hour, doing various hip/hamstring openers. I accidentally discovered that I’m VERY close to nailing full Hanumasana, so I experimented with some targeted hip opening. My hamstrings are already there, my hip flexors just need to join the party. I’ll bet if I worked this over the next couple weeks, it would be a done deal. That would be great, given that Hanumasana has been on my ‘resolutions’ list for years. It would also help my Urdhva Dhanurasana.

My teaching schedule won’t ease off entirely until July, but I’ll definitely have more spare time in the coming weeks and I’m looking forward to adding some afternoon or evening practices. Not Astanga, but Hatha with maybe a vinyasa class or two thrown in for good measure. I can do all my favourite ‘extracurriculars’! I need to pick Boodi’s brain for some ideas to improve my strength and co-ordination in jumpbacks.

I only have this abundant free time in the summer, so I need to make the most of it and deepen my practice as much as possible.

And then I can run off and join the circus! Just kidding :-) But I’m still coveting an ‘Om Gym’.

Have a nice Saturday, everyone!


Claudia said...

I love Saturdays too, it is so great to have a little extra time, curl up with a book, enjoy the weather.

very interesting what you stumbled upon with hanumanasana, I had a similar experience a few months ago, and it was so satisfying since I never though I would ever be able to split my legs like that...

enjoy the day!

Ragdoll said...

One of the things I'm loving about people's blogs is the number of times I come across an asana I've never heard of, so I google it and learn something new. I feel that hanumasana's nickname 'monkey posture' really doesn't do it justice! That looks like some incredible flexibility. And balance.

Glad your neck's recovered and that sleeping's getting more comfortable. It took my sore ribs to show me that I really, really hate trying to sleep on my back, so I appreciate the frustration!

Boodiba said...

I'd be more than happy to try to help with jump backs! I do think that all the ab / push-up work I did in my years as a gym rat really helped my astanga practice.

Kaivalya said...

I have a feeling you're right! I used to do a lot of that stuff too, so I'm strong. But I can't seem to get the part where I lift my hips up to jump my feet back. I always have to cheat and drop my toe to the floor before I can tip forward into the pivot. I need to develop my 'pivot muscle'!

Oh, Hanumasana is more than just a 'monkey posture'! There's a beautiful story behind it. In the Ramayana, Hanuman is Lord Rama's most faithful servant. When Rama's wife Sita is captured by the demon King Ravana, Rama asks Hanuman to leap across the ocean to Lanka, carrying Rama's ring, in order to comfort her. The pose Hanumasana honours Hanuman's great leap of faith and devotion.

One of my favourite poses, even though I can't manage the full expression. I like to work on it though!

Boodiba said...

Try using blocks when you're at home - one under each hand. You get extra height and get the feeling of the lift. I used to do practice that way @ home & then I'd go to the studio (led primary at Crunch gym in those days). Gradually the cheat led to the no cheat...

Kaivalya said...

I've used the blocks a bit at home to develop strength for the lift-up. I'll try what you suggested for the jump-backs. Thanks!

Boodiba said...

No problem.

When I'm working on something I've found it often helps to get 1) as close as possible to the ideal and keep practicing it that way and/or 2) the FEELING of the ideal.

It doesn't work 100% of the time but a good majority I'd say :)

Ragdoll said...

First, I'm intrigued by the thought process that led to me becoming 'teacup'?! I like it though - is there someone else around here with that name?

Second, thanks for the background, that's a lovely story. Picturing it as a leap makes for a much more graceful feel.

Kaivalya said...

Um, that thought process is the one where my brain has turned to JELLO because of too much work and not enough sleep! Good catch, and sorry about that! There never seems to be any logic to the way I switch names around sometimes (my brain is funny that way).

And yes, there is a Teacup and she's probably wondering why I thought she was interested in Hanuman! ;-)

Ever since I learned the story of this pose, I've loved it. I too enjoy the imagery of the 'leap'. It takes the pose out of the 'agony mindset' and brings joy and freedom into it.

Ragdoll said...

My usual trick with students is to address them by their surnames. Esecially with the Asian students who give their names as family name, then given names. I'm easily confused.

I find that freeing thing whenever I remember David Swenson's book telling you to 'be joyous in the option you choose', when discussing modifications of one pose (a seated forward bend, I can't remember which). It really helps to create the right feeling in the posture.

And do tell Teacup from me that she has a fantastic name!