Thursday, October 28, 2010

Astanga

I feel like a python. During the workshop last weekend, I devoured a huge amount of information and now it's just sitting there while I slowly start to digest. Digesting could take weeks. Or months.

Over the first couple days of practice this week, I started to build a clearer mental picture of what I had learned. I thought to myself: 'Okay, I kind of have a handle on this.'

But I really didn't and I don't. I will...eventually. I know for certain that a month from now, I'll still be having these awesome lightbulb moments when something D told me a million times during the workshop suddenly comes into sharp focus. "Oh. THAT'S what he was trying to get me to do!"

Case in point: Bhujapidasana.

Pre-workshop, I shot a nice little video of Bhujapidasana. This was back in my 'glory days' of Bhuja. This month, I had finally come to peace with the pose and could pull it off with grace and confidence.

Now? I'm back to struggling. Over the weekend, D got me started trying to jump into it. This hasn't been going very well, but every morning I try at least three times before coming into the pose my old way and moving on.

It took a day or two, but I finally figured out that if I shoot my feet forward with the intention of plopping them on the floor, I'm not going to get anywhere. I need to keep faith that I will actually land on my arms. I literally need to 'pretend' that's possible.

So I try and most of the time, I land on my bum. And that's if I'm lucky! When I actually *do* land on my arms, it HURTS. I have a big bruise on my left tricep from one of my hopeful crash landings.

I need to keep my chin up - literally, as well as figuratively. When he was helping me learn this, D held his hand in front of me to provide a Driste, then offered feedback on what my head was doing as I jumped forward: "No, it dropped a bit. Dropped a bit again. You did it again..."

*sigh*

It feels impossible. But today, on the third repetition, I finally jumped roughly onto my arms. And stayed there. To celebrate, I lowered to the floor and completed the pose. It was not the 'prettiest' Bhujapidasana in the history of the pose at least I did it.

Just don't get me started on the exit. *sadtrombone*






6 comments:

Loo said...

oh no. something for me to "look forward to"? bhuja is my nemesis and I'm not even trying to jump into it.

Kaivalya said...

@Loo
Don't even go there, Loo! Just work on getting the pose first, then you can fancy-it-up with the jumps. :-D

Skippetty said...

I swear I'll break my arms if I do it in one move. I'm still cheating by doing it in 2 steps: hopping feet forward, then hopping legs up. Can't get over the mental block that I'll snap my elbows off if I do it in one smooth move! HAHA!

Kaivalya said...

@Skippetty
It really *is* a 'leap of faith'. I'm pretty good at most arm balancing, but this action just feels 'wrong' to me. I'm not fearful, exactly, but skeptical!

ELP said...

This may get a tsk tsk from some who believe all happens in order, but... the people in my shala who jump into it are all practicing 2nd and jump into Tittibhasana every day. I wish I had tips, but I don't. I think it's just one of those awkward feeling poses and eventually things start coming together and ta-da! Landed. If you did it once, you'll do it again!

oh- remember to squeeze the arms with the legs, it helps keep it all together right when you land. Stabilizes you so you don't shoot forward. I guess I had a tip after all!

alice's adventures said...

I am still working on jumping into bakasana without my toes touching down, but my teacher recently spend a considerable amount of time in our vinyasa classes practicing jumping into dandasana without touching down, then stalling, and lifting back into down dog. She feels that this practice prepares you to prevent injuries jumping into bhujapidasana or titthibasana. I use blocks to do the "stalls" and still touch down a couple times, but I can see progress!