Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Seems I woke up at a stupidly early hour this morning for no good reason.

It's poor manners to waste another person's time because you cannot manage to be organised. Particularly when said person started *her* day at 4:30 a.m. in order to accommodate *your* schedule.

Basic Ahimsa. Or maybe Asteya. Or good old fashioned common sense.

Hrmpf! End rant.

All of which leads me to this moment in time: Sitting in a coffee shop in a part of the city I rarely frequent, yawning as I drink my green tea and killing some time before my next class. Trying to make the best of it, but annoyed all the same.

Practice was good this morning! I was on the mat by about 5:30 a.m. and wrapped up around 7:15. I skimped on backbends today to save time, did only three Urdhva Dhanurasana.

I've been thinking a lot about Supta Kurmasana lately. I feel like this pose is stagnating. I suppose I expected that I might be binding to wrist by now - my shoulders are certainly open enough. I find that this pose comes along more slowly when you're not getting regular shala help.

I think I need more opening in my hips. That would be a good project, and a good preparation for the LBH poses later on in the series too! If anyone knows any 'research poses' in that genre, I'm keen to hear about them.

One of the top search terms for the blog these days is "pulled hamstring ashtanga" (the other one, amusingly, is "jivamukti balm"...seriously, what the heck?!!).

My gimpy hamstring has finally mended and I have full flexibility back in most forward folds. The one exception is Krounchasana, but I didn't have that pose prior to the tear. When he gave me the pose, D offered very specific direction to avoid re-injury. I can come into the left side of Krounchasana without a lot of depth, but minimal discomfort.

I'm surprised by how much sensation I still feel in the area of the tear. It's not pain, more like a tugging. This injury still limits me. I wonder how much longer it will affect my practice? Should I be concerned?

It's been over four months since the injury. I think it may have been a more serious injury than I initially thought.


Ursula said...

Oh, I remember the Jivamukti balm very well. It smells fantastic. At Jivamukti classes they used to give us a little neck massage with this balm either in the beginning or the end of a class. It was very nice. :)

Kaivalya said...

Mystery solved! Now that I think about it, I remember this from the Jivamukti classes I've taken. I usually request the teacher *not* to 'anoint' me. I don't like strong fragrances and found it distracting during my practice (she slathered our backs with some kind of oil in Downward Dog once).

patrick said...

Most of the preps for LBH are pigeons, pigeons, pigeons. Matthew Sweeney includes some very useful pigeon twists (i.e., try to get your opposite side elbow into either the crook of the arch of the foot or outside the knee, while the front leg is pigeoned).

There is also a "diamond" shaped Baddha Konasana, where the feet are not close, but well extended, still with knees to the side. Fold forward, gets into the hips.

Many people forget, however, that LBH takes not just flexibility but substantial strength, or else you either can't hold the leg up or you take the weight in the cervical vertebrae, which is no good.

Good luck, etc etc.

Arturo said...

Dear Kai
Hmm, maybe that is what I have on my left leg. It's been bothering me since May, six months. The muscles on that leg are quite noisy and movable when doing certain asanas, a reason for concern.

It was revealing to me when Patrick mentioned that the first four of 3rd series are a good prep for LBH poses such as supta kurmasana. So when I think I'm going to be doing supta K., before beginning I do lunges that are like prep for it. It's lunging as if you're going to go into the first and second of 3rd, and put both your elbows on the floor beside the bent leg and stay there for a while. It drives my traditional teacher nuts for me to do it, but I do it anyhow. He says I waste time on preparation poses. I beg to differ.