Floaty jumpbacks always seemed like window dressing to me, but after that workshop on Sunday, I finally *get it*. Floaty vinyasas, in of themselves, are not important, BUT the strength and control required to achieve them is. Because the strength balances out all of the flexibility. Because the vinyasa linking each pose is like a glue, holding everything together. And because this balance keeps the practice sustainable, helps prevent injuries and is an important preparation for Advanced (if I ever get there...).
So I'm taking Lolasana way more seriously, doing it as often as possible in my Intermediate practice and holding it for as long as possible. I'm now looking back at all those wasted years of Primary Series with regret - I could have been *rocking* all of that vinyasa! That's okay - I'll make up for lost time on Fridays! :-D
I'm also spending more time in handstand. I usually do three handstands against the wall, right before Bakasana. Yesterday, DT wandered over and pointed out that I'm bringing too much weight into the heels of my hands. When she corrected it, my entire balance shifted forward and my body slammed into the wall. BLURG.
Today, she wanted me to lift out of my shoulders. She demonstrated, coming into a handstand herself, mimicking what I was doing, then doing it correctly (it was actually pretty funny - I was cringing at the demonstration of 'my handstand'! Yeesh, am I really THAT floppy?!). I finally got it, though. It's kind of a lengthening of the inseam of the legs upwards, as if the feet were going to stand on the ceiling. DT said, "It's Tadasana, upside-down!" It *did* feel lighter and more controlled..
Later on in the day, I was on the floor playing fetch with Princess Fur when I suddenly had this 'OMG-handstand-epiphany'. We've already established that when I bring the weight into my fingers, my weight shifts toward the wall. And whenever I do it, I have this disconcerting feeling that I'll fall over backwards. I remembered that I used to feel *exactly* the same way about headstand, but I had to get over it because that shift is what makes it possible to lift the legs into a pike.
I tried it and it totally works in handstand too! I've been trying to lift my legs into a handstand for *years*. I always knew it was possible, but I couldn't figure out how it was done. For me, 'bringing the weight into the fingers' is the missing piece of that puzzle.
So I've been doing handstands all day like a silly kid! :-) Beautiful day too - sunshine and blue skies. I wonder if I'll be able to drudge up the courage this summer to start working on handstands away from the wall, maybe on the grass in the park? Hm...
This photo is from yesterday - scary skies over my city as the thunderstorms moved through.
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