Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Impossible things

My attitude about my practice has taken an enormous shift since I started practising in DT's room. Suddenly, I want - REALLY want - to master all of these complicated, difficult things in my practice, the stuff I avoided before. Mainly it's because she makes everything look easy and fun and seamless, but also because she always comes up with a good answer when I ask 'why' (and I'm allowed to ask why, something I didn't feel comfortable doing in the more traditional rooms I've practised in).

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.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Anonymous said...

Wow. Congratulations on getting it.

I'm somewhat stuck to Navasana, so haven't reached Lolasana yet; I think I'm gonna dive in to your archives to get another person's prespective on progressing through the series. I need to stop being stuck :(

Loo said...

fun! sometimes my teacher holds the smaller women by their ankles, just dangling them in the air as a way to get them to lengthen in handstand. Pretty funny to see. I'm still scared to handstand on my own, but I have experienced that weight shift and then pushing really tall floating feeling with my teacher standing there *just in case* :)

PS another great photo!