Yesterday, I immersed myself in the LBH section of Maehle's book and today applied some of his advice for Eka Pada Sirsasana. Result: I'm now able to hold the pose, with hands in prayer (praying, of course, that the legs doesn't slide out from behind my head!) on both sides AND lower into the forward fold without losing my leg.
I might've Dwi Pada'ed myself again too, but DT came over to help. With her adjustment, I lowered to the floor for Supta K and my feet didn't slide down the back of my head to the floor! I kept them there! YAY! I couldn't keep the pose together for the exit, but it's coming.
Outside of practice, I've started lotusing my legs the opposite way (left foot first) so I can get used to it. Yesterday, I noticed that the inside of my left knee was feeling a little bit tweaky. I asked DT about this, showed her how I was coming into it and she told me exactly what I needed to do to keep the pressure off that part of my knee.
I'm still trying, trying, trying to find that elusive opening across my upper chest, lifting those back ribs UP. In my deep backbending against the wall, I'm struggling to straighten my arms. When I ask DT, the answer is always the same: It's not about flexibility, it's about strength and alignment. In this case, I'm just not grasping the action needed to straighten my arms.
*Sigh* I remember when I first started practising, yoga was about putting a foot here, an arm there and YAY! A pose! Now, it's more about engaging this thing and pushing inward while simultaneously pushing outward and engaging something while releasing the adjacent thing and externally rotating this while internally rotating that and THEN creating length in another place while restraining other parts that are just *dying* to jut out. And in this roundabout way, finally building the action required to do the thing you actually wanted to do.
It never gets any easier because yoga is this all-you-can-eat buffet of progressively more complicated skill sets. After 16 years of this stuff, I *still* feel like a beginner - in part because I've been fortunate enough to study with teachers who keep it all fresh for me by constantly raising the bar. There's always a new layer to explore. It's exciting!
News flash: the sun is shining, intermittently, but shining. It was shining yesterday too - for five minutes. Such a shame it's been so lousy out - I'm missing the peak 'Pretty Flower Season'. Instead of hunkering down under an electric blanket, I *should* be walking around the city, smelling brightly coloured growing things.
Last night, as I was coming in from work, I spotted some practically new freebie patio furniture sitting on the loading dock. I grabbed two chairs and a table and I've set up a nice little garden area on my balcony. I have a feeling it will become my new-favourite-place as soon as the weather warms up. All I need now is a fake grass carpet and I'll be set! In the elevator this afternoon, I had a chance to thank the neighbour who gave the stuff away (he had literally just set it out when I nabbed it). He made my day, I made his!
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