Home Practice: 8/15/06

Woke up worried about my hamstrings. I think it’s interesting that my system can hook onto things and kind of mull them over at night while I am unconscious. It makes the whole idea of keeping a clear, positive mind very compelling: I know I stabilize and solidify belief systems during the night. Some of it is physical in the gross physical sense (e.g., my hamstrings are sore these days), and some of it is energetic (e.g., I can invest emotional energy into the underpinnings of the gross physical aspect). And all of it can happen as I sleep. Uh oh, it’s probably too early for thoughts like this.

I considered a day off today, after yesterday’s practice and subsequent attempts to help the poor hammies with ice, but My Gift told me she was going to wake up at 4:30 so she could go help a friend move into her dorm. There are so many kids moving in that there is a schedule, and My Gift’s friend got a 6-8 AM slot. Anyhow, I figured if My Gift was getting up, I would just go ahead and get up with her. That way we could have a little coffee and I’d see her on her way.

As I said, I woke with worry about my hamstrings. I expected them to be really sore, but as it turns out, they’re not too bad. My half-awake (half-aware? 😉 musings during the night last night pinpointed the hamstrings as a repository of fear/anxiety, and the insertion points as the strength I mount against fear/anxiety. Oh great, a pulling in two directions. No wonder they hurt.

Jody suggested yesterday that I try for more extension through my spine, so that was my focus this morning. Seemed to work pretty well, too. I know my focus has been really deep in the hammies for the past few practices, which is, I suppose, a reasonable response to pain, but today I tried to pull the center of my focus up into uddiyana bandha and then extend up from there. Makes for a nice, light practice.

I figure all of my quad engagement efforts may have been too unyielding (in essence, I tried to just “lock” the quads on every pose to cut the hammies some slack), but I guess (duh!) my response is going to have to be more subtle. No matter what, I’m going to have to back off on the left side, while ratcheting up a bit on the right. I have to give the right side a chance to open up more: the imbalance in openness on the right and left sides are likely at the root of a lot of this.

Good news of the day, though, is that marichyasana D is finally settling down. I’ve been able to bind my hands for a good while now, but only by putting a lot of my weight forward onto the foot that’s flat on the floor. Initially, I had to lean way forward, to the point of taking all of my weight on the foot. It was the only way to get compact enough to bind my hands. So then I’d have the bind, but at the expense of being a crunched up and twisted little person balancing on one foot. No extension through the spine whatsoever. I started leaning back more and more after I made the bind, which seemed to open my hips a bit and give me more space for my back, but I always had to start the pose off with my weight far forward. Today I managed to build the pose from the floor–with bent leg foot, knee of lotus leg, and lotus leg sitting bone making a tripod on the floor. On both sides. Woohoo!

When I got to kurmasana, I backed off on my legs and just worked my back/chest. I am surprised to find how much I drive that pose through my hamstrings, and pretty much forget about my back. Like I can flatten myself using my legs and totally leave the back/abs out of it. Yeah, um, but only at the expense of your hamstrings, Karen. Another duh! moment. For supta k, I just bound my hands and then breathed. Left my legs alone entirely.

As Jody pointed out in his comment yesterday (quite rightly, I think), a lot of this hamstring stuff may be coming out of the kurmasana/supta k work. I tried to barrel through it, but it seems I’m going to have to double back and be more sensitive. If there’s fear stored up in those hamstrings, I’m probably not gonna be able to steamroll my way through.


One Response

  1. I feel like a STAR!!!!!

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