Pre-Moon Day

I look forward to the Moon Day tomorrow.

Good practice at the shala. All the way through supta vajrasana. Man, that’s a long haul. Really, it’s been 4 weeks since I’m back from the surgery lay off, and I’m just starting to feel psyched for the long practice again. Mostly it’s just been feeling like a big freaking endurance event.

Volleyball Guy gave me a great assist in kapotasana. Pointed out that I am working too hard in the shoulders/upper back, and need to shift some of that intensity to my legs. Okay.

In baddha konasana I can now routinely put my head on the floor with no push or sandbags to squish me down. If you’d asked me a year ago, I’d have sworn such a thing was an utter impossibility for my body. This morning, as I had the very top of my forehead on the floor, Volleyball Guy came by and pushed me forward a bit, and I found my whole face smooshed on the floor and my toes at my collarbones. Seriously, this is something I still can’t believe is possible.

Did my urdhva dhanurasanas with straps around my arms and my thighs. Returning Guy calls it bondage yoga. I’ll tell you what, though, it is astonishing how much energy gets focused in the right direction when the arms and legs are cinched in tightly. It’s a little shocking to me, because those are some intense forces that usually kind of shoot out to the sides when I’m not pulling them in tight. I plan on using the straps until I can really feel the alignment as a habit — then I have to ditch the straps and hope that the habit will help me get the alignment without the props. There is a sense of urgency to it: I feel like I MUST get the energy under control and moving in the right direction, so I don’t overtax my knees (and elbows, though I worry less about them).

Finding out about how much energy runs through UD reminds me of falling when climbing. You figure you’re roped in, and you fall maybe 12-15 feet. How bad could that be? Well, you’d be really surprised! The forces generated, even in a short fall, can be really intense. It’d be interesting to measure some of the shearing forces generated by yoga poses. In the end, though, I guess we probably don’t want to know…

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