Post-practice

Lots of incoming viewers with keywords that include: kapotasana, sacrum, pain, ache, too much pain to sleep, lower back, injury, etc. Yikes. Kapotasana, which is, I think, probably at the heart of most of these keyword searches, is quite the challenge.

Yesterday I wondered a bit: why haven’t I been feeling the fear? I used to have a good bit of dread as soon as I hit pasasana. Avoiding the dread made me happy to do all of primary before launching into intermediate. I am very good at saving fear until I really need it: it’s a little something I learned during my climbing days. Terrifying climb coming up? No sense feeling fear on the road trip to the death trap. No sense worrying about it while camping out the night before. Won’t help to worry on the hike to the site. Standing at the bottom of the climb? Well, too late to spend time worrying now. And so it goes. I use the same principle in practice. I have some rules: no worrying in the morning when I get up; no worrying during standing; might as well enjoy primary. That’s where the discipline used to end. Once I finished primary, it was off to get a swallow of water or visit the ladies room. Just to take a bit of a break and psych up. I knew I couldn’t hang on to that habit, so now I soldier through. And sure enough, today I realized that I’m not feeling any pre-kapo dread during the opening backbends of intermediate. I’m even fine when I get to ustrasana. Laghu vajrasana is a pose I actually enjoy, so no worries there. And then… there it is… the leviathan before me. Except Volleyball Guy always comes over and helps, so I can’t get too undone. Just a quick sinking feeling in my tummy and then it’s time to just get on with it. So today’s realization is that the mental part of this new hunk of practice is settling down. Sure, there’s plenty of physical work to be done, but that’s just about putting in the effort.

At the beginning of practice today, I noticed a stuck place in my left mid-back. Like something was askew. Something like a vertebra. “Oh gosh, this may be bad. Kapotasana may put my back out since it’s already kind of weird.” But I put off the worry and figured primary would likely work out the krink. And it did. I can finally understand why people who get their practices split can be reluctant about giving up poses. I always imagined I’d be thrilled to split and ditch a whole bunch of poses. As it turns out, though, I am feeling pretty attached to the long warm up that is primary.

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8 Responses

  1. i read a lot about people having fear in kapotasana. i wonder where it comes from, i mean, what the fear is. i have never felt fear in kapo, so i just wonder what the fear is. i know it won’t be the same for each person, but what is YOUR fear?

  2. kapotasana is only effective when you completely relax and breathe slowly. i always see people tense up so much the back simply will not bend. the reason people hurt their sacrum in this posture is because they have wide legs and take the entire bend in the lower back when the posture is supposed to open up the mid & upper back-the part we don’t bend so easily in. and they do not engage their legs as much as laguvajrasana. if your legs aren’t feeling it, you aren’t doing it right.
    it’s also very important to release your attachment to primary.
    of course this is just my experience, my opinion. take it or leave it.
    fear? all of us have something we fear. it’s healthy.
    mine is eka pada sirsasana. today i cried like a little girl.

  3. I’m going to write an entry about the fear, Tova. Your question is really interesting and well worth thinking about a bit.

    And yes, bindifry, the legs in kapo are at least 50% of the equation. I was really surprised to find out about that — since it always looked like the pose was all about the backbend. Once I tried it a few times, I realized why laghu vajrasana is where it is! I am figuring I’ll be pretty eager to let go of primary when the day finally comes that it’s time to split. 🙂

  4. oh, i totally understand the fear in other asanas. for example, i have been dropping back for two years now, but every time i do it i think “this will be the time i fall on my head!” and when i put my chin down in buja pidasana, i think “i might brake my neck!”, and when i jump into bakasana B, i think, “i might pitch right over and brake my nose!”. i felt dread for a long time after i started binding on my own in supta kurmasana, that i might not be able to bind “this time”. But never any fear or dread in kapotasana. so i am just curious for an explanation about that fear and other fears, and dreads that people have….i look forward to your post, Karen!

  5. what is a widget wanker?

  6. Hi Karen
    Do you subscribe to one of those free or fee based systems that give you a report on how people got to your blog? That seems useful, so that you can address issues people are seeking questions for. Oops, I ended in a preposition. Do you recommend a service? Sorry I ask so many questions.
    Namaste,
    Arturo

  7. Hi Arturo. I use WordPress, and there is a stat counter included in the program. Your questions are no problem! Karen

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