Rabbit breath

Showed up for practice at 5:30 AM and noticed the space was dark. Door was open, though, and as I went in I was greeted by Volleyball Guy and a few of the other Mysorians. Electricity was out in the building, so everyone put their mats down in the entryway, where we got some light by the front window.

(0v0) mentioned that it can be interesting to move away from your usual place in the practice room, and today we took it a step further. I practiced next to a small fake tree in the entryway. It was distracting, which was no surprise (not the tree, specifically, but the new space). More than the surroundings, though, was the fact of the proximity of the other Mysorians. Usually we are spaced apart enough that I can slide forward on my mat during the seated poses. Today, I was aware of the person in front of me. No worries, though.

Practice was zippy, because I had an early meeting at the office. I didn’t feel rushed, though, until supta vajrasana. The Sicilian, who gave me an assist, said, “I was trying to match my breathing to yours, but you breathe so fast!” I need to check in with VBG on this again. A while back, he told me not to worry one way or another about my breath. Sanskrit Scholar asked last week if I felt like Sharath’s CD was perfect timing (I do), and commented that it is very fast.

After The Sicilian’s remark, I got to thinking a bit about my breath. I have learned (via bodybuilding, cardio and climbing) to use my breath to optimize my strength and endurance. Certainly, there were plenty of times when I was climbing that I had to execute a move quickly, before my strength gave out. And once you are on a roll, you can keep going. Basically, the speed reduces the need for strength. And it seems to increase endurance, to keep a quicker breath. I’m not sure how all of this intersects with breathing and flexibility, but I’ll be curious to see if something comes of these thoughts.

During the backbending workshop with Lisa, she had us come out of ustrasana (and kapotasana) by pushing the tailbone back, which is a lot easier than coming up with the tailbone pushed forward (the way I had always done it). I laughed after I tried it, and said, “This is so much easier, it feels like cheating.” She thought that was very funny. But I am left with the same feeling, now that I am thinking about my quick breath.

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7 Responses

  1. i am confused by the pushing the tailbone back. do you mean like sitting back? and i tried the rolled up mat to self assist in supta vajrasana and it worked a charm! also i found that a block will do the same thing. just a little scarey to try at first.

  2. Yes, like sitting back a bit. Very strange and totally not what I’ve always imagined I was supposed to do (I thought I was supposed to just reverse the exact motion I used to get into the pose). Sitting back a bit is certainly easier on the lumbar region.

  3. is it “kosher”, so to speak?

  4. According to Lisa, who is an authorized teacher. I’m not going to argue with her, especially since it makes things easier 😉

  5. i should read more carefully. Lisa teaches at the studio my mom’s cousin owns in Tuscon.
    where does the body “lead” from coming up if you sit back into the tailbone? i am facsinated by this. and frightened as well.

  6. The shoulders stay back and the chest stays high, but then you just kind of push the tailbone back and come up — with the chest leading. Why are you frightened, Tova? Lisa mentioned this way of coming out of the pose for ustrasana and kapotasana. I can see being worried about changing up your kapo, if it’s working for you, but perhaps try it out with ustrasana? It’s a very slight movement, so shouldn’t change the dynamics of the pose enough to create any kind of disaster.

    Today is led primary, but tomorrow is improv class. I’ll ask about this whole thing tomorrow. We went through it pretty quickly when Lisa was here, though I did make a point of asking her about that detail, because I was so surprised by it.

  7. frightened of collapse! frightened of failure! it is interesting because i have never thought of the second series backbending with any fear, until you mentioned pushing back the tailbone, and just the thought of it makes me panic! very wierd! but i will try it tomorrow when i do my second series!

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