Shoulder hangover

Yeah, that little adjustment VBG did Friday morning, where he sat behind me as I did urdhva dhanurasana and pressed his foot into my upper back until my chest touched the wall? Okay, it’s a KILLER adjustment. I felt weirdly undone all day. A couple of people from work and I did a field trip to look at some testing centers, and I felt bizarre the whole time. Like my vision wouldn’t extend more than a foot or two out from myself. Not the actual eye-vision, but kind of my perception of the world. It didn’t help that the fellow who drove is one of those drivers who presses the gas then lets up on it, presses, lets up, etc., etc., etc., until I feel motion sick.

So I had a headache all day and all evening. With this weird sense that something had been shaken loose inside me.

Got up this morning and the headache was remote, but still in there. My upper back, between and under my shoulderblades, was sore as hell. But that’s a good thing. Just what I need. Went to led class despite feeling a little under the weather. I think The Cop and I are both kind of low with something buggy. He’s felt off, too.

Led was fine. When VBG launched into the first third of intermediate, I wanted to do a face-down savasana instead, but I lumbered along. At kapotasana, my fingers got my toes pretty easily, but that’s not my current goal. What I’m after these days is the urdhva dhanurasana. Comfort in urdhva dhanurasana. Is that too much to ask?

I walked my hands in, which is a real project for my brain. I feel like a baby just learning to walk. In order to move either of my arms, I find that my left hip raises a bit. (0v0) and Tova are on to something here. The hands walking in tell you a lot about your sacrum. Like that mine is screwy and misaligned. Oh wait, I already knew that.

I’m sure to the cerebral, it seems strange that my affinity for moving my hands is all about the challenge this creates in my brain. Yes, yes, I could spend my time mulling over post-modern philosophy or the subtleties of French poetry. But no, I want to challenge my brain with moving my arms while I am upside down and holding a good percentage of my weight on them.

Because THAT is how I will become self-actualized.

I’m only half-joking. Actually, I guess I’m not joking at all.

Okay, so class was good and then a few of us went to Pita Jungle to have a farewell lunch with Returning Guy, who is off to India. He was commenting on how his co-workers are bemused at his willingness to quit his job, pack up a few things, and head to India. I looked around the outdoor cafe and found myself surrounded by a bunch of young Snottsdale folks. Designer clothes, designer sunglasses, designer cars, designer hair. The Cop spends a good bit of time arresting them once they’ve grown drunk and belligerent in the nearby martini bar late on weekend nights.

Then I looked back at Returning Guy. Who was smiling and eating falafel and chatting about his trip. Yeah, right — he’s the weirdo.

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12 Responses

  1. What do you do in between Urdvha Dhanurasanas? Do you come all the way down to the mat? Or do you come to the top of your head, take a breath, and press back up?

  2. Depends on how long I hold it. If for more breaths (I was doing 12-15 last week) then I come all the way down and rest in between. For shorter holds, sometimes I just go to the top of the head.

    Why, Jenna? Do you have a thought about one way over another?

  3. Karen. just keep that opening coming. walking the hands is feeling better for me every day. i swear i will never do another backbend without thinking of you!

  4. Wow. This is so great. Yes, there will be periods of disorientation.

    It is all a silly game of course. And yet sometimes the game talks back to you and changes you in ways that might not just be intrinsic to the game itself. Like, maybe heart-opening refers to something in addition to opening the chest. Maybe.

  5. Oh, and also,

    The existence of a place called Pita Jungle is VERY funny. Do the denizens of Snottsdale prefer theme restaurants?

    Have you read DeLillo’s Underworld? I often feel he tries too hard to be edgily po-mo, but his characterization of Phoenix has stayed with me strongly in the 8 years since I’ve read it. Would be curious to know if it resonates with you.

  6. Once Richard Freeman adjust me in ud by pushing up on my upper back and holding me there for what seemed like forever. I was sore for days after.

    I’m doing a new backbend thing–using a strap to hold in my upper arms. It’s changing my whole backbend. I”m getting much more of a stretch in my upper back than I was. I’ve been told before to bring in my elbows, but I could never do it–the strap makes all the difference.

  7. I haven’t read DeLillo, mostly because he feels like he’s trying so hard, but I should just buckle down and try “Underworld.” It’s wrong to not read ANY of his work.

    Yay for straps. I’ve actually been strapping my arms and legs for several months. As I packed to go to the shala on Friday, I set them aside.

    VBG noticed when I got to urdhva dhanurasana and asked, “Do you need some straps?”

    “Tryin’ to get off the strap,” I told him.

    He was amused.

  8. a few years ago I received “Underworld” as a gift and was very excited to read it. I’ve tried about 3 times but something about his style makes my mind wander. I just can’t stay focused on the book long enough to get drawn in. I’ll have to try again.

  9. Uhh– there is nothing WIERD about wanting designer hair!!!!! : )

  10. Ha! Funny, Urban. I doubt most ashtangis know how to weild a hair-dryer.

    Cody and Karen, I really enjoyed the book. Maybe that is weird. Maybe it has to do with reading it in a foreign country where I didn’t really speak the language and thus was loooonley.

  11. Well, obviously a designer cut rocks if it’s designer by YOU, Jody. 🙂

    I’m pretty sure Ashtanga sucks any last bit of hair vanity out of its practitioners. I never had much to begin with — my hair is too unruly to foster vanity. But Ashtanga’s made me willing to go out to lunch, post-practice, with big frizz.

  12. My preference has always been to come to the top of my head before pushing back up. I feel like when I come all the way down to my back, I’m undoing a tiny bit of the opening I’ve created. My last instructor told me to think about placing my head down closer to my feet, then walk my hands in a tiny bit, take a breath, then push back up. So with each UD, I’m moving a little deeper into those shoulders. Make sure you keep the heels on the ground though. As Bindfry says, if you lift the toes, you’ll ensure that the heels stay grounded. Also for me, the closer my hands come to my feet, the easier it is to stand up without the dreaded duck feet.

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