Idyllic, even with cold sweats

I loved this morning’s practice. It was the first time I said an asana name for The Cop. Paschimottanasana. Of course, he’s heard me say the names and he’s read the names a bazillion times on my blog over the past two and a half years, but this was the first time I told him to do a pose and called it by its Sanskrit name.

And it was also the first time he asked a “detail” question about a pose: Marichyasana C. Wanted to know about the alignment of the non-lotus leg.

Then he commented on how Marichy C and D seem to be designed only to torment the digestive system.

🙂 It was a really nice practice.

He’s knocking off at navasana. I went ahead with bhujapidasana, kurmasana and supta kurmasana as he fiddled around a bit with some bridge preparations ahead of urdhva dhanurasana. Then I took a moment from my own practice and spotted him for three UDs. He’s very tall and very strong and also very forward-bendy. The backbends: a challenge of significant proportions. He actually commented on how they make him break into a cold sweat.

I remember, for sure. When I first did UDs, my heart would race, I would be panting and just totally blind with hysteria. Very strong reaction. It’s certainly come a long way, for all my whining about what I still can’t do.

And on that note: My urdhva dhanurasanas felt very good today. I am getting my “stand-up” legs/coordination. It is coming clear. Just keep walking in the hands… Interestingly, I don’t feel at all impatient. I am actually enjoying the learning process on this one. Nice.

As most of you know, VBG had me doing up to supta vajrasana for a while there. I’ve cut back to just primary until I get the stand-up/dropback thing squared away. I may be overly methodical, but I really like to have my last pose be the pose I am working on most diligently. Going on past UD meant I wasn’t giving it my all.

That said, the months that I did the first third of intermediate helped me understand backbends. Like crazy. I did start getting skittish with the kapotasana business though. I think it is useful that I know I can be put into it, but I don’t want to rely on that. I suppose I gained a certain literacy with the intermediate backbends, but it really feels like time to just work and wait for the stand-up/dropback.

Because it actually feels GOOD. And I’m disinclined to be greedy or impatient.

Moment of grace, eh? May it recur often.

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10 Responses

  1. Hi Karen
    Maybe The Cop is learning that most of the asanas in Primary are supposed to help the digestive system. And the twists in particular wring out the kidneys. It’s commendable that you asked to go back to Primary until you get the UD coming up and dropback thingye going well. I don’t think I could have the same patience with myself.
    Cheers,
    Arturo

  2. Moments of grace are beautiful. May they occur often indeed! : )

  3. Agreed–kudos for going back to backbends! As you may have read in any number of my posts, dropbacks can give me some SERIOUS angst, so for the time being, I’m only working with them if they come over and invite me to play.

  4. I found myself doing some creative visualization during savasana this morning. According to the visualization, if I walk my hands in enough, I will eventually pop up. Once I can do that, I think the dropbacks will be more feasible.

    Or maybe I am totally off base.

    Either way, it’s been quite pleasant to do backbends lately. I never thought that would happen. I mean, really — the thought that urdhva dhanurasana would be my favorite part of practice?!? Ashtanga really IS magic!

    How are your urdhva dhanurasanas, Patrick? Just the dropping back that’s an issue?

  5. If the UDs feel good then you’re definitely on your way to standing up. I think part of the reason that Guruji now requires people to do dropbacks before beginning intermediate is that dropbacks facilitate nerve cleansing. That’s my theory anyway. All your backbending work will make kapotasana much easier in the long run.

  6. Re: UD, they vary. When I’m not racked up with job market stress (as in the first week of January), I have really gotten some pleasant rock-to-and-fro movement, and could walk my hands in pretty easily, even more than once sometimes.

    BUT, when I’m cranked up about job uncertainty (currently), it’s safer to just take the bridge and call it a practice.

    To generalize, my first UD is often arms-bent, but the third one is often arms-straight. If I do my crim practice of 3 and 3, I can almost always walk the hands in by the fifth/sixth one.

  7. Annie Pace said we could have 5, Patrick! Not 4, not 6. But 3 is okay, and 5 is okay. 🙂

    So no need for criminality. Don’t you feel better? It’ll be interesting to see how UD feels after you get your cushy job.

  8. I actually sometimes do 3 or 5 because I read your Annie Pace post…sure runs contrary to Jason’s old advice to do 9 or 12 (buried somewhere deep in the 2004 entries on leapinglanka.blogspot.com)…

    Yep, more emotional comfort, bigger backbends.

  9. Oh gosh. Rescind your comment! Don’t make me choose between Jason and Annie! LOL!

    I am always very interested to hear Jason’s thoughts. I miss him on the ezBoard.

    I did actually chat with Jason about this once, and he thought it was less about the number of UDs, and more about spending time breathing in the backbend. So you could do 5 for 50 counts each. Will you give that a try tomorrow and let me know if it’s a good option? 😉

  10. It might take me a week to get 250 breaths in a backbent position, but hey, sure! I’ll let you know when I get there…

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