Split, Capsaicin, Zion

I’m liking and not-liking the new split: this morning was the second half of primary and intermediate to supta vajrasana. The plusses = strength & focus. But I’m definitely less stretchy/bendy/relaxed/self-hypnotized when I hit bhujapidasana straight from standing.

So I’m liking having lots of energy for the intermediate poses. I recalled, last night, a point in my old gym rat days when I realized that I shouldn’t be lifting and then doing 90 minutes of cardio. I could lift and then do half an hour of cardio and get all of the benefits with less of the exhaustion. I guess it’s a vata thing: my energy grows attentuated rather quickly, as does my focus.

Anyhow, the new split is also scary — I actually had little fears of really injuring myself this morning. Why, when I’m not doing anything terribly different than I usually do? Well, I think it’s because I have developed a superstition about what order I need to do poses in before I’m “safe” to do others. Interesting. Ashtanga system-induced obsessive-compulsive disorder.


Talk about disorders. I think I may quickly develop a capsaicin habit. I know, it’s not the pepper’s fault. It’s mine. I have a tendency toward addiction. How they’ve changed over the years. Use your imagination about my “old days” (no, seriously — much worse than you are imagining! Remember, it was the 70s/80s!) and compare it to my current “issues”: unreasonable love of ibuprofen, the single cup of coffee per day (except on infrequent days when I throw caution to the wind and have a second cup), the occasional drink, the potato chip problem — oh, and sometimes I stay up late at night!

Okay, so give me a new toy like a roll-on tube of capsaicin and all hell breaks loose. I LOVE it. It starts off like nothing, and then it prickles a little bit, like a skin irritation, and after a while you notice you are on FIRE. Mmmmmm. I put some on my sore wrist last night, and before bed I rolled it onto my lower back. Woke up in the middle of the night to throw off the covers. Still warm when I woke. And then, during practice, when I started to sweat, it heated up all over again.


There may be some repercussions if I got it on my mat, but we’ll have to just wait and see.


This morning, the Cop and I talk about where to go on vacation. I suggest just driving north.

My vision is that we just drive and if we have no destination, we will always be where we are, instead of trying to get to where we want to be. I suspect, right from the get-go, that this plan might trouble The Cop. When we drive to the sports bar for dinner on Tuesdays, he is driving to get there. When we are there, he is waiting to be served his pint of beer (which they brew on the premises and is, apparently, quite delicious). When the first beer is almost finished, he is prepared to order another. When we are done eating, it is time to pay the check. You see how it is.

We must have a goal.

And then it dawns on me. “I would love to go to Zion!”

“Like in the Matrix?” he asks, not even looking up from his book.

No, Zion the national park! I am totally psyched now. I have been to Zion to climb, but I LOOOOVE the idea of a visit that doesn’t involve wondering if I will survive the day. I’ve never been there without a big climb ahead. It’s such a gorgeous place. And it’s a PLACE. It’s a specific GOAL. It will work.


3 Responses

  1. Hi Karen
    Your service provider just ate my comment and said that I was replying with comments too quickly, to slow down. Imagine that.

    My comment would be that I frankly had not heard of doing the first half of primary first, followed by 2nd, then the second half of primary followed by 2nd.

    I had heard on at trip abroad, about practicing the first half of 2nd one day, the 2nd part of 2nd the next. I reported that to my teacher then and he thought it was bunk. But later, this year, I read in the blogosphere that some high ups actually have recommended this approach to 2nd. I’m curious to try it if my time to practice is short. I really miss the 7 headstands.


  2. Hi Arturo,

    Yes, VBG suggested alternating days of first half of primary plus intermediate poses and second half of primary plus intermediate poses. I understand Maty Ezraty has used this split in her teaching as well. I don’t see why it wouldn’t work for second series…

  3. Distination-free roadtrips are not for everyone. Zion Nat’l Park looks like fun.

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