Keeping the faith & Best. pic. evah.

I slept really well last night and felt terrific at practice. Everything was nice and light and fluffy. Right ’til I hit the intermediate poses. At which point, I started feeling sore in my shoulders and upper back.

Dread. I was starting to feel some dread about kapotasana.

I think it’s because I am “unraveling,” structurally, and that makes me feel kind of weak and, in turn, anxious about repeating (yet again!) the pose.

But I sucked it up and did the pose. And it was fine.

There were so many little frightened thoughts:

  • I’m repeating this too much and now it’s going to hurt me
  • It’s not going to be as good as yesterday
  • I really shouldn’t be doing this pose at all
  • I should spend more time on primary
  • I believe it was Richard Freeman who translated isvara pranidhana as “surrender to all that is.”

    So I had some faith in all that is and surrendered my self-will.

    I have no idea what will happen, but I will keep on.

    ***

    I. Love. This. Picture.

    Here is The Cop, getting slugged in the face by Ty. He’s an American Bulldog, but man, does he act like a boxer. 😉

    d-and-ty

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    14 Responses

    1. What a sweet and funny photo! My man’s little Pekingese does that to me too. “pay attention to me NOW” ha!
      (I know the Cop doesn’t like small dogs, but I bet he’d love Charley!)

      I wonder when the Kapo fear goes away? Maybe I shouldn’t say fear… more dread and anxiety. ha! The more pent up I feel emotionally, the more that pose feels tight and suffocating. I think that’s why it’s hard for me- it makes me face what’s going on inside just as much as what my muscles are doing.

      bah! yoga!

    2. Ty has some serious biceps.

      (What if dogs did backbends?)

    3. The Cop is cool. In my mind, he looks like Tim and Cody.

    4. Cute picture! Your cop is dreamy. I think I said that before!

      So, am I the only one that dreads Laghu but not Kapotasana? I find Laghu way harder and I really dread it. I’m all strained and tight and sometimes it gives me a crap in my calf muscle, of all places. If my head touches down, I can’t come back up very well at all. It definitely isn’t pretty.

      Funny thing though, after spending forever with fingertips coming to the pads of my feet, after a week of not practicing Kapo at all, suddenly they’re touching my heels. Maybe we do need a break sometimes.

    5. Liz, The Cop really loves all dogs. Sometimes he tries to pretend he only loves big dogs, but all dogs steal his heart. I have no idea when the kapo dread goes away. I was figuring once you get to the handles… um, I mean, heels? But you get the heels. And still you have dread? I need to re-think this!

      Owl, Ty really does have a backbend! He is a huge stretcher — anytime he gets up from lying down, he stretches his back by walking away from his back legs and letting them drop down and go straight — this looks like an updog. And he’s got a killer upper-back bend. I’ll try to get a photo sometime. If he is sitting next to me and I catch his attention by putting my hand behind his head, he totally bends his head back all the way. It’s quite impressive.

      Suzie, That’s funny. The yoga blogger men (and yoga blogger spouses) all look the same to you! Are they all in their underwear, too? 😉

      Joy Suzanne, Yes! He is dreamy! LOL! And no, I know people who dread laghu. I think it’s usually the bendy-backed who dread laghu. If you have a stiff back (a kapo-dreader), you can leverage that stiffness to spring out of laghu. Usually the stiff-backed can do pincha mayurasana really easily, too. Those are the two “gimme poses” we get in return for our stiffness. Don’t complain, though, because you laghu-dreaders get urdhva dhanurasana, kapotasana and chakra bandhasana!

    6. hi Karen
      this quandry about where to be in practice is why normally my practice is rebellious (except this week – self imposed Primary). i typically do first half of 2nd one day, 2nd half of 2nd another day and so on. then i don’t feel so sore. i would intuitively agree that if you’re doing the same thing every day, it’s going to make you sore.

      during the Xmas holiday, a mutt adopted our family for a few days and warmed our hearts. the mutt was a cross between black labrador and a boxer. the Cop does look like Tim in that picture – i agree with Suzie.

      cheers,
      Arturo

    7. The Cop is hot! That is an adorable picture. When Rocky does Updog and Downdog when he stretches, I usually say it along with his movement. I think it would be sooooo cool to say ‘upward facing dog’ and have him do it. I should have started teaching it to him in Sanskrit. Almost three years of teaching it to him and he still hasn’t caught on, not sure why.

    8. I agree with the analysis of bendy-backbenders-friendly and unfriendly poses. I’ve been able to do Kapo from day 1 and yet I absolutely hate Laghu, like Joy, and still to this day I often cheat and press up with one elbow. And Pincha and Karanda still give me grief.

    9. Sonya, I love how you always say our men are “hot”.

      Laghu… the dreaded, dreaded pose. I’m a Laghu hater too. When first trying to learn, I would flop down, crawl back up steaming mad and often yell out “FUCK LAGHUVAJRASANA!”. Obviously I had to curb this tendency- it didn’t go over well with the teacher. After opening the front of my hips more, and getting my legs to strengthen, I can do it, but I still don’t like it. Tips I’ve been given: never ever lose the engagement of the thighs, keep arms straight and ram rod strong, come up with the breath. And try not to yell out in anger.

      And. The Cop is hot.

    10. It’s pretty awesome that animals stretch.

      My Gem, a shelty, was a big forward-bender but not so much in to the backbends. Ty could have shown her a technique or two.

    11. Ty does a little forward bending. He tends to lean forward a bit when he sits on his haunches, and his belly — all white and a little puffy — reminds me of a fat guy in a white wife-beater.

      Try this in laghu: grab your ankles, go back, and let the outsides of your forearms lodge — hard — against the insides of your heels.

      This may be a cheat, but if it is, I really don’t want to know.

    12. hey! I’ll try that today! Thanks Karen. (I don’t think it’s cheating)

    13. Gem, Owl? Like… Truly Outrageous?

      I’m going to try that forearm thing in laghu!

      This is exciting because I never thought I could be considered a backbendy type. My upper back/shoulders are tight. But I guess it’s true that my lower back is pretty flexy. I’ve just got some work to do letting the tension out of my shoulders.

      I love pincha, but I think it’s just because I’m pretty fearless about being upside down. I practiced it at home a lot before it was ‘given’ to me. It look me a little while to build up the strength in my shoulders to stay up there any amount of time, though. It’s the story with all dancers, I think. We’re bendy and have powerful legs but have no upper-body strength at all. That’s the last thing holding me back from clean jump-backs; I really think so. I’ve got the abdominal strength to pick up just fine, but I need some more power in my shoulders to shift the weight really forward and shoot back.

    14. [Quote] “Suzie, That’s funny. The yoga blogger men (and yoga blogger spouses) all look the same to you! Are they all in their underwear, too?

      Joy Suzanne, Yes! He is dreamy! LOL! And no, I know people who dread laghu. I think it’s usually the bendy-backed who dread laghu. If you have a stiff back (a kapo-dreader), you can leverage that stiffness to spring out of laghu. Usually the stiff-backed can do pincha mayurasana really easily, too. Those are the two “gimme poses” we get in return for our stiffness. Don’t complain, though, because you laghu-dreaders get urdhva dhanurasana, kapotasana and chakra bandhasana!” [Unquote]

      Karen: Underwear? No, I admit to all the same fantasies as the next girl, but I’m not that baaaaad. What does The Cop think about all the yoginis who think he’s hot?

      Your premise that the stiff-backed can do laghu and pincha is disproved by me. I can’t do either, although I can approximate laghu by lying back on a large, rounded bolster. And I may never attempt pincha again because, in addition to difficulty for the stiffies, I crashed landed out of it and brutalized my R big toe. Saw my doc today and fortunately it is not broken.

      Namaste, suzie

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