Just Do It Already

I felt a little inkling of frustration today. This is an extremely rare occurance for me, I am not the emotional-on-my-mat sort of yogi. It was just a wee bit, but there were definite ripples in my usual relative peace and calm. It was during pincha (surprised?). What got my goat? My inability to just do it! Not necessarily land the pose but to just try, really try, without the safety net of the wall or a spotter. It’s not even conscious. I pep talk myself (“you can do this”, “falling would be no big deal!”) but to no avail. It makes me mad at myself! If I could just fall a few times, I’m sure I’d get over the fear and maybe have a shot at getting the pose. Today’s assistant (conveniently the same one as Wednesday) told the other that I “need to fall” when he came to help me. They only caught me as I was going over, and I actually landed it myself a couple of times but couldn’t hold on for long. I need to dig in and find the courage to just jump up there, no crutch, and I think that will be the turning point. No one did just let me fall, I had spotters, but I know he’s right. I was reminded of this post by Kino and it takes on a new meaning now that I am actually working on the very pose she is referring to. Isn’t it in these very challenging places that we make change within ourselves? Easier said than done. There’s always tomorrow, right?

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The hard stuff

In brief, pincha is really hard. Have I said this already? Likely.  Regardless, it is so true. Pincha is my favorite kind of asana challenge, both physically and mentally difficult. I haven’t had this fear response to a pose since learning drop backs, when I would feel sick every morning before practice knowing I would have to try to do it later. I’m not at the sick point (I hope this indicates some kind of progression in my ability to cope with this kind of thing) but I am definitely all up in my head about the whole asana. To use the wall, to not use the wall? The training wheels are so tempting but I know that’s not the way to really get into the juicy stuff, the fear. It’s also ultimately only teaching me to do pincha with a safety net, so I don’t really need to find my balance point because the wall will catch me. I also know I’ve been using it as an excuse to not confront the slight panic I feel about doing the pose in the middle of the room. Today I did it with the tough love assistance of our Wednesday teacher. It was ok. I flipped over once and I didn’t die. In fact, it didn’t even hurt. Will this help me when I go to put my forearms on the mat tomorrow morning? We’ll see. Pincha, you will not defeat me.

Marathon practice

To say the last two days of practice have been intense for my body would be a serious understatement. Both days were a solid two hours from opening chant to savasana and included primary and intermediate up to yoganidrasana. Holy crap. I motored through and it was that long, imagine if I was really taking my time! My knee is sore-ish but otherwise I felt great. It may not be much to look at, who knows, but my practice has felt really solid this week. I finally have a firm grasp on supta kurmasana, I haven’t flubbed it a single day since Toronto! I also managed to take my chin to the floor in bhujapidasana yesterday and today which is a woo hoo! The leg behind head postures are definitely hardcore for my neck and back. They use new muscles, which are a little achy, but I’m doing it. Even lifting myself up in my hunched dwi pada, something I really thought looked impossibly hard and a bit crazy. The body is amazing! Drop backs have been super fun. My heels are still lifting, but I feel like I’m getting more consistent with a solid stand up. That being said, you never know what the next practice holds, so I’m just enjoying it while it lasts. I’m doing lotus for supta vajrasana, but no other poses. Even that might be a bad idea. I’m carefully entering and it doesn’t hurt while I’m in it but it does when I straighten my leg after. I guess I should start skipping it again? I’m concerned that there isn’t any hip opening in second besides that pose. It’s tough for my knees when it’s just bam! full lotus with no work up before. That’s one of a number of concerns about saying goodbye to primary series before intermediate. Getting ahead of myself again, as usual!

I didn’t miss any days of practice this week, which I feel good about. I’m really looking forward to led primary tomorrow when I get to be lazy and have someone else count my breaths!

Sure, no problem, Kino!

SPLIT!

Big news in the world of my practice today, y’all. As of Sunday I am split. Eeek! Feelings on this? Mainly fear. Today I got dwi pada, in which I look like a crazed hunchback and find terribly hard. I will do that plus yoganidrasana starting tomorrow, then Sunday it is goodbye to primary (tear!) and hello to splitsville. I thought this wasn’t going to happen until my knee healed (which feels far away) but my teacher came over after I finished eka pada and asked if I felt like trying another pose, obviously I said yes. I’ll let you know how it goes. It feels a little frightening right now. She was all cool talking about taking me up to pincha in the next little while, while I was kind of nervous. This is a big change. One very happy point for me is bye-bye to utthita hasta padangusthasana, except for Friday’s!

I don’t do it like the boss, that’s for sure!
Picture from: http://grimmly2007.blogspot.ca/2012/01/sharaths-primary-series-dvd-plus-his.html

In knee news, I finally saw my doctor yesterday and am now waiting for an MRI appointment to see what’s up in there. He wants me to do physio after we get a diagnosis. I guess that means I’m not going to be pain-free for awhile, in his opinion. Maybe only doing second will be good for healing, because there’s less stress on the knees in the poses. We’ll see. Send my sad little joint some love, if you have a little to spare.

It’s a whole new world starting Sunday! Stay tuned, friends!