Saturday, 23 May 2009

catch up

I have decided not to have my day off today, well it is Saturday, so I guess that's normal.  I had Thursday off last week and so have practiced 8 days straight.  I'm going to London tomorrow and I'm going to practice Monday and Sunday at the Shala.  I'm really looking forward to practicing with others and so glad I have started to go every month, twice this month.

Having a blog feels a bit like having confession, I imagine...although mostly I have nothing to confess.........but so much has happened.

I just read my previous post to see where my practice was up to when I last blogged.  I am now able to get my shoulders down in Kurmasana.  I am still working on it and repeating three times when I practice at home (I think doing exploritory stuff like that is important if your practicing mainly alone).  Anyways it worked..........I have been trying to do Supta Kurmasana every day since I went to Mysore last year so about 17 months............I have loved the journey..........and now I can do it.  I get into it by crossing my feet first,  then wiggling the shoulders through.  Some advice from a friend really helped with how I cross.  I take the left foot to the right of the centre so when the right leg crosses over it doesn't have so far to go.  I'd like to be able to clasp first then cross my feet, as I'd like to teach it that way, for some of my students it would work better.  I think I can do this but have to work out the action needed to lift the heel.  Anyhow I can do it all by myself and have done so every day for about a week now.

A couple of weeks ago I went to the shala and was given the first two postures of second series.  My practice felt great used to be exhausted after practicing in the shala but feel like I've really come through that and now feel quite energized.  Feel like my practice has really changed in the last couple of months.  I think not being a supply teacher will have worked wonders here.  It was such a tough job.

So I'm still a little naughty and continue to practice up until the posture I can't do rather than the one I'm stopped at.  I practice by myself mostly.  I go to an Iyengar class once a week and a couple of mysore classes a month.  The rest of the time I do full primary and then currently up to Kapotasana.  I like to have a posture to work on, it can be a good motivator for home practice. I do yoga for many reasons but I guess the most important is that it transforms me.  Getting the asana is not why I do yoga it's just something that helps motivate me to get on my mat and practice.  So here I am very much at the beginning of a new journey with kapotasana.  Woah what a posture, it's so opening emotionally and physically and requires so much perseverance.  Can touch my right toe by myself on a good day, I'm surprised by that as my right side is generally tighter than my left but I think it's because I'm right handed and can move that arm more?

Sri K. Pattabhi Jois died this week and I could right a long post just about what I have been through with that.  Ultimately I am left realising how much this guy has changed my life mostly indirectly although I am honoured that I had the opportunity to practice led classes with him last time he was in London.   

So I finish this post with thanks to Pattabhi Jois for putting the practice out there so that so many people could practice it.


  1. Hi Helen. Re Supta Kurmasana.I've managed to get in via Dwi pada recently but until then I always clasped first then hooked my feet together. It was the way I learnt it so didn't know any other way. Following kurmasana I would bind, then I tended to shuffle my left foot in as far as I could so it was pretty much central then rotate my foot so my toes are pointing to the right. Then I would shuffle (lots of shuffling) my right foot over up close to the left, point the right toes to my left so they are just above the left toes and then lever my right foot over the left. Then it was a case of working my head almost under.

  2. Hi Grimmly, only just see this comment, sorry. Thanks for the clear description. I try the method you describe but find I can't get the heal into position with my arms bound. The way you describe is the safest way to get in, I think. That's what David Swenson said when I did his teacher training course. I can now get into supta kurmasana fairly easily but find I need to cross feet first then bind. Working on Dwi pada entry and it's coming on nicely but can't get my right leg back enough to bind in supta K, yet....