Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Still having fun, opportunities and surrender

Stilling falling having fun in my new pose, mayurasana.  Although we are understanding each other better now.  I got some useful advise at the shala to bring my elbows lower as womens centre of gravity is lower.  I was told to put my head on the floor whilst bringing the elbows lower.  V's advise, see comments on previous post, has really helped too.  I seem yo be able to do the pose better this week, my legs lift, I manage about 3 breaths and then I fall   have some more fun.  I think I find the balance point, I just need to keep it.

I realised I needed to redefine how I think about kapotasana.  I was feeling a bit frustrated that I couldn't do it on the first attempt, that I had to repeat it 3 times (if I wanted to get into it by myself) and that it was so HARD.  Poor me, lol.  I have realised though that this might be the way that it is for some time, months maybe.  So it is time to SURRENDER to the process and redefine my self talk.  Yesterday I told my self that as I was not doing full second and had been split I had a wonderful OPPORTUNITY to work on Kapotasana.  I needed a lot of convincing so I thought about why I wanted to work on it, I mean no one is telling me to do it 3 times!!  It is so healing and I really enjoy the challenge and the OPPORTUNITY to open my upper back and work on balancing my strength and flexibility.  I also told myself  I could take the pressure off on the first two and just really work on grabbing my heels on the third one.  In the past I had been trying to get heels on each one, working really hard and sometimes getting in on the second attempt.  Obviously it would be better if there was NONE of this dialogue but well I'm working on it  ;-).  It worked though kapotasana was much less dramatic both yesterday and today, I may have even enjoyed it at times, maybe...  I grabbed me heels on the third one despite the fact that it is snowy outside and my feet were still cold when I was practising it.  What a difference a change in perspective can make.

8 comments:

  1. I have the same thing Helen, takes me three goes to get my heels from the air. First one I use as a warm up, just settle for my toes. Second one i go in a little deeper and think more about my breath, about staying a little longer. Third one I go for my heels, on a good day I'll get them first time but recently I've had to walk my hands up my feet. Occasionally I'll get in deeper than I expected/intended on the second go and so just do the two but I always plan on three.

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  2. Hi Grimmly, heels from the air, is a long way away for me, so not quite the same! I'm jut happy to get to my heels at all. Nice to know that others are doing it 3 times too though diffuses my drama even more.

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  3. Hi Helen,
    recently, I have been taking a slightly different approach towards kapotasana. Instead of landing my hands on the mat right away and walking them towards the heels, I have been working with "hanging" longer in the posture to create more opening in the chest. I have found that if I do that, I can actually land my hands on my feet. And then it's only a short distance from there to the heels. The hard part for me is to resist the temptation to want to just dive into the posture and instead take a few extra moments (more than a few, actually) to hang and open the chest. I suppose if one were to film me getting into the posture, I won't look very glamorous/pretty, since a big part of the time consist of me simply "hanging". But well, I have recently increasingly come to believe that asana isn't just about how you look. How you feel and what kind of work you are doing with your mind/body is just as important.

    I thought I'd share this with you. Feel free to use whatever works for you. Oh, and I don't know if anybody has told you this, but generally, most practitioners experience a temporary reduction in the depth of their backbends when they first start doing the second series arm balances like karandavasana and mayurasana. This is because doing arm balances tends to make the shoulder muscles stronger/tighter. But it all works out in the long run, because as Kino pointed out, you actually need strength and stability in the shoulders to do backbends safely and effectively in the long run.

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  4. Hi Nobel, thanks for your advise. My upper back is very tight and I do a lot of hanging in order to open it up. I hang until it has opened up as much as it can. At home I actually do 3 hang back only as I am much colder at home, sometimes I time them. Without that time spent there there would be no chance of me getting in. So yes I can totally relate but I think I go to the place you do without the hang, with the hang if you see what I mean. I am quite strong and have some resistance to let go of. If I just went into it quickly I would be lucky to get to my toes at all. It's possible though and I am sure as I keep taking my body there it will become more accessible.

    I find I can really use my breath to open in the hang by breathing into the chest to create more space. I also find bringing my hands to my forehead useful.

    Yes I am familiar with the strength vs flexibility interplay. I am more strong than flexible at the moment, which is why I am taking the time here to open. Karandavasana and the other strong asana in that section are definitely having an effect. Everyday it's like I have to re-open my back. I am also getting stronger and more stable. I love that astanga works both strength and flexibility, I am grateful for the stability that my strength gives me. I could write a whole post on this... Thanks Nobel :-)

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  5. I posted the above comment on my iPhone and it is difficult to proof read. What I meant in the first paragraph is that I do 3 hang backs before I do kapotasana a at home, I also hang back as I enter it. Just in case it was unclear, sorry h

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  6. I'm happy to be of help! I tell everyone because I kept falling off every day for the best part of three months until D suggested I roll my top up. I then wanted to scream "why hasn't ANYONE told me this before?" :-D

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  7. Hello, thanks for sharing, now I feel a bit lazy! I only ever do one, some times I can creep my fingers towards my heels other times not....think I shall try the three times hanging version for a while, sounds tough though!

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  8. Hi v, lol. I suspect there may be something else I am not getting, hence the falling.

    Hi Esther? My boyfriend is learning Japanese and I asked him to read your name. Don't feel lazy! I think your approach is probably better, it's not about the asana afterall.

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