Yes, I know there are 5 navasanas in primary, but when I got navasana about 2 weeks ago, I only had to do 3. I must say, 3 is plenty; in fact, it feels like more than enough for now. I am often shaking at the end of the first one. When I notice anyone in the shala doing navasana, I don't recall seeing anyone do more than 3 (ok, I generally only notice the people right next to me, and only some of the time, so it is possible I have just missed it..still 5 is a lot of navasanas, and ought to be hard to miss, no matter how fast people are going). Is this pose like the suryas, where once you get to full primary, you do less of them? Or is it determined by whether or not you can do navasana at all. Anyway, it is quite a curious thing, maybe best not thought about too much. My approach to navasana is: don't anticipate it or else I will psyche myself out (that "oh no, navasana next" thought I have every day in the middle of the second side of mari D). Just do them and breathe. I wish I could apply this to other areas of my life.
Lately, I feel like my practice is scratching the surface of the series. That's ok. Means there will be a lot more to discover over time: the breath, the bandhas, watching my mind in the practice, the transitions, getting into and out of the asanas, the asanas themselves, and the awareness of my body in the asanas. I have been eagerly reading, First There is a Mountain by Elizabeth Kadetsky. In it, Iyengar describes samadhi as total body awareness in the asanas (of course now my book is at home and I am not). Hmmm..much like Tolle's use of body awareness to come into the present moment.
Back to my practice report...
My jumpback attempts are continuing along. Today I managed a few times to scoot the feet under when I lifted my butt and sort of jumpback from there. What is good about this method is that it does not hurt my wrist. I need to learn how to lean forward more when I lift my butt, as I think I should be jumping with bent arms. Lifting up fully is too much on my wrists because I still lack the proper shoulder strength.
I am thinking about going to David Garrigues' workshop on bandhas and pranayama in July; it looks intriguing because these are two things that I really know very little about in practice. I do wonder if I am anywhere near ready to learn about either of these subjects....I suspect my bandhas are nonexistent, and from the few pranayama attempts at Jivamukti..I was pretty unsure about pranayama as well. Breath retentions were (and I am sure still are) scary.