Wednesday, December 12, 2012

focus = fail

Thinking about practicing at home again. Practicing earlier still doesnt make me on time for work! Good grief, I took even longer than usual, and I have no idea how or why. If this continues, I might have to give up on the shala after all. I need that extra half hour for sleep or commuting. I feel like my practice has taken over my life (how did that happen?), and that is not really making me happy now. I am wondering why I am practicing at all, when it seems like many of the things I want to do, I can't manage to get done with this practice.  I envy people who can finish primary series in an hour, while it takes me 2 hours to do primary to supta padagustasana and closing. Yet the thought of trying to go faster makes me panic and I end up taking longer, like today. Plus, just a month ago, even, I would have said my practice was the best part of my day, even if it was a weepy one.

Another day where practice just left me..annoyed. I was having issues with shala conditions. That is, hearing the conversation the teacher was having with a student (not a new student), leading the student through the series. I guess I have gotten out of the habit of hearing that much talking during practice, but I just couldn't focus. Ironically, a similar thing happened the day before, but it didn't bother me that much, but this seemed to go on for much longer, and make me even wonder, if it was me hearing all that, would I remember that much of it the next day? I have enough trouble remembering just one correction to my vinyasa for a posture. Focus = fail. Yeah, I'm crabby. Plus, on the way home tonight...I realized that my left wrist/forearm really sore, which has to be from practice this morning...having my index fingers pulled to bring my hands further up my back in parshvottanasana, or some odd after effect of supta K? The teacher who is subbing right now has really been pushing me to go further in a lot of postures..and I suspect it is too much change for my body to take in at one time, especially when I still have to go to work afterwards.

No mention of new poses today (thank goodness). A very deep supta kurmasana, as this teacher is really working on getting my legs behind my head (the assists always have this pausing moment where my leg is lifted and behind? my shoulder, but not touching my head..I think she is rotating the hip or something like that, it is different and more intense than what my regular teachers do, and also a bit unnerving). Maybe that has something to do with all the anger I have been getting a lot of hip opening postures, and being encouraged to go deeper in these postures (I tend to back off a little so I can focus more on breathing/drishte/bandhas, plus I don't feel like I need super duper flexibility, that strength is more important for me). She tried to have me lift up with my hands, with my legs behind my head, but I couldn't figure out how to do it..I guess my shoulders are too smooshed by my legs, or maybe my timing is off- do you  uncross the legs/feet as you lift up or after you lift up?

I am also still suffering from what Nobel would call bhujapidasana impotence (see his great posts on karandavasana impotence here.). First, there seems to be almost no improvement in getting my forehead down to the ground quietly -let alone my chin. Ok, it is a softer plop, perhaps even a more graceful plop, but still, a plop! landing, and I recently discovered that what seems like more control in the landing is me bracing one foot against my wrist. Second, once my forehead is on the ground, I give too much weight to my head, which leads to my main question: how the heck does one get back up without using the feet as leverage on the floor? I so suspect that it requires a lot less strength than I think, but I can't figure it out.Good thing figuring all this out wasn't required for moving on in the series.

So happy that tomorrow is a moon day.


  1. I am very sorry to hear about your Bhujapidasana impotence.

    First, if it makes you feel any better, Bhuja impotence is much easier to treat than Karandavasana impotence, for the simple reason that at least your hands are on the ground, and you can therefore push off the ground to give yourself the initial, well, push.

    But all this is probably not very helpful. Well, try two things the next thing you are in Bhuja with your head on the mat:

    (1) As you are trying to coming up, squeeze your thighs against your arms as if your life depends on it. This should give you more bandha activation to come up.

    (2) Instead of trying to lift straight up off the ground, imagine your head moving forward and up into the air in front of it, so that you are basically describing a forward arc with your head. Sounds counter-intuitive, I know, but it works, at least for me.

    (3) if all else fails, I am pretty sure that they are starting to sell asana-impotence pills at the coconut stand in front of KPJAYI. Everybody I've asked about this who's been to Mysore denies this vehemently, but their very vehemence makes me think it all the more likely that there is a cover-up... how else can all those people who go to Mysore progress so quickly in their practices? I'll find a way to lobby to have these pills imported to the U.S., so that we all can also take benefit :-)

    Good luck! Let me know how it goes.

    P.S. You probably already know this, but (3) is not to be taken seriously; it is basically the effects of moon-day-mind.

    1. hey nobel,
      thanks for the tips. my teacher said something about squeezing my thighs against my action which still seems to be more in my imagination than in reality at this time. 2 sounds intriguing, and the opposite of what i have been doing- trying to go up or up and back with my butt. as for #3, all the more reason for me to go to mysore! i suspect sharath watching you practice (or just in the room) gives you superpowers compared to your regular practice, since i experience this to a lesser extent many days at the shala.
      i will try these tomorrow.