12.05.2010

Titti B and Me

It's been a good week for my practice.  Last week, I took an extra rest day because I had pile of homework to do, so I made sure I had plenty of time set aside for practice every day this week.  I found myself working in a lot of bound postures, spending a good deal of time wrapped up in both open and closed twists, playing with some bound poses that I don't practice much, like Malasana (Garland Pose), Pasasana (Noose Posture), and Tittibhasana B (standing Insect Posture variation).

Photo courtesy of Yoga XTC
Titti B is my new best friend.  I have to ask myself, why have I not been practicing this pose until now?  I tend to carry a lot of tension in my upper back between the shoulderblades, which is a tough spot to stretch well.  I usually go for bound postures to get at this area, but I've never tried Titti B before.  I haven't been able to fully bind this pose yet, my fingertips barely touch, but the rotation of the shoulders in this pose hits the spot just right and leads to a much nicer Titti A than I've ever been able to do before.  This, in turn, has made the Tittibhasana to Bakasana arm balance transition, something I've been polishing, completely doable.  I love how that all worked out.

I have practiced Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose) every day, as promised, and I have come away with a thing or two to note.  I first felt a change when I practiced Parivrtta Trikonasana after my drop back experiment.  My back was amazingly twisty after all those backbends, and the twists felt good on my back muscles, shocked as they were from the new effort.  This was interesting, since I generally save backbends for later in the practice, after the twisting is done.  I might have to play with my sequencing a little and explore this effect.  I also tried a couple of things readers suggested in the comments when I last wrote about this pose, such as bracing the back heel against a wall to aid in stabilizing the hips.  I found this to be helpful in understanding the appropriate actions for grounding through that stubborn back heel, and I was able to place my hand to the outside of the front foot fairly easily without compromising the alignment of the hips.  Since this experiment, I have been able to replicate the traditional expression of the pose without the heel at the wall a few times.  I'd say the week of Revolved Triangle has been a success.

While I am still shackled to the wall in my handstand practice, I have had a few 'Aha!' moments.  My balance is getting better, my stays in the pose are longer, but I'm still so prone to tip backwards that I'm not comfortable taking it to the middle of the room.  Today in my practice, I noticed that a very slight flexion at the hip joints and strong contraction of the glutes helped me to stay in control of my center of gravity without arching the low back.  I also find that pressing the inner edges of the balls of the feet together helps me engage in the right places.  I keep wondering if the fear of falling over is the only thing that will push me to take the next step in my handstand practice.  Maybe I should just go for it.  Bear in mind that I practice the two-legged half-handstand or pike position entry into handstand, rather than the single-leg kick (I'm stubborn like that), so I don't have the leverage of the 'pushing off' leg to prevent me from tipping.  That may be why I'm touching the wall more often than not.  In any case, I'm afraid it's simply becoming habit and I should move away from the wall before it sinks in too deeply.

My practice this week inspired the class I've prepared to teach tonight at Love Yoga Co-op.  There will be binding, balancing, and inverting, with some delicious twists to boot!  I'm excited to share this.  Get ready to feel good.

2 comments:

  1. Hmmm, I've never tried Titi B! Guess I will tack that on. I've been working the Bujapindasana-Titibasana-Bakasana transition but I can't quite get all the way back to Bakasana yet. Maybe this will help me!

    Great to hear your progress on PTrikonasana... Do you sometimes find that it's all in your head? :)

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  2. La Gitane - If you're having trouble swinging the legs back to Bakasana from Tittibhasana, try taking one leg back at a time. The one-at-a-time approach was crucial for me in figuring out this transition.

    As for the Revolved Triangle experience, sometimes I fear that it is absolutely and completely in my head. I decided from the beginning that I don't like the pose, so it's a struggle every time, but when I approach it differently, looking for something but I don't know what, it seems to play out rather nicely.

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