Kapotasana. Was. Awesome. Many of the poses in Ashtanga, particularly 1st and 2nd series, are familiar to me in some variation or another. Most of them I've tried at least a few times, if not practiced fairly regularly. Kapo, however, I've always shied from. I just never thought it possible. I have never identified as a "natural backbender," one of those pixies with a rubber band for a spine, so I have generally kept to a few familiar heart openers and backbending sequences in my practice, assuming all others beyond my (here we go again) "natural ability."
I identify as a person with tight shoulders. I have often thought, "I have tight shoulders. My shoulders are tight and inflexible. This is the way they are." This type of dualistic thinking has blinded me to the true extent of possibility, not just in my asana practice, but in my life. Kapotasana is perhaps a small, silly example of the metaphorical door that I assume is locked because it's always been locked, though, in actuality, it may be unlocked and, should it be opened, lead to a more complete understanding of reality, a clarity previously unimagined. Until I jiggle the knob, I'll never know.
Yeah... Kapo is like that. You've gotta jiggle those knobs once in a while.
Anyway, after Laghu, which I managed to lift myself out of with S's precise instruction, she told me come to my knees after the vinyasa so she could give me the next pose. Now, I suspected she might give me Kapo before she leaves, but I didn't expect it this week. The first time, she had me go as far as I could on my own, and then gave me a little push to help me get my hands to my feet. As it turned out, my feet weren't nearly as far from my hands as I thought they were. After I came out, I told S as much, and she said I could try it again. The second time, I walked my fingers in to my feet and held my toes for five breaths without assistance. My elbows did not quite touch down, but it was amazing nonetheless. Kapotasana B highlighted a big imbalance of tension in the left chest, shoulder and wrist, probably from carrying heavy trays of food on that side for seven years. Now that I'm no longer waiting tables (again I say hooray!), I can finally address this imbalance.
After Kapo, I figured we were done. I was wrong. S had me come to seated, and we did Supta Vajrasana. I wondered what would happen when I came to this pose since lotus is out of the question. S simply had me sit in Sukhasana, a simple crossed legged position, and held my wrists as she rested her legs on my knees. After the vinyasa, she asked me if I wanted more. I asked her what was next. When she said Bakasana A and B, I said, "of course!" I love Bakasana, and I've missed the arm balancing in my practice these past few months as I've explored Primary more exclusively. I landed Bakasana B with a minor toe-to-the-floor infraction and S exclaimed, "It counts!" Haha! I love her.
Drop backs were really good. I suspect Kapo may have produced that effect since the shoulder extension is mainly where my drop backs come up short. I've struggled with standing up for the past week. I seem to have developed an irritating mental block that pops up when I first try to stand. I go for it anyway, but the fear makes it stiff and I have to step backwards to catch myself. After the second or third attempt, I'm usually able to smooth it out and keep the feet rooted, but the first couple stand ups have been pretty rough all week. Maybe I need a stand up ritual. S told me she says a little prayer before every single one.
So... now I've got quite the beastly practice on my hands and I wasn't even looking for it. Primary + 2nd up to Bakasana B. Let's see where this takes me.