The Brakes

I've had a couple of days to sit with my new practice (Primary + 2nd up to Yoganidrasana), to sense the arc and pacing, and I'm feeling much better about the whole thing.  After S gave me the leg-behind-head postures as a farewell present, I had begun to question my venture into 2nd series.  Who the hell do I think I am taking on 2nd series with just a few months of Ashtanga under my belt?  I can't possibly be ready for this.  And what about my knees?

If I'm being perfectly honest, I still don't quite think I'm ready for the LBH postures (EXCEPT Yoganidrasana... love & joy surrounds this pose).  I can get my leg behind my head easily enough, but I can't figure out how to make it stay.  I'm also a little concerned about the possibility that too much fumbling and experimentation in these postures will tweak my already compromised knees. The left knee is beginning to express intolerance for lotus postures as well as the right.  I'm back to modifying on both sides, which might actually be better since I'll be maintaining some sense of symmetry.

Kapo is going well... hehe.  Who am I kidding?  It's REALLY EFFING HARD!  I have not, as yet, been able to get my elbows to stay down without assistance.  Though I do consistently get my fingertips to the soles of my feet, I can't get my bearings enough to really grab hold of anything.  Today I practiced on the second day of my LH and the day after a rest day.  A double whammy.  Now, frankly, I've never honored this "no practice on ladies' holiday" business, but Kapo may bring me to change my criminal ways.  Holy hell, that hurt.  I don't remember ever feeling that much resistance in my low back.  I worked through it, but boy howdy (that's right, I just said "boy, howdy!"), I never want to feel that again.

Practice on Friday was fantastic.  Today, however, I felt especially fragile from the first Surya A.  My knees were creaky, my elbows were sore, and my shoulders... well, my shoulders were suspiciously fine.  Jump backs were nice and strong, considering how unstable I felt.  Jump throughs, however, seem to have suffered some sort of mortal blow.  I blame all the straight-leg jump through discussion that's been going on this past week (Thanks a lot, Grimmly, Nobel, エスタ, and the rest of you punks...).  I've had my straight-leg jump throughs for a long time.  Barring total exhaustion, they pretty much just happen for me.  But not today.  I couldn't stop going through the checkpoints in my mind.  Feet together, broad shoulders, strong hands... and BANDHAS, girl, fire up those bandhas!  Then again, speaking of bandhas, it could've been the LH throwing a wrench in the old gears.  Yeah... that's what it was.  (Sorry friends, I didn't mean what I said about you being punks...  You're fine, upstanding yogis, all.)

Tomorrow will be my first practice with the teacher who's taking over S's Monday and Wednesday Mysore.  I am, of course, curious to know the how it will go.  I've only got another month or so of bi-weekly classes purchased.  After that, it's two solid weeks with Swenson, and then I'm back to slogging through the muck all on my own.  At least that's the plan. And this brings me to wonder: if the new teacher tries to give me more of 2nd, should I take the instruction while I can get it and set it aside for later, when I'm ready?  Or, if she tries to give me Titti, should I tell her straight out that I think I need to slow down?


  1. [In a very angry Chinese accent] HOW DARE YOU CALL ME PUNK?!

    You know I'm kidding, right? :-) Thanks for sharing, Megan. If you feel that modifying postures is best for you right now, you should do it. My hunch is that you are NOT going too fast... Kapo is going to be very effing hard for a very long time to come; sorry, I wish I have better news to offer.

    But if you think that you are going too fast, you can always revert to doing primary only for a couple of weeks (or for as long as you need), and then add second series postures back on as and when you feel ready. In this way, doing primary only is like a "reset" button for your practice.

  2. PUNK........ fair enough.
    I've always figured that you never stop working on the earlier postures so that's not so much of an issue although once you split your down to one primary a week. Think it comes down to fitness and time, strikes me you have the fitness for the long practice and for now it seems you have the time. Close enough to splitting now that you can probably do the long practice until it starts to be a bit much, then take the split.

    It's not as if you only just started Yoga, you've been practicing for years no, you've paid your dues

  3. Hi Nobel - Now that I've had a few days to explore my new practice, I'm starting to really like it. The LBH postures are something of a circus, but I'm beginning to get the hang of it. I just don't want to whiz through all of 2nd series and then find myself lost and without instruction a couple months down the road. I'm probably just being paranoid... self-doubt and all that jazz, you know the drill.

    Grimmly - It's true, I have had a daily practice for a few years, and I've always used the essential tools of Ashtanga in my practice (ujjayi, bandhas, drishti), so it wasn't a big switch when I finally picked up Ashtanga proper as my daily practice.

    I am a little concerned about the time factor, but so far, it's not too much. I can make it work.