Distance seems to be a great solution for the desperation and delusion. That, or there's something in the air up there in Wisconsin because as soon as I passed into Iowa, I felt better. Entirely in possession of my faculties. All systems go. I drove the 1300 miles home in high spirits and held my mula bandha the whole way.
What I've learned from this most recent episode is that, while I'm a pro at letting go (fluent in the "fuck it"), I have a lot of trouble not grasping for it in the first place, whatever "it" may be. And yes, I have many theories and I've drawn many connections between this experience and the Ashtanga but I hesitate to elaborate, lest I be known as the crazy, obsessive Ashtangi.
But it may be too late for that already, so here it goes:
The difference, energetically, from 1st to 2nd series is significant. First series is scrappy. Second series is sexy. I feel the practice in my pelvis. At the risk of sounding dirty, there's a lot of deep work at the root. In all of the extremes that 2nd series takes us through -- extreme backbending, extreme hip rotation, and extreme forward bending -- awareness of the root is key. Mula bandha anchors the extension of Kapotasana, traps the apana of Dwi Pada, and steadies the precarious walk of Tittibhasana.
I think I mentioned this a week or so ago, but Titti really turns me on. More often than not after the exit, I feel hot and high, as though all my blood is sloshing around in my pelvis and all the rest is really secondary. Pincha is a special challenge if I don't give myself a moment to level off. I've noticed this heightened root awareness since the split to 2nd in October. Though I had been practicing much of Intermediate in addition to Primary prior to this, there is definitely something distinctive about the effect of the backbends -- and, indeed, the practice as a whole -- independent of all the core warm-up that Primary provides. The sensation is rich and the body is still fresh. More mindpower is required to quell the reluctance.
Second series necessitates a heightened presence as we are asked to take the body to opposing ends without the slash-and-burn of 1st. Without that heat, we are called upon to draw from a deep, intuitive understanding of the body and a clear, attentive mind. Because we are not numbed by the rigors of Primary, Second series is more sensual. Second is also the more playful practice, and I am feeling this effect full-on. Spontaneous dancing. Fits of laughter. Bouts of mischief and good-natured antagonism. It's all there.
But enough about me. Let's talk about you.
How's your practice coming? Surviving the holidays? Ready for the new year? On that note, considering my recent meanderings into the realm of the ultra-personal, I'd like to know what you want to see from Damn Good Yoga in the coming year. Do you want more instructional/informational content? Videos? Features? Product reviews? Or are you quite content to read about my personal practice forevermore and see how my real-life neuroses manifest in text?