Practice Ramblings and Kapo from Behind

There has been a balmy shift in climate here in Austin this week.  The weather is unseasonably warm and humid, so the yoga has been sweet and sweaty.  I am still loving my practice especially much.  Some days, I step off the mat feeling as though I am walking on air, really just so open and full of life.

Today, I lost myself so completely in the sensation and the flow that I forgot Pasasana and went right through the warriors, into Primary through Purvottanasana before I realized what I had done.  Oops.  But perhaps it was what my body needed.  Paschimottanasana took care of a tweak in the back that had been bugging me, and the inclusion of Purvo showed as extra space in Bhekasana.

As for Pasasana, I have not bound this posture in some time.  As a rule, I am giving myself less time to work into the postures, which may account for it in some way.  There is also the fact that I am practicing earlier in the day and without the Marichyasanas as preparation for the twist.  Pasasana is one of the few postures that makes me wish I practiced regularly with a teacher.  Pasasana and Dwi Pada...

And Karandavasana.  I know last week I mentioned that it might be time to tack it on, but I am having second thoughts.  While my hips have opened considerably in recent months, I cannot get my legs into a safe lotus without the use of my hands, which precludes Karandavasana.... unless I modify.... which I might do.  

Then again, I am not Dwi Pada-ing on my own, so my practice time might be better spent on LBH preparations than on moving forward in the series at this time.  The postures that follow Pincha -- my present stopping point -- aren't going to help me get my shoulders open for a consistent heel grab in Kapo, either. 

So that settles it.  I'm staying put for now.  On days when I want a longer practice, I can just put a bit of Primary in there before going on to Intermediate.  In the future I hope to do this consciously, not unconsciously as I did today.  Bad lady.

On the topic of teachers or lack thereof, one of the great things about having a teacher is that they will tell you when you are horribly crooked in a posture, even if your body won't.  Years of balancing heavy trays of food exclusively on my left hand have left me with a shortened right side.  My right hip cocks up.  My right shoulder pulls down.  This feels natural, but I am working to correct this.  Recently, the imbalance is showing up in Kapo, so I decided to grab a video (my sometimes-substitute for a teacher) from a different angle to see what's going on.

The first thing I noticed was the excess tension in my right hand as I take the arms back.  Then I start to veer right and that trend continues all the way to the floor.  Granted, it is not dramatic, in large part because I am very aware of the imbalance and doing my best to compensate with the information that I have.  Then there's the issue of the wide elbows; this is me working really hard to pull them in.  Feet were extra slippery today so I couldn't get a good grip to pull against.   

The arms are excessively bent in Kapo B -- feeling super tight in the shoulders lately -- but I work to push them a little bit straighter on every exhalation.  All in all, it felt good and I was pleased with the jump through that follows, as evidenced by the sweaty, panting, post-Kapo grin.


  1. HI Megan! That's very funny what you wrote: "I am not dwi-padaing on my own. " A new verb! I do eka pada twice instead, since dwi pada isn't available to me. In David Garrigues's workshop he had us working with a folding chair for a prop, but it's hard to explain in words how to do that.

    Also, I'm not sure it would help but if you can't get the lotus in pinca, you can try it in the headstand with pincha arms: baddha hasta sirsasana C. It's a little more stable but I'm not sure it helps if the knee isn't going there. It's a challenge for sure. David talked about getting crazy for inverted lotus postures, but of course it's a process.

    And that was for sure a gorgeous smile-worthy jumpthrough!

    1. Hi Deborah,

      Thanks for the Karanda advice. I have done some experimentation with Padmasana in headstand as Karandavasana prep, but it's just not happening yet. I can't crawl my right foot into place without destabilizing the knee. However, if today's Primary is any indication, it won't be long. My right hip was freakishly open this morning! A good sign.

      Happy Friday!