Epiphany moments are few and years between in the practice , there’s the day your fingers suddenly find each other in Marichyasana D, binding Supta Kurmasana on your own without the Teacher wrenching you into position, then there are the moments where not only physicality has to be overcome but also fear, like learning to drop back, fear being most of that one, because physically gravity will take you down anyway, it’s just a case of making sure your hands hit the floor first with the arms relatively straight, you only crack your head a couple of times before you get with the program! I well remember the joy of doing my first unassisted dropback on a beach in Australia back in September 2009, though it took another year before I had any actual control over proceedings.
The day I first dropped back I got a text from one of my Teachers saying “Now stand up”. Ye right I thought, alright for you Miss Bendy to say that!
Since then I have got stronger and more flexible, walking my hands in, instead of them being glued to the mat wherever they landed, deepening the bend, trying but without any expectation or hope if truth be told of ever coming up. That was until last November in Mysore, when Sharath somehow managed to get me to stand up on my own, it was a freak, pure chance that the gods and everything else lined up that morning. Since that day I had repeated the trick only 4 times and apart from once more in Mysore the rest were by getting lower and lower on blocks and occasionally trying from the floor.
Since Mysore my usual teachers have kept saying you have the strength and the flexibility , there just seemed to be a connection in my head stopping me believing it was possible. This lack of belief translates in to fear of crashing on the head which translates into not committing to trying to come up, holding back, too much thinking as Louise, Ruth and a few others describe it.
Then last Saturday I managed it after playing on a 1/2 thickness block, not once but 5 times and it felt different, like I was suddenly ready mentally as well as physically. I didn’t get the chance to “play” on Sunday, but at breakfast Assistant V told me to ditch the blocks, that they were the crutch stopping me committing to doing it. Monday I was sick with a cold.
Tuesday was moon day, but after Monday off I started playing around, doing some of the exercises from the workshop, UD’s then a dropback, but instead of lowering down I walked my hands in and started to rock and suddenly I decided for some reason to go for it and I was up, no playing, no blocks, straight up from the Mat, I managed a couple more.
Since Tuesday I have managed to stand up another 15 times, I havnt used the blocks at all, though my right foot keeps taking a little step back. Apart from the need to keep the arms straight as I rock, it works better if I try and favour the weight into the left arm more than the right, but I now seem to sense when it’s the right time to commit to coming up. I need some teacher input now,to see me do it and give me some pointers, no doubt my technique is crap, but I’m coming up and that is a major hurdle starting to be overcome.
An Epiphany week if ever I saw one, the mentality has changed completely from not ever thinking it’s going to happen a week ago, to actually expecting it to happen, Louise’s missing connection seems to be joining up, I just hope I can do it on Sunday, a reward for her patience and my perseverance