Chataranga torture & Internal stand up enquiry

A very busy but enjoyable weekend. Started off with a nice practice on Saturday morning at TLC with Michaela. Only 6 of us, but not as much attention as you may think as one was a complete newbie being taken through the Surya’s and first standing poses. But M always turns up at the right time to straighten my Trikonasana and stretch my shoulders in Prasarita C and she is still the undefeated champion Paschimottanasana squisher. Its easy to stay focused at TLC, its warm and quiet and now the building work opposite is done we are no longer the Hod carriers Saturday morning freak show entertainment! A lovely Pasasana assist, then left alone to do my own dropbacks, but no help getting back up, makes me think these teachers do discuss us, see later below! I was the first to arrive and the last to leave and the only one doing dropbacks which probably explains it.

After a pit stop at LPQ, raisin danish and sugar lumps it was off to run the Travel Club for the afternoon.

Raisin Danish & delicious sugar mountains!

So up again today at the crack of dawn, well it was actually still dark since we changed the clocks, but a miracle as the train was ON TIME for a change, maybe they have got fed up of my slagging them off live on Twitter every Sunday and claiming compensation and decided to actually try and run what they laughingly call a service.

Anyhoo on my mat at 08:10 at the Shala and it wasn’t long before Cary decided today was the day to get on my case, starting with what my feet do in the transition between upward and downward dog, ie they don’t roll over my toes at the same time, one foot follows the other, she was pretty insistent that I get it right which killed my arms with the repeated Chaturangas, so I was knackered before I had even done the first standing posture, her funniest comment was “This isn’t hard, its not like Pasasana!“. I think my seated poses are speeding up, now I no longer spend time coercing my right knee into Lotus for Mari D, this seems to have saved at least 5 minutes not to mention the angst my knee was going through. Another good Supta K managing to lift out into Dwi Pada and get my legs almost straight in Titibhasana before my wrist decided it didn’t want to play that game anymore. Having this wrist problem for so long now I am more aware of the warning signs, so bail out before I do any damage. I thought I had escaped with the Chataranga therapy, but oh no my Supta Konasana was next on her agenda, sometimes, occassionally, on a very good day I can hold the balance and do a semi graceful crash to the floor, but today I came up and over and crashed down, Cary was next door, cue me having to do it another 3 times before getting a tick!

Pasasana seems to get closer each week, but getting the final centimetre or so is taking so long! I am only asking Santa for 2 things this year, 1) Bind Pasasana , 2) Stand up from backbend!

So we came to backbends, 4 ok Urdva Dhanurasanas, then stand up and start the dropbacks with Cary watching from the backwall. I still can’t work it out at the Shala, the upper back bend is never as deep as it is at home and the mat looks much further away. I had done 3 when she came over to say I need to try harder at standing up. I usually walk in and rock a little, but it feels so far away still. So on the 4th one I landed the dropback, walked in, tried oh sooo hard to rock forward, but ended up crashing on the back of my head! At which point I decided that’s enough and sat in forward bend.

Well I thought it was enough but Cary had other ideas, up I got to be told the reason I crashed on that particular section of my head was that I had not kept the head back. Then I said to her that as I rocked my hands seemed to go backwards, she asked what i thought needed to happen to make me able to stand up, to which I replied trying to get the weight of the hips more forward towards or over the ankles, I got a quizzical look and “is it?”. At this point she told me I had to undertake some internal inquiry, to try and work it out for myself, work out what my particular body needs in order to stand up, I bet she asks me next week. I think, though I could be wrong, that perhaps I am at the point like with dropping back that a teacher can do it and do it with you, but at some point you have to take responsibility and just try it, knowing intervention and rescue is not going to happen, I learned to dropback on an aussie beach, so maybe I will learn to stand on a Sri Lankan one. She then had me dropback 3 times on my own, but instigated the standing, as I remembered the mantra “Head last“. She seems to do so little to instigate the movement to stand, not like the early days of her almost hauling me up. She finished off with a one of her very intense assisted dropbacks.

It felt like a completely different practice to yesterdays at TLC, despite being the same poses on the same mat, it was much more intense, physically more demanding, but strangely no more satisfying. I think this week of internal backbend inquiry will be hard to work out, maybe I should video my backbend and try to see what she sees, but other than that how do you analyse it?

Lovely breakfast with fellow yoga bloggers, so nice to spend time chatting in the real world as opposed to the cyber shala. Followed this by slogging out to the so called “Luxury Travel Show” at Olympia, what a waste of time that was, took me less than 20 minutes to go round it before heading home.


11 Responses to “Chataranga torture & Internal stand up enquiry”

  1. susananda Says:

    You should’ve come to watch the Toon Army! 🙂

    I always tell people to keep their head back because if you lift it forward you will fall back on it. Because I’ve done it! Only once.

    Maybe she was giving you a hint with the new holding the shoulders thing in the final dropback? I think you need to get your hands under your shoulders more than your hips over your feet, maybe…

  2. Globie Says:

    Wish I had watched Toon rather than slogging to Olympia

    Won’t getting hands further under shoulders automatically bring the hips more forward?

    My head has been bashed more than a few times with these games!

  3. susananda Says:

    Maybe but not necessarily…. but your hips aren’t in a bad position already, however your hands are way back from your shoulders because of the tight shoulder/neck area…. hence why your hands are always slipping, wrist problems etc. Your arms need to become more vertical, how can you stand up if your hands are always slipping back?

  4. globie Says:

    So you mean the hands need to be much nearer the feet before I start the rocking experiments. I think I do need to video it to just see what you and Cary see, so I can appreciate where everything is.

  5. Helen Says:

    Hi Kevin,

    Yes video it, it will help you to see what it looks like. I have not seen your practice much , but I think have noticed the thing Susan is talking about. Remember the naughty extra curricular shoulder stretch I showed you, that would help.

  6. Globie Says:

    Hi Helen

    I do the one you showed me and Susan says there’s a supine twist that helps.

    Practicing at AYL tomorrow night on way home from Docklands, so videoing will have to wait. Not a good enough practice at home tonight to make it worth setting up.

  7. Helen Says:

    Cool an extra shala practice.

  8. arturo Says:

    Dear Kev
    I think that intuitively, I am going through the same internal dialog to solve how I should come up from UD also.

  9. Pat Moore Says:

    Not having seen you coming up, but I just realised that all these years, I’ve come up with my eyes closed. So I’m trying to keep my eyes open and dristi focused on the floor. Maybe that might help you keep your head back? Richard also had us to something against the wall where we had out arms in Down Dog, palms to the wall, and sink the head and shoulders downward. Usually, I can only do it for maybe a half minute because it’s so intense. But it feels like it would be a great shoulder opener since I’m so bad at it! It will be interesting to hear what your introspection reveals!

  10. globie Says:

    Hi Arturo,
    Susan has given me some good ideas to try and open the shoulders, I think this is the plan to make standing up from UD possible.

    Hey Pat, Any ideas greatly received. I do keep my eyes open, but its such an automatic thing to want to bring the head up. I’ll give your “wall dog” a try. Being able to bounce ideas off Susan during the week between Shala practice is invaluable in the process.

  11. Answers to the question « The Journey of my practice Says:

    […] few weeks ago I wrote this post, partly about how my teacher said I needed to undertake some internal inquiry into the what my body […]

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