Moon eve practice

is there something to this moon business? Yesterday I had a pretty decent practice at home, but today at the Shala I knew as soon as I started that I felt distracted, heavy and weak. Mind games before i even got there, as i jumped on a tube going my way, to suddenly see the electronic destination board in the carriage show the train as going in the opposite direction, I got off at the next stop, assuming it was my mistake, changed Platforms, then realised when I saw the name of the Station (Warren St), that i had been going in the right direction all the time, by which time the doors had closed and i had to wait for the next train. It wasn’t that warm either, which didn’t help and it seemed to take a lot to generate heat, even though I was making more of an effort to be with my breath.

A non interventionist practice today as well as P spent a lot of time with a newbie behind me, which is fine, but I found the constant explanations and questions going on 5 feet away something of a distraction. It was my last chance to practice with one of the 2 certified Teachers in the UK before she leaves. 

I got a push in Padungusthasana, but was left alone through the rest of standing, I was hoping for help in PPC, even staying for an extra 10 breaths or so in the hope that help would arrive. Much better UHP today, solely due to being at the front and able to focus on something, rather than it being a distant blur.

Seated were better, but my wrists didn’t like the jumping through game, so only did that sporadically. P assisted my Supta K, or rather retied the knots I had managed on my own, then she noticed that my legs were crossed the wrong way and my arms were not through my legs in Garbha. That’s a stupid posture, I am no nearer doing that than the first time I tried it god knows how many years ago.

Pasasana again left to my own devices, before surprising myself by managing 4 x Urdva Dhanurasana and 6 safe drop backs, but again no help, P watching from her perch on the wall, but not helping me back up.

So something of a slog, but I got to the end. But I am begining to think there is something to this moon day business.


25 Responses to “Moon eve practice”

  1. daydreamingmel Says:

    Can I ask with garbha, do you *try* and get your arms through? I know you will say that at home it’s not hot enough/you wear the wrong clothes but in the shala where it is sweaty, you’re in shorts and there is a water spray I think I’m right in saying you generally don’t try, but then you say you’re no closer to doing it. I struggled with this pose big time (you saw the bruises!) but the only way I managed it in the end was to keep trying every day. Now it’s easy 🙂

  2. globie Says:

    It wasn’t very warm in there today, I barely broke sweat. Water and hairy legs does not seem to be an ideal combination to make it work. I can generally get one arm through but not 2. I did it in Thailand because I was saturated in sweat.

  3. daydreamingmel Says:

    But do you try??? I think you’re evading the question with excuses 😉

  4. globie Says:

    Maybe I could try harder, but it seems a futile exercise, especially away from the Shala.

  5. daydreamingmel Says:

    that’s my point: everything seems futile until you try it day in day out…as Kino says (I can’t remember who she’s quoting): yoga is the art of making the impoossible possible, and the possible easy. Making a story for yourself that you can’t do it or it’s not worth trying builds the schema in your mind that you have limitations. Let that drop: forget your story and try. You won’t be able to do everything the first (and maybe even the hundredth) time you try, but that is why we practice ashtanga!

  6. daydreamingmel Says:

    ps my arms are too short 😉

  7. globie Says:

    If I could try every day in a hot sweaty Shala I would stand more chance, but once a week in those conditions isn’t often enough.
    My arms are too fat and there’s no space to get my arms through

  8. daydreamingmel Says:

    “My arms are too fat and there’s no space to get my arms through” – is that irony or sarcasm??

  9. susie Says:

    And I can’t do padmasana … Now that sounds like a better excuse But Mel is absolutely right – and I am going to apply that to my practice:

    eg: I’m not going to try and lift up into urdva dhanurasana because I know my arms aren’t strong enough.
    I’m not going to try and jump forward/back in sun salutes because I know I can’t
    etc etc. (gosh, the list does go on, doesn’t it?!! Thanks Mel!!)

  10. Steve Says:

    Mel isn’t daydreaming, she’s trying to help you big time here Kev.

    If you’re seriously planning to go the Mysore Shala with Sharath, there won’t be any corner cutting there so, if I were you, I’d be using these preceding months paying special attention to the gate-postures, & getting on that mat everyday with this as a ‘business plan’:

    Bind in Marichi C & D, everyday.
    Catch hands & cross feet in Supta Kurmasana, everyday.
    Arms through & rock’n’roll in Garha P, everyday.
    A nicely grounded & calm Baddha Konasana everyday.
    Drop back and return to standing everyday.

    If you don’t chip away at these elements of the practice, it’s highly likely that he’ll stop you at the first point that you haven’t got covered, which can leave you feeling a bit perplexed & disappointed. Some even get well peeved, which doesn’t really suit a yogic profile. Odd ‘bad days’ are okay of course, but if you skirt around stuff everyday, you WILL get sussed, even if you are practicing in the shala changing room. Despite there being so many bodies in the room, he somehow doesn’t miss anything!

    In home practice, I remember initially diluting a tiny bit of Johnson’s baby oil in the spray for a couple of weeks, in order to get my arms through in Garbha P. I got so fed up with generally feeling slippy afterwards though, that I pretty quickly started just sliding ’em through.

    Sorry to nag.

  11. susananda Says:

    Yep, I have to join in on the nagging again, I’m afraid… ditch the negative attitude for god’s sake, it’s so frustrating! ‘I can’t do it, it’s a pointless exercise, it’s futile…’ .. how many times have I felt that way about one pose or another, starting with janu B and followed by many others?? Then you work at it and eventually discover its secret. Or at least learn to live with it, lol. I can’t believe you’ve got away with this for so long, where was C???

    Well you’ll all be glad to know that I’m covering for C next Sunday and Kev’s train is set to be running (insert fierce emoticon) 🙂

    I’ll give you some good tips for it Kev 🙂

  12. Maria Says:

    try putting a little handwash/shower gel into ur “home” spray bottle – that realy helped me – creates a more “slippery” situation when u haven’t got the sweat/heat build-up
    and when I was doing shala practise; I used to put a lot of moisturizer on my legs before i started practise; by the time you get to Ghrba sweat + moisturizer/body lotion = slidey arm thru leg manouvre….. it works!!
    Also its about how you direction your arms when you put them throuh the spaces…. i put my palms down when I start and then twist up as I push them thru…. dunno… it may help!!!
    This pose took me AGES to get…..

  13. ragdoll Says:

    “Football thighs are Garbha negative”

    My arms and legs are both (all?!) bigger than they’ve ever been right now, and Garbha is way easier than it used to be. Like Mel, I did kind of have to break through the pain barrier with this one. I was convinced the pose was not right for my thighs, that there was ‘no gap’ but the only answer was to, ahem, keep pushing through.

    And water. H will tell you that I use LOTS of water. On every single contact point.

  14. daydreamingmel Says:

    It’s a chorus of people agreeing with me, I love it! 🙂 Steve has a great point though Kevin: you can give up on garbha, that’s no problem, but expect to be stopped there in Mysore. I wasn’t moved on to the next pose by C until I could do it fully and correctly which is a GREAT motivator! All the tips for extra slipperiness & loads of water work until you are doing it more easily, then (as I do now) you start backing off from it because you are TOO slippery and can’t push up into kukutasana at the end. I’m now on to only wetting my arms and not my legs which seems to work just right. TRY IT!!!

  15. susananda Says:

    For me, body lotion is over-doing it because I slip and slide everywhere and then can’t do other stuff… but whatever works… but when I was learning garbha (AT HOME, and TRYING every day), I used to just have a cup of water nearby and dip my hand in it and slosh it all over my arms and legs, you don’t even need a spray bottle, there is no excuse. Wipe up the excess water with your towel after.

    If my short man-arms could learn to fit through my backbender’s thighs, you can certainly learn to do it too, just like plenty of people with fatter arms and legs than you have!

  16. Maria Says:

    Hi Susan
    yes I agree that the body lotion can do that if wearing shorts, but I found that once I rolled my pants bck over my legs, it wasnt really an issue – I just applied lotion on knees and upper thighs… so they where the lotion was was covered after and a quick dry off with the towel on my arms and hands usually meant no slippy excess…

  17. globie Says:

    This seems to have set things off LOL
    We all know Mel is usually right!
    Susie, Most days I can do Padmassana and some days I can get one arm through in Garbha
    Steve – Well that’s not a bad looking list, with the exception of Garbha & standing up I can do all the other stuff.
    Susan – C has never said anything about Garbha, I suppose she has had plenty of other things to say. But none of my other teachers has ever taken issue either. Philippa yesterday was the the first one to ever pull me up for it.
    So I have booked the B&B for saturday, so I will be there Sunday, over to you Garbha & PPC!
    Hi Maria – I have thought about adding a “slippery Substance”. Though at home I usually practice in trackie bottoms,as its not often warm enough.
    So to make clear, are your palms face up when you thread them through?
    I suppose I just have to get into the habit of trying at home during the week, cos I know that I’m gonna be watched on Sunday!
    Hi Rosy – When I am in Lotus the whole thing is very tight, I cant get this “looser lotus” concept, which in theory would give me more space to put the arms through.
    Mel, perhaps thats the problem with the way I learned the series, mostly at home and with led classes where not that much help was given.
    If I had learned a pose at a time as you have with C and been taught the pose it probably wouldn’t be so much of an issue.
    I just have to get my arms through in the next few months somehow.

  18. ragdoll Says:

    The ability to ‘loosen my lotus’ (which frankly I cannot type without sniggering) only came after I started to work on pushing my hands, then wrists, then arms through, then gritting my teeth and rolling. And getting beached, and rescued.

    I had to make the space, it didn’t exist beforehand.

    Now things are too loose and they have a tendency to fall apart when I get to the arm balance, but that’s a whole other story!

  19. Maria Says:

    palms down at the initial starting off, to slide into leg crease, and then as hands pass through the leg crease flick/twist wrist/arm so that palms are up when they come through

  20. Helen Says:

    Lol, I wondered how your post had elicited 20 comments, go Mel. I was stopped in mysore at garbha. I did it for the first time in my last week. I think you should work on it because it is part of the series, I also think it is important and helps to open up the padmasana as ragdoll has found. I don’t think it matters if you get stopped there in mysore either though, as you know we can not timetable these things. Can you do padmasana right leg first, you will not be allowed to do it the other way in Mysore, that’s for sure. I know you have some issues with one of your knees, be very careful. Re, practicing at home, where there is a will there is a way. Could you make the room warmer with a heater? Could you have shorts under trousers and take trousers off for garbha, or could you wear some capris that you can roll up, capris are currently my home practice choice.

    I will be in London this weekend too, so hope to see you all for brunch Sunday. Great that Susan will be teaching you, I am sure she will have some great tips.

  21. Globie Says:

    Hi Helen,

    I have only recently been able to do right leg first in Padmasana, the right knee used to make seious objections. I can do Padmasana, but its extremely tight.

    I “know” I’m going to get advice at the Shala this week, so hopefully our Susan will come up with a gem of wisdom and something will click, hopefully not my knee. We have Philipa Gendall back at TLC on Saturday, I know she can be picky (Iyengar training ), so I wonder if she will have anything to say, perhaps if I am trying to get into it she will assist/advise.

    We are all looking forward to brunch, be good to see you.

  22. susananda Says:

    Yes, hopefully I’ll make it for lunch, Helen! I’ll have to practice on Saturday (as it’s unlikely I’ll get up early enough to do it before class!)

    Kev, do not expect a gem of wisdom which will make it instantly click. It will probably be a long process, like most things yoga.

    If you can’t do lotus with your right leg first, then there isn’t much we can do I guess, except keep working on the hips until they’re open enough to not aggravate the knee. But it IS something you’ll have to keep working at…. what do you do for the closing postures, do you do lotus with the left leg first there, or just not sit in padmasana at all??

  23. globie Says:

    Susan I can currently get into Lotus right leg first . I do sit in full lotus for the breathing at the end, though am far from being able to grab my toes.

  24. susananda Says:

    Well YAY, we can work on that too. Shoulder opening!!!

    That’s assuming it isn’t busy….. otherwise I’ll be running around like a headless chicken and missing everybody’s everything like the last time I covered a Sunday. LOL.

    I guess you got a pass from C when you couldn’t lotus… but now that you can, it’s time to crack on.

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