Moon Day Garbha experiment

Not what I would exactly term a proper practice, but aftr all the comments on my last post I thought I had better start on this road to pretzeldom. I did a slow practice through to Bhuja, a crap Kurmasana and then decided to abandon Supta K as my mind was already fast forwarding to the Garbha dilemna.

With my bottle of Spa mineral water, which I splashed over all the likely areas, arms, thighs etc I set to crossing left over right but finding it too much of a wriggle. So plan B which no doubt you are all going to tell me is highly illegal and will get me chucked out of Mysore. Bring right leg in to a loose Lotus and stick the right arm through, now the hard part of manoevering the left leg into place and sticking the arm through. I then found that the left arm ended up much further through, is this normal. I couldnt get my hands near my head, but its a start and hopefully in a hot sweaty Mysore studio with a bit of water it may look better. I decided to try a quick video just to see how abymal it looks. Feel free to fill up the comments with suggestions and thoughts.

I had planned to then do closing, but I got cold with all the playing around so abandoned backbends and just did Savasana.

The video on Youtube

30 Responses to “Moon Day Garbha experiment”

  1. susananda Says:

    The way your second arm got further through… you can get into lotus first and then manage the same thing with the second arm (both arms in fact), kind of lifting one leg and making more space to get through.

    First steps: getting into lotus safely lesson, and getting rid of the tension in the face.

  2. globie Says:

    So you reckon I need to get properly into Lotus before trying to get the arms through.

    Yes Dena’s famous “do take the strain off your face” comment comes to mind.

  3. susananda Says:

    There is a method for getting into padmasana which protects the knees, and I’m going to teach it to you… in fact I think I’m even going to lug that big Mel Robin book (Physiological Handbook for Teachers of Yogasana) to work and scan a page to email you!!

  4. susananda Says:

    PS if I sound overly critical to some, it’s because Kev has already told me his knees are killing him now!

  5. globie Says:

    Thanks for any help Susan.

    Yes my knees were less than impressed and the outsides of both of them are now a tad uncomfortable. I just hope I can walk in the morning.

    Think it may be better to abandon this until I have some supervision at the Shala. But at least my arms went through 🙂

  6. Steve Says:

    If your knees are sore Kev., it is really good therapy to apply some light out-board pressure to your feet’s foundation when in downward dog.

    So, when you take the 5 breath holds in down dog, give it a go. Not from cold though: do at least 2 or 3 salutations to warm up and then apply it at any point you want throughout the series.

    Similarly, in-board pressure on the hand foundation is good for sore shoulders.

  7. globie Says:

    Steve, I’m not sure what you mean. Do you mean instead of the feet being flat that you lift the inside edges of the feet putting weight more through the outsides and vice versa?

  8. Steve Says:

    Sorry for not being clear.

    No, there’s no lifting involved. You keep your foundation, but just apply outward pressure, (as if trying to move the feet in REALLY heavy shoes). You should feel it in your ankles, knees and hips. It also extrapolates up into the abdominals too and helps the diaphragm.

    It is particularly kind on the knees though, which are pretty complex. As the Chinese say … “joint of a thousand problems”.

  9. susie Says:

    Ooh Susananda – you would be able to email me a copy of how to get into lotus safely too would you? (Or maybe Kev could forward it to me?) I do struggle with lotus – am never sure if it’s because my hips aren’t open enough, or I just can’t figure out how to do it. Occasionally I can, but then I can’t work out how I did it!!

  10. Linda Says:

    Susananda, I’m also interested to hear what you have to say about getting into lotus safely as I do experience some trouble with my right knee sometimes. Maybe you could blog about this?

  11. Maria Says:

    I too am interested in the safe lotus article. would u mind posting a link to where I could view it on the web?

  12. globie Says:

    Well my usually troublesome right knee is ok this morning, but OMG my left knee and hip are VERY painful, the leg gave way under me when I got up this morning. It took me 14mins to hobble to work instead of the usual 4 or 5.

    Will abandon this experiment until I can get some help at the weekend, tho at this rate I will be turning up on crutches!

  13. susananda Says:

    OK first of all, for those who asked, I will try to put something on my blog in the next couple of days about the safe way to enter lotus (that’ll give me a reason to revive my blog!). The section of the book is longer than I remembered and possibly a bit technical / aimed at teachers…. and in fact I need to review it myself… so I will get to it in the next couple of days.

    So Kevin. I see you wrote on twitter about your knee, and that you did it because ‘the blogosphere thought I was being lazy’. It seems to me that now you are vindicated! You tried… you injured yourself…. now you can go back to being lazy with this one! Clearly you were right to give up trying!

    If the blogosphere told me to jump off a cliff, I wouldn’t do it.

    Anyway, we don’t decide not to try with certain postures because we think they’re pointless and futile; but we also DON’T yank our limbs around wincing and grimacing in order to get into the posture at any cost (and on a new moon)! In between these two, there is a happy place of working safefully, carefully, listening to the body’s feedback…..

    I’m sorry to say this, but having watched the video, I’m not at all surprised you hurt yourself. You’re treating your knees quite violently there and have a grimace on the whole time. I keep bringing up the wincing and grimacing, because it is HUGELY important. Number one, ujjayi breathing stops when that facial expression is happening. It is impossible to make that face and do ujjayi. Number two, it induces all sorts of muscles in the body to contract right in the middle of when you’re trying to stretch them… which is a great way to get injured.

    I think that sadly we will not be working on lotus on Sunday, if you’re having trouble walking today. But we will definitely be looking at getting the tension out of your shoulders, neck and face. Which is WAY more important than garbha.

  14. susananda Says:

    Safefully? I made a new word…

  15. Globie Says:

    OK, to make a few things clear. I have had trouble with my knees in the past, particularly the right one. The last month or so both knees have been good, proved by being able to get into the 2nd side of Mari D. I had been doing the closing poses in Full Lotus without any problems as well. The knee improvement was probably due to being forced not to practice properly for 2 months earlier in the year when I was in Hospital etc.

    It is true that I had given up on Garbha, since the one off freak day in Thailand a year ago when my arms went through it just hasnt happened. And as I only get to the Shala once a week if I’m lucky no teacher until P on Monday has ever picked me up on not doing it properly (I was going into Lotus and rolling round with my hands outside my knees). So as my knees seemed to be happy with the Lotus I figured that perhaps I was being a bit lazy in not at least trying to do it.

    So I tried Garbha last night, I had 3 attempts & on the 3rd I felt something click in the left knee, though not painfully, so I came out. A bit later on it started to get painful. Today its straightening the leg that is difficult and painful, though walking once I get going is ok. I have just been for a walk and it feels better for it.

    It wasn’t wrong to try and do Garbha, it was time to give it another go. My problem is practising home alone 95% of the time means that I may be able to get myself into an asana, but unbeknown to me I may possibly end up doing it in a way which is detrimental or wrong.

    So I am hoping it will keep calming down and by the weekend will allow me to practice.

  16. susananda Says:

    Yes, it was time to give it another go, because if you can do the lotus there’s no excuse for not trying the arms.

    BUT, you have to learn to take responsibility for your body and use your intelligence during practice (as my iyengar teacher used to say). Watch the video again and see if you can see how you’re tugging at your feet (stressing the knees) and tensing.

    This kind of thing has to be internalised. There can’t be a teacher there all the time telling you not to hurt yourself.

    Hopefully it does calm down, but if it clicked then it may be fragile for a while.

  17. susie Says:

    You know Kevin – The discussions on this and the previous post have been SOOO helpful and insightful! It’s jut amazing!

    I feel like I was getting into a slightly ‘pleased with myself’ state where I didn’t need to make effort except in specific designated (by me!) poses. I looked at my practice at class yesterday evening with new eyes and saw so many other areas where I was just saying to myself I can’t do that so I don’t need to try! Things are/will be going to change!!

    So thank you one and all … 🙂

  18. globie Says:

    Hi Susie
    Glad you have found all this useful. It’s easy to get into our own little mindset, especially with home alone practice. It looks lime I bit off a bit more than my knee could chew though

  19. susananda Says:

    Susie, I’m glad you’re getting something out of the conversation. I feel kind of bad…. Kevin I may have been harsh here… but it’s very frustrating to me both as a teacher and a friend!

    Padmasana blog is mentally written, just need to find time to type it out….

  20. daydreamingmel Says:

    I’m glad your learned something too Susie 🙂 As Susan said, and in case any of you don’t know, both she and I practice with Kevin when he comes into London and also speak daily so we were not just randomly ganging up on him as blog readers, we were coming at it from a slightly different angle of knowing more about him and his practice & approach (though not, as it turns out, about his knee issues!).

    Kevin I’m so sorry for starting this whole thing off and you hurting your knee, but if your initial response to my questioning had been that you have knee issues and have only just become able to do lotus, I would have backed off straight away. I suppose (and hope) that the rather painful lesson learnt here is to have ultimate respect for the signals your body is sending you – it’s like the thing David Swenson says: if you were in the car and you start hearing a strange noise, do you turn the radio up louder so that you can’t hear it, or do you stop and get it checked out? I think it seems a little like you whacked the radio up to 11 and pushed on through in this case, but maybe next time it’ll be different? Hope you’re feeling a bit better today – I would recommend a castor oil wrap for your knee! Massage in castor oil, cover in clingfilm and then sleep with it on. It really helps!

  21. globie Says:

    Mel not your fault, it was about time I had another go at doing Garbha properly, though in hindsight it would have been better to wait until Sunday for the initial Padmasana lesson. I’m hoping it improves enough to make it worth coming in to London. I did back out as soon as I felt the click, so didn’t turn up the volume.
    I have been covering it in Tiger balm which has helped, and walking loosens it up, though when I start to walk I have a bit of a limp.maybe I should try cling film over the Tiger balm?
    Susie actually knows me in real life too

  22. Maria Says:

    if you have inflamation, I would not advise tiger balm, after inflamation receds, tiger balm should be ok – just speaking from the advice I was given by my physio…. and also from a senior teacher….
    Castor oil much better in this situaton
    Out of interest Kevin do u take glucosamine? Its a supplement you can get in the health food shop. It has a cumulative effect, so you’d need to keep taking it over a prolonged period, but its helpful for the joints… tehre is an article I got somewhere – will try to repost…

  23. Maria Says:

    Cant find the article now… in any case taking glucosamine sulfate wont hurt….

  24. globie Says:

    Hi Maria,

    It doesn’t seem to be inflamed as such, there is no swelling or outside evidence. It likes heat and I have a support on it which generates heat.
    I talked to my Physio when I hurt my wrist last year about Glucosamine, she said it may annoy my IBS, so stayed away from it.

  25. Maria Says:

    Yes – it is can aggravate it in some people….. I think its one of the warnings on the side 😦
    What exactly is the issue with your knees? Like have u had ACL or IB injuries in the past?
    Or is it just “wear and tear”?

  26. globie Says:

    I think it’s the years of running on pavements etc that did for my knees. They have always clicked. When I come back to Samasthitihi during standing I always do a mini knee bend then I know I’m safe to proceed. If I don’t do that the knee has a habit of painfully locking.
    I think it is wear and tear, but some of my yoga isn’t helping & practising home alone it doesn’t get corrected enough

  27. ragdoll Says:

    Your arms are a long way through in that image! That’s about where I started when I was given the pose (after a few tries in led classes) and that’s with naturally crazy hips and no knee problems. I’ve had the pose for months and am only just now feeling able to get my hands to my chin (it’s still a big stretch!).

    Would it help protect your knees if you initially just worked on the ‘full’ version for the first phase of the pose, when you’re holding still, then remove your wrists/arms for the actual rocking bit?

  28. Globie Says:

    Hi R
    So you mean try and get my arms through the too small gap, but remove them to rock around? Though the way my knee is now I think it may be a little while until I can resume this experiment.

  29. Ragdoll Says:

    Yup, that’s exactly it. Obviously, Susan or another teacher might have an opinion on it, but it might be a way of moving towards the full pose.

  30. susananda Says:

    That is certainly an option!
    Slow progress is great, you know, it doesn’t have to just all of a sudden happen. It’s the fact of working at it that’s important. No hurry, no worry 🙂

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