Day 1 Out of the comfort Zone – Handstands

We have Lucy Scott teaching at our local Shala this week. I’m in the first group of 10 students starting at 6am.10 is the most she will teach, so that she can truly teach and not just run around adjusting people. She has an excellent memory, despite not having seen her in a year she walked in and asked how my backbends are going.

It’s Mysore style practice, after leading the first few Surya’s she lets us loose, sizing up the new (to her) students and on the case of those of us who have practised with her before. Her adjustments are strong, but very supportive. She talks, there’s a reason for everything she does, it’s never an assist or an instruction to change something just for the hell of it. Hands flat to lengthen the hamstrings in forward bend.

Little things, a block for Tiriang Mukha, Janu A squash to make my lower back release and find length in the front of the body.

Garbha twice, first time rocked round on my own, then before I could carry on I got a Garbha tutorial, the arms further through, hands keeping contact with the head, Kukutasana don’t let the legs slide down the arms, it’s about the Bandhas, not just counting to 5.

Assisted Pasasana, deeper twist, lift up, glad I didn’t have a big dinner last night!

Urdva Dhanurasana, Lucy was watching, “that’s much better than last time” she said, phew, good job she didn’t see it 6 weeks ago when it was truly crap with the sciatic knot. 3 on my own before she had me do 3 with blocks against the wall, then 3 more assisted ones, pushing in to the hands, really straightening the arms and legs as Lucy also tried to level me up and stop my propensity to be lopsided still because of the shoulder. It’s so engrained and needs to be un engrained . I realise my fitness and Ashtanga stamina must have improved, I remember feeling totally knackered last time she had me doing this kind of extra stuff

She let me play dropbacks on my own before coming over to do more assisted dropbacks, felt really good.

Then the surprise just as I’m thinking I’m home and dry. HANDSTANDS! She tells me the point of getting me to do handstands is to open and lengthen the front of the chest and stretch the Lats, but also for my body to start finding it’s centre again. I looked at her saying me do handstands?? yep me. Now I haven’t done a handstand since Dena had me do them in Berlin in 2012, to be honest I thought my left shoulder would just collapse. Ok I’ll give it a go, uu no not against the wall, eeek, but some how tiny Lucy somehow got me vertical, wobble wobble, point the feet, push in to the hands. Weirdly my right arm found it harder work than the left. Once down and recovered from the shock of doing a handstand Lucy showed me how to practice at home.

I certainly didn’t expect Lucy to take me out of the comfort zone on day 1, no fear no fun as they say. Saying that Lucy has such a confidence that you just do it and don’t think about it.

She was on me to the end, mainly because by this point there were only 2 of us still going, Sirsasana point the feet, try and lift the head and after I got up from Savasana she told me I need to take a much longer rest!

It’s going to be an interesting week, especially for those of us who have practised with Lucy before.

Day 2 tomorrow, I better get an early night.



One Response to “Day 1 Out of the comfort Zone – Handstands”

  1. StEvE Says:

    Sounds like it’s going to be a great few days! Thanks for sharing.

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