I was given a new posture yesterday. It took me a little by surprise. I have been getting better at my back bending but have not really progressed that dramatically in kapotasana. Yesterday was my first practice in almost a week. I was looser than i might have expected but by no means was I at my best. When I went back into kapotasana, Tim was right there and moved to bring my hands to my toes. My shoulder tends to resist that direction of movement, so I commonly become tense at that part of the adjustment. Yesterday I tried to just let it happen. I also focused on doing real ujjayi breathing, not just trying to not gasp. My wife had told me what a spectacle I sometimes make in that pose with my audible groans and my gasping as if I were approaching expiration. So, I was at least appearing less in extremis yesterday, though I wasn't really doing the pose that much better. When I moved to start my back bends, he said to me, "Supta Vajrasana?" as if I were skipping the pose. I raised an eyebrow questioningly: "Who? Me?". He nodded that it was okay to go ahead and helped me go back. Like many folks, I can't maintain the grip on the toes when I arch back, though I've never really worked on it yet. I never had to, given my perceived deficits in the preceding postures.
The first time I was ever given a posture, almost 8 months ago, I felt a sense of accomplishment, of relief. I had passed a sort of unofficial but to me important milestone. I had shown myself to be appropriate for advancement to the second series. Since that time, I haven't really felt that strongly about getting each new posture. Even yesterday, being moved on past kapotasana didn't generate much emotionally. I knew if I stayed healthy and kept working I was going to get it eventually. I've proven to myself wrong every time I have said to myself, "I'm never going to be able to do that posture." The first time I ever tried to do kapotasana in one of Tim's Intro to Second Series classes, I couldn't even arch back to touch the wall with my hands, I almost blacked out when I tried it. It got better each time though and now I almost don't look like I 'm dying when I try to do it.
I managed to stagger to standing from backbends yesterday, literally. The second time I came up, I accidentally whacked Tim with my arm, knocking him away from the person he was trying to adjust. I guess I just wanted him to know I could do it. I've got to work on finding the guts to go back down to the floor now.