Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Despite doing no yoga yesterday, my low back discomfort hadn't gotten better enough. I was still pretty tight today. It wasn't as tight as the day I first noticed it but more bothersome than I hoped it would be. I hurried through a couple of things because I know I looked so bad in them, I didn't want anybody seeing me do them and think that that's how I actually did the poses. I had to work at nine this morning, so I only had time to do my second series poses, with no research and none of the extra backbending stuff before closing (thank god). First series would have felt a lot better but I didn't have enough time for it. I was able to do marginally acceptable up dogs, but they looked pretty straightbacked I'm afraid. I did a shallow Salabasana, again not as frightful as the other day but still something I'd just as soon not be seen doing. Bhekasana was similarly ugly. Not only was I arching less than I usually do, and I usually can't get much arch, but it felt harder to get my feet down too. I think I was having a generally stiff day, in addition to having to work around a reluctant low back. The two Dhanurasana poses went okay with minimal discomfort. Ustrasana, though, was bad and made me realize the next two poses would bring Tim or his assistant over if they saw me doing them. I was wrong about Laghuvajrasana though. I guess since there's less arch in that pose, a stiff back is somewhat compensated for. Kapotasana was essentially undo-able. I couldn't arch anymore than I would normally do when doing Laghuvajrasana with straight arms, meaning almost no arch. I tried it a second time, hurriedly out of fear of attracting attention, but to no avail. I can't remember if I tried the straight arm part of it before coming up or if I just kind of bailed out and wiggled my way back to a kneeling position. Disheartening given the progress I had perceived in my backbending and in that pose in particular in the last few weeks. I'd even had a couple of people come up to me recently and comment how my backbends weren't anywhere near as bad as they used to be. Actually they phrased it much more nicely than that. They implied that they were actually looking good. I'm just not allowed to say things about myself like that.

After surviving that portion and managing to do it without generating any assists, the last few poses went pretty normally. I wondered how Bakasana B would go. I figured a sore back might come into play when I was approaching touchdown but I did it fine. The Eka Padas were stiffer than normal, not low back but everything else, hips, knees. I think it was just one of those days. Maybe is was the 1/4 bag of Natural Cheetos that I woofed down right before going to bed. Nah, they were Natural Cheetos. Dwi Pada Sirsasana went the same as it has the last few weeks. When trying to get the legs crossed, I was able to get the foot of the right leg hooked over the toe of the first leg but I couldn't get it to slide any further down for the life of me. It was stuck right at the knuckle of the big toe of my left foot. Damn bunion. When Tim re-did me, I felt more scrunched up than usual today too. I held the balance though.

Then came dork time. I did my first three Tittibhasanas okay. I bound, not real deep but I was connected. When I was setting up for the D variation, I had my heels pretty close together and was working on trying to get my shoulders a little closer to being back through past my legs. Next thing I know, I'm falling forward. I guess I leaned too far or wiggled when I should have waggled or something. I frenziedly tried to get my arms back from inside my legs to try and catch my fall. As anyone who has ever tried this pose can probably imagine, getting unwound in time to stop a fall was not happening. I think the actual points of impact were one elbow, the other knee and my head. You couldn't possibly do it more ingloriously if you choreographed it ahead of time. I really wish I could have seen it. I could just read my teacher's mind, "Hmmm, that was interesting. Maybe I should take some poses back from him after all."

The backbends were kept to a minimum. I did one Setu Bandha Sarvangasana and three weak Urdhva Dhanurasanas. I don't think I was able to get my arms straight on the first back bend. By the last one, I was able to straighten my arms but I realized half way through it that I was able to do so only by unconsciously going up on my tip toes. I called it quits there and moved through the closing sequence. Even if I was having a limited range of motion day, I had to be at work in about 45 minutes, so I didn't have time to do any more than that anyway. One excuse is never sufficient. A good slacker always has reserve reasons for why they can't do the necessary work.

In the past, when I've had soreness in this area of the back, it has resolved over a few days to a week. I don't want to push it and make it something more disruptive than it is right now. I don't think I get to practice the rest of the week anyway, maybe on the weekend, so more rest may help.

I need to learn how to do stuff with my hair. I've let it grow a little longer than usual. Now it gets in my face and I have to constantly wipe it away to get it out of my eyes and mouth and stuff. It's a practice distraction that I don't need. I have more than enough of those as it is. The hair is longish but not long. It's barely long enough to tie up in the back, in a style that our governor, Arnold (I used to pose nude for gay men's porn magazines) Schwarzenegger might describe as being "girlie-man". Tying it up does help keep it out of my eyes but then all the sweat runs down right into my face. I also have to take down the whatever it's called, ponytail?, when I do closing because it sits kind of weird when I go back into shoulderstand and stuff like that. It works great in the car though. My hair was starting to really whack me in the eyes when I had the top down. Even if I wore a hat, the hair in the back would reach. To protect my eyes, I had to wear sunglasses too, even at night. Now, though I might look a bit schoolmarm-ish, I can drive with impunity. At work, I normally wear one of those blue hats that they wear in the OR. I wear it all the time though because my hair just looks out of control most of the time. Today, I went without the hat, just my dashing little stallion tail. Everyone made a point of telling me how nice or how pretty my new hair style looked. Our Gynecologic Oncologist passed me in the hall. He did a marvelous job of stifling his laughter. Bunch of troglodytes. Someone did suggest that I try french braids though. I'll have to ask my daughter how to do that.

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