Saturday, May 12, 2007

Shot My Wad

Have to write something. Too much yoga to not say anything. Four days now. Mysore the last three and the Saturday morning Improv this morning. Tomorrow, my first go at full second since maybe last summer. I don't remember when I last tried it. I might even have a chance to practice Monday morning. As Tim said to me when I left class Wednesday, it seems like I'm moving out of a long term retrograde.

After Wednesday's full spread of postures, on Thursday I figured I wouldn't be full speed, so I did second only (with research). I don't remember much about that class except that I did not have much in my middle. In my preceding practices, I had been feeling incrementally stronger on my attempts at lifting up to vinyasa back. Half the time, I had been getting my feet to or almost thru my hands before they hit. Not on Thursday though. Just couldn't get it up. I had a hard time holding up my Pincha Mayurasana too. Must have tried to do Karandavasana five or six times before I ever got as far as trying to lower. Kept unbalancing one way or another. I tried, but the control wasn't there. The day before, my shoulders felt rock stable. On Thursday, I was Mr. Weeble. No Sthira. No Sukha either.

I had plenty of time Friday morning, I didn't have to be in to help at work until 10:30. I went to the studio early again, warming up to the breath of the pranayama group. I was figuring I'd be too tired again to do much, so I planned on doing First and then see where I was at. I got within a toenail of slipping my left foot under my right in Supta K, but the right wouldn't have it yet. No one came by to do me the rest of the way, so I just laid there, feeling like a squashed cockroach. Lest I make it all out to sound like incompetence, it does feel like I'm getting most of the poses back.

As I neared the end of First, I got something of a second wind. I decided to go ahead with the first half of second and then, if I had time and energy, I could do the Eka Padas, or whatever else I felt up to. I usually regret going on to do second once I start to do Pasasana. That pose can really be an energy suck. That and Salabasana. I just don't want to work that hard that early in the sequence. So, I cheat and minimize my holds in one or the other of them. Or both.

I did have a good backbending day. My initial Kapotasana, I got to something like mid foot, maybe as far as the bone that sticks out at the base of the little toe. After doing that Kapotasana, I usually take one of two forks. If I'm out of time, energy or motivation, I usually either quit right there or do the next three poses and then close. If I'm still feeling strong, I have a sequence of research poses I do that work my shoulders and groins and then my back. I can usually tell by the research what the final Kapotasana is going to be like. On Friday, in a couple of the research poses, I was hitting new highs. Given that, I was hoping to maybe get to that holy grail of backbending, the heels in kapotasana. I've been pulled into it once, getting a finger or two over each heel. I didn't want to pulled into it. That doesn't count. I wanted to get over my heels on my own. I think I got close but my finger was just up to the curve, not really around or over the heel. I tried one more time on my own but only got to the base of the heel. I let my head come down too soon and couldn't get my hands far enough up my feet to allow me to walk them in the rest of the way. Not willing to let it go, I nodded to Andrew, Tim's assistant, asking him to come over and do his thing. I had my hands in pretty deep when he took over and he easily got me the rest of the way. Usually, when I get pulled into it, it's at the extreme edge of what I feel I can tolerate. This time, I was at ease. it felt like when the instructors each get on one end of you and both pull you in opposite directions, what they call the wishbone. It feels remarkably good. That's how this felt. No straining, easy breathing. My elbows were all the way down. Even the B portion felt easy. But after those four attempts, I was ..., depleted. After each of the backbends in second, we normally do an "ashtau up" vinyasa, doing something along the lines of a tuck or full handstand, then dropping down to chaturanga. I came up from Kapo B and just sat there on my heels for a minute. I didn't think I could get up off of the ground. There was just nothing there. I managed to do the next couple of poses, but decided after a few futile attempts at Bakasana B to hang it up and enjoy the fruits of the day.

Today's Improv class was a nice recovery. She had us do a fair amount of core work, but nothing that drained me. I clearly over did some things earlier this week, but when I get positive practice reinforcement like I did this week, I tend to push it. Ruled by the id. Hopefully, the mojo will be back for tomorrow.

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