No practice today. I did go yesterday. That made it six in a row. Just like the big kids do every week. I opted to just do first series. Mostly, I was being lazy. I could have gone on to do second. I finished first series and still had about 50 minutes to go. I had worked the night before though and just didn't feel like doing everything. I decided to use the remaining time and energy to work on back bending.
After each back bend, I made myself walk it in further. After the first couple of hand shifts, I had to start lifting my heels to be able to get the hands in closer. I could eventually get the heels back down. To do so, I had to really lift up through my shoulders. It's was getting pretty edgy by number 6 though. I don't think I was able to get the heels down on that one and there was a lot of compression building in my lumbar area. I wanted to know how close/far my hands were from my heels. I can't see my heels, so I can only presume. It "feels" like they'd be close but that kind of thing is usually wishful thinking. Prior to that last attempt, I checked to see where on my mysore rug my feet were positioned. When I did the back bend, I looked to see where my hands were (I have a striped rug, so I can use the different colored stripes to mark where I end up). They were about a foot apart I guess.
Sensing that was as far as I was going to get on my own, I did the unassisted stand ups and drop backs then had the teacher help with the assisted variety. I usually don't do the assisted ones, primarily due to sloth but also because I haven't felt they would add much to what I was doing on my own. When I did them yesterday, I felt as loose there as I ever have. After the last drop back, I tried to move my hands in more, hoping the teacher would get the hint that I was trying to get in position to go for an ankle. I had to lift way up on my toes. The teacher said, "You're getting really close" but did not try to get me in the rest of the way. That told me I wasn't really that close. When I came up, I asked him how close I was. He held his fingers about a foot apart. Crap. I was hoping for a few inches.
In reading some blogs, I've learned that there are those who can grab their ankles in back bending but who don't claim to have a great kapotasana. I've even seen a few people who had what I initially thought were very flat back bends be pulled in to their ankles. Given that, I understood that ankle grabbing from urdhva dhanurasana does not carry having an incredibly bendy back as a pre-requisite. I figured if I could be pulled in to my ankles in Kapotasana, surely I could get my ankles from backbend too. Not yet anyway.
I was able to get my supta K. Sort of. I usually bind my hands first, then go for the ankle cross. I guess I was so worked up about getting that left foot under the right that I totally forgot to do the hand binding. I got the feet in, mentally thought to myself, "Yeah!", then realized my hands were lying loosely on the floor. I tried to get them together but there was no way. So, I had to uncross my feet and go back and do the hands first. By that time, the teacher was there and I guess he presumed I was incapable, so he grabbed my hands and pulled them in to bind. I couldn't really just let go and then rebind on my own, so I kept them together and tried again to get the feet crossed. I did get my left toe under, just the toe but that's enough to count. Given the hand assist, technically I still haven't gotten it on my own though.
The whole practice felt much more like the one I had last Wednesday, lots of ease. Most of the poses were on. When I did the Samakonasana and Hanumanasana sequence that we do after the Prasaritas (samakonasana, hanumanasana right side, samakonasana, hanumanasana left side, samakonasana), I got pretty close for me on Samakonasana. I was able to touch down on both sides in Hanumanasana. Usually I can get down on the left but the right is still very fearful for me. It always will be. I hurt my hamstring doing Hanumanasana on that side at a time when I had been getting all the way down and even folding forward without too much in the way of histrionics. Losing some of the fear definitely makes the whole practice more peaceful. It's been a while since I had that post-practice calmness. Still no euphoria, but I'll take the calm.
Had to work early today and I am on tonight, so no practice for a while. Tomorrow's screwed secondary to voodoo. I might have a chance to go on Thursday and/or Friday though. This is starting to add up, $15 a shot. I wonder if I can convert to a monthly rate for this month. Then I could go the rest of the month for free. Or maybe that would jinx me. Maybe I should just keep paying the daily rate and keep doing first series and I'll get to practice as much as normal people.