The big bath towel worked like a charm. It absorbed all my sweat and was entirely wet by the time I was done practicing today in the 87 degrees (farenheit) heat and the God-only-knows how high humidity. Practice was sweet. I was focused, I was working hard, I was undistracted, even by my practice. I did spend a bit too much time in Parivritta Parsvakonasana, but I am really, really into twisting right now. And I did get up to steal a bit of cool (relatively speaking) air from the vestibule of the shala between Part I of my practice, as I seem to be delineating it these days (everthing up through Janu Sirsasana C) and Part II of my practice (everything up until Backbends, also known as Urdvha D). But other than that, it was super nice…Mari C and D were REALLY deep, and I am beginning to make it a habit of feeling that internal massage in Mari D, where the foot is really pressed hard into the abdomen as the twist gets deeper. And this was without any adjustment. Come to think of it, I didn’t get even ONE adjustment until Supta Kurmasana. Not a single one. And this, despite that I came EARLY today (a shala mate and I were discussing the possibility of being “punished” for showing up late by not getting adjustments). No, wait. I’m lying. I did get adjusted…in a couple of standing poses!! I had forgotten this completely since I am unaccustomed to getting adjusted in standing poses. But Mark pays amazing attention to detail in the standing poses, and I am reminded that he is giving a workshop at the shala on the standing poses. As he says, “You can’t build upon a shaky foundation” or something like that.
So, guess what? My shoulders are having a bit of trouble in Supta Kurmasana….but here’s the rub: I am beginning to understand what I am really up against here. I had the pleasure of lunching with Ms. Facing Inward today at Candle Cafe, and of course, the discussion came round and round again to Ashtanga, and in particular, to challenges facing girls who have breasts that won’t quit, literally. If only I could draw like Sweaty Brain, I could show you with a simple line drawing how the little domes sitting high up on my chest hold me suspended about two inches off the floor in Kurmasana, and how when I reach my arms around behind my back in Supta Kurmasana, my shoulders are completely ungrounded and basically fall forward to support me…thus using gravity against me and making the bind a near (or possibly complete) impossibility.
Now, I could talk to Sir or Mark about this problem, perhaps see if this will get me out of the duty to bind in Supta K before moving onto the next pose. Or perhaps see if I can get a note from Guruji to get out of Supta K (thank you Anonymous Shala X-mate, once again for the brilliant idea) on this basis. But the thing is, the problem will only come back to haunt me in later postures…Yoga Nidrasana for sure, if not sooner, assuming I can ever get that far, and yeah, I guess I am assuming I can, although Pasasana would be quite the roadblock with those non-movable little boobies in the way of my twisting.
But this reminds me: I overcame the obstacle of the boobs in Mari C and Mari D. I simply push them out of the way and twist past them. In fact, Mari C and D are quite a bit easier for me than Mari B most of the time, and I attribute this to the fact that I had to learn to twist even FURTHER in order to surpass the whole boob roadblock.
And thus, I am inspired to overcome the problem again in Supta K, even if it takes me years. I am wondering, however, if it might be helpful for me to shoulders with a blanket under each one, like the way vinyasa students sometimes support their bent-knee hip with a blanket in order to ultimately go deeper. THIS is something that I would consider discussing with Mark. Perhaps tomorrow if I have the guts.