Sundays are always a bit dicey for me. It’s hard to take Saturday off and come back on Sunday feeling soft and bendy (moondays present the same problem, of course). But somehow today was quite nice. I got to practice about as late as I possibly could (procrastination) without totally missing out on Petri’s adjustments. Nevertheless, by the time I got to Kurmasana, he was already out of the room.

So, there I sweated and struggled, not minding it really. I like do take a lot of time in Kurmasana. So either way, teacher or no teacher, adjustment or no adjustment, it’s a win. But today, I got the extra bonus: after flattening out on my own in Kurmasana and starting to attempt Supta Kurma on my own, Petri appeared behind me, pressing on my back to bring my chest to the floor while instructing me to straighten my legs.

My mantra was, “I’m not even here.”

And it seemed to work. I felt like a wet noodle as he wrapped my arms behind my back, and I easily latched hands.

Then the real miracle happened. In the instant between Petri letting go of my hands and moving to bring my ankles together, I heard myself saying in a not-even-strained voice: let’s just skip the legs today.

And so, I stayed there, hands solidly bound, feet touching but not crossed, for a solid, delicious, victorious eight long breaths. No pain. No agonizing sense of slipping from the edge of a cliff as my legs pulled my hands apart. Just a solid hand bind, without striving for anything more. It seems to make so much sense; the ankles crossing is a non-issue for me. It’s always been the bind. It’s always been the chest that needs to open. So, why undo the progress by crossing the ankles, rather than enjoying the bind and allowing my muscles and joints to develop some kinesthetic memory of what it feels like to hold those hands together?

It was a rare moment of the exercise of moderation on my part. And whenever my mind goes back to it, I smile.



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