The Backbending Gods and I are on a bit of a time out

I am not very pleased with the gifts they have bestowed upon me. That’s all I’m sayin’.

Pasasana looks fun. And that’s all I’m sayin’ about that because that’s the extent of my interest in ever being “given” it. It just looks like fun. And I like to do fun things sometimes.

Course, what’s the sense in running hard into the wall that is Kapotasana? I’m not a big believer in the notion that Primary Series has a lifetime of lessons for the practitioner, as astute and experienced as those espousing that notion to me are (hi, Julie and Vanessa!). On the other hand, I do not disbelieve it! It’s just that Pasasana, no, make that all of Second Series, other than what appears to be the hell of Kapotasana, looks like fun. And like I said, I like to have fun.

Is that so wrong?

When I was training for the marathon, nobody told me I couldn’t run it just because I hadn’t been a long-distance runner for long enough, or because I ought to enjoy the lifetime of lessons contained in 10K races. I just decided to take it on, and I did what it took, and I did it pretty well (finished in under four hours the second time I did it, which put me well ahead of the pack and in something like the top 15 percent of all women running it). And I had fun doing it.

THAT said, I was at Val Schneiderman’s The Yoga Shala in Georgetown Connecticut today, where practice begins at 8 and extends until 11 (another big yay for me while I wait for Shala X to extend its hours so that I can make it there after my kids get picked up by the school bus), and she had a great quote upon her white board by none other than Eddie Stern. I can’t recall the exact wording, but the gist of it was something like this:

Practicing to exhaustion is counterproductive. It is better for the student to practice at no more than 75 or 80 percent of effort. To do otherwise will lead to burnout.

I TOTALLY get that. And by the time I get to the finishing sequence, I am pretty much at 100 percent, regardless of the fact that I am so deep in Paschimo and Janu A and B that I can literally bite eat my toes. So, yeeh, I can see where I might not need to add anything anytime soon and learn to focus on the dreaded backbends before adding another pose, which will only lead to wanting and adding another and another and another. And what’s the rush?

It’s taken me four years to go from where I was at the first time I heard Govinda Kai (then, Russell Kai Yamaguchi) call out “Samastithi” (couldn’t touch my toes in any of Primary, let alone grab forearms, couldn’t bind in Mari A, couldn’t fathom lifting up in Uth Pluthi and thought Russell was kidding) to where I am now. What’s another four?

May there be another for, she says, as she takes note of the fact that on September 17, 2007, it will be exactly five years of breast cancer survival. Kinehura, puh puh puh.

And now, a video submitted to me by my asana-ing cousin, Debpc, who knows where to find South Africa on a map, to say the least:

YC

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