Righto!

June 29, 2008

As in, right toe. As in, I caught my right toe yesterday in Kapotasana. Myself. Will wonders never cease?

Granted, I had to contort myself far beyond what is normally acceptable in Kapotasana. Then again, I did not have to contort myself beyond what the Good Doctor would do – a kind of spinal twisty backbendy grab with elbows akimbo.

Still, the bind was made.

The left side is not happening as easily. Not sure why the right side (the scarrier side) is yielding faster than the left. Not sure it matters why.

I am definitely sick of talking about the finer points of asana. If you do it over and over, you will yield, that much I am sure of.

Today, I practiced Primary, as has been my patter of late: skip Wednesday, practice Thursday and Friday full practice up to Eka Pada or beyond, depending on where I am (if I am alone, I might do all of the leg-behind-head poses, or if I am with the Good Doctor, apparently, I am going to be allowed to do this as well, along with Pincha Mayurasana, but this remains to be seen starting on Monday at New York Yoga), and then Saturday, pretend it’s Friday and do Primary only.

Without particularly rushing it, and without checking my watch during it, I did the entire practice including Savasana in 61 minutes. This is significant because it means that I am not pausing between breaths, and I am not agonizing over postures. It used to be that I would look at Mari C and D and Supta Kurmasana with a mixture of excitement and dread. Now, I just do them. Not too much thought, even with the gimpy toe. The thought seems to revolve around how not to squish the toe. Not much other thought going on. At least not today.

Backbending was fine. Not as quick to yield today as yesterday, with all of the Second Series backbending poses as a prelude. But by the fifth or sixth (not doing dropbacks because of the toe, so I am doing six press-ups instead), I felt all bendy in my front body, all yieldy and comfy. I like that.

Something I have sort of kind of been thinking about lately is DZM’s video of walking her hands in. I apologize for not providing the link, but I imagine you all know where to find it. The issue she posed and which was addressed in the comments was whether it’s okay to let the heels come up as the hands walk in. I have been observing myself as I walk my hands in, and I have decided that as soon as my heels need to come up, that is when I need to STOP walking my hands in and just BE there. Once the heels come up, I find that I am just MOVING the backbend into my knees. So, what’s the point then? If I want to work on opening the front body and bending my back more, then I need to not allow all the work to start migrating into the flexibility of my feet and my knees.

What I HAVE been experimenting with is taking one hand off the floor entirely and resting it on my hipbone, thus moving MORE of the work into the hand that remains on the floor. This seems to stretch the chest even more. Then I do it on the other side. It feels great. What do you call that? Eka Hasta Urdhva Dhanurasana?

I am really loving the backbending this week. Can a broken toe really make the back more flexy?

Or is it just summer?

YC

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And, she’s back.

June 28, 2008

I. Can’t. Stop. Blogging.

It’s like I’ve been horribly constipated for weeks now, and I took a Creativity Ex-Lax, and now all the crap is issuing forth.

Why?

Because my kids left for camp today.

It’s been a rough, rough June for me. The city aint got nothin’ on Armonk when it comes to putting parents through the ringer in the final month of school. Between the regularly scheduled lacrosse and baseball games and the make-up games for when regularly scheduled games got rained out, between end-of-school parties and summer-birthday birthday parties and “Field Day” and Moving Up Ceremonies and squeezing in the last of the six required Shabbat Services at the temple, and everyone inviting us over to swim in their pool (poor, woeful us) at the rate of sometimes as many as four playdates in a day (both kids included)…and add to that all of the driving, oh and it is significant here where our school district spans more than 10 miles of country roads that take as much as 25 minutes to traverse….it has been insane, and I haven’t had much left in the way of creativity.

This morning, I awoke with the sun with an idea bursting forth, which I wrote up for the Huffington. Still in editorial right now. But I banged it out between dawn and 9:30 a.m., when I took my kids first to Dunkin Donuts and then to the White Plains Bloomingdales parking lot, where the coach buses pick up the Westchester and Connecticut kids to take them to camp.

Came home and crawled into bed. Not surprising since I did the same thing last year. With a house that looks like a cyclone hit it, a gas grill that needs assembling, a yoga practice to practice, I felt overwhelmed. Not to mention vaguely depressed at the sight and sound (lack thereof) of any empty house. In between bouts of disordered sleep, I skimmed the paper and wrote the thing about the fat model.

At some point late in the afternoon, I forced myself onto my mat. Of course, I felt transformed, and the bad mood lifted. I went into action immediately thereafter, cleaning and tidying and making the house into the quiet oasis that makes it so worth it to be here pretty much alone all summer long.

And I read some more.

And I felt like writing more.

And so there it is. And some more as well:

Anyone read about the Supreme Court’s death penalty decision this week? It seems that it the SC held that it is unconstitutional for a state to impose the death penalty upon a convicted child-rapist. That’s fine by me. I’m not a fan of the death penalty. No, wait. That’s an understatement. I actually think that the death penalty is barbaric.

But here’s the thing: Notwithstanding the Court’s refusal to allow the death penalty in the case at bar, the Court’s decision is decidedly PRO-Death Penalty. At least according to the accounts of the case that I read today, it seems that the Court does not feel that it is appropriate to impose the death penalty unless the crime in question involved death. In other words, the death penalty is FINE in some cases. Just not this one.

And then there’s this: the Court refused to address any death-penalty precedent for which a case had not been tried in the past, I believe it was 45 years. In other words, the Court limited its precedent-setting ruling to cases in which someone had been sentenced to death in recent history. Thus, the Court essentially ruled on people that were already dead, and refused to rule on situations that might arise in the future where the death penalty might be imposed.

All in all, quite Kangaroo-Court-ish to me.

Off I go to clean some more.

YC


If you’re fat, then what am I?

June 27, 2008

Bitch is fat. Anyone can see that. Now, if only she could curb her appetite enough to look a little bit more like this one, maybe she could actually take her modeling career to that next level.

Right?

(crickets chirp)

(more crickets chirp)

Um, right, Brazil? What’s that you say?

(throat clearing)

(more throat clearing)

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

YC


Broken Foot* ( *Toe)

June 27, 2008

Is it a rite of passage in Ashtanga to break a foot (or a toe) jumping through?

If so, I am a woman now.

Yes, yesterday, I caught my pinky toe on the sticky, tacky rubberized eco-Manduka. Damn eco-friendly rubber. It was all well and good until I laid a beach towel over the damn thing to roll around in Garba Pindasana, and then moved the towel off the mat for Setu Bandasana. When I jumped through, I was expecting the mat to be as slippery as it was before. Well, damn, if rubber doesn’t wipe up fast. It was as dry as dust, and as sticky as, well, as rubber can be. And it caught my lazy right toe as I tried to skim it through on the jump through.

Twang.

What?

Oooooh! CRAP!

NO, this cannot be happening the day before my kids leave for camp, also known as the day I begin to do whatever I want whenever I want for however long that I want.

Ah, but it did happen.

Nevertheless, I finished my practice, and even had a pretty delightful, albeit cautious practice (never has my chest been as open in backbending as when I’m fixated on not letting my pinky toe touch the ground), which left out Bakasana B (I just did A twice), which involved no further jumping of any kind and no dropbacks. But my backbends were so delightful, so open in the chest, that I did about six from the floor, each one held longer than the last, until I was up to about 15 breaths. That is definitely a record for me.

Not that we keep track of such things in yoga.

No.

Came home, went about my business for a little bit, soon decided to go to the Rexall for some tape so that my toe wouldn’t be hanging off of my foot, which kind of exacerbated the pain, and my pharmacist took one look at me, shoeless, breathless, a bit disheveled and said, “Get yourself to Northern Westchester Hospital, NOW.”

I argued with him: I don’t wanna get an X-Ray. I don’t wanna wait to be seen. I don’t wanna be told I have to stay off my foot.

Needless to say, I lost the argument, and off I went. An hour later, I had a splint and a pair of crutches.

I will be at practice on Monday though. New York Yoga with the Good Doctor. Broken toe be damned.

YC


Obam-asana: Three Essential Yoga Poses for Michelle Obama

June 24, 2008


What are the three essential yoga poses that Michelle Obama must practice if she wants that “re-introduction” to the American voter for which she seems to be jonesing (see, e.g., The View)?

Read my story on
The Huffington Post, and find out…

Obam-asana, ya’all!

YC


Sticking my neck out

June 23, 2008

Ow. Ow. Ow. Eka Pada feels really good, except the next day when my neck feels the strain of having a leg pressing against it and my ass muscles feel all stretched out.

Wednesday: off.
Thursday: full practice
Friday; primary day
Saturday: full practice and then some – added everything up to mayurasana, left out karanda, of course.
Sunday: ouch. Five surya a, some stretching, and then nada. Too tired, too achey. Fell asleep midafternoon sitting up on the sofa, proofing some non-blog writing.

So, today is officially saturday. Tomorrow begins a new week.

YC


Weird, non-Ashtanga Ashtanga practice

June 17, 2008

Met S in the city for a home practice. Easier to do a home practice in someone else’s home, especially when that home is a condo with a gym and yoga room in the building. Halfway through standing series, I found myself dreading the tedium of my ridiculously (but usually gloriously) long practice, and so, S, contributing to the delinquency of an ashtangini, suggested that I do Second. As in skip Primary and go straight to Second. I am not sure if it was her idea or mine, but it quickly became clear that I was going to do ALL of Second.

And, so I did.

But I also added in the Marichyasanas after Ardha Matsyandrasana (my new yummy pose) because I really really really felt at loose ends about practicing Pasasana “cold” with no Marichyasanas to get me ready. And so I backtracked to Mari A and went through to Supta Kurmasana before hitting Eka Pada.

S was flabbergasted when she came back to the room after picking up her son an I still hadn’t done Eka Pada. I explained that I really, really wanted her to see my Eka Pada. Then I went straight through to the Seven Headstands, although I forgot one – the one where the forearms are on the floor. S helped me with the first half of Karandavasana. Then I just sank to the ground. I had no desire to even attempt it. Plus, I feared that S would get a hernia – she just had a baby less than a year ago, after all.

Tomorrow, I go to the CT Shala, having spoken to Val and having cleared my practicing my entire practice (ONLY up to Eka Pada) with her. I won’t be able to see the Good Doc at New York Yoga until my kids leave for camp, although I am going to try to work out some mid-morning semi-privates. But until then, it’s piecemeal. And I will be the only constant, so I better up the discipline, by which I mean, the discipline to do my practice and not MORE than my practice. And the discipline to do my practice in under two hours an before noon.

I should be able to do that. Right? RIGHT?

YC