Sure, I’m using belts to pull my hands in. But at the moment, the belts are my teacher since the kids have come home from camp, and I am now “grounded” (happily, to be honest).
I got the idea to use belts from Donut Zen Mom’s use of ropes. Hers were attached to her wall. Mine are secured around the balls of my feet. I couldn’t see myself being able to walk my hands in the way DZM does. But I could see myself being able to hold onto a belt and rotate my arms into place as I show in this video:
I know it’s not Ashtanga if you use props. But props plus my own personal intuition-based playbook of R&D is the way I have learned EVERY single pose with which I have struggled. Sure, teachers put me in those poses. But to learn to do it myself, this has always been the only way.
I never thought I would get even CLOSE to this approximation of Kapotasana. And it hasn’t even been six months. I am feeling optimistic that barring some “unforseen horrible”, I will one day be able to take Kapotasana by myself, without props.
Unfortunately, my Supta Kurmasana has been suffering a bit – I am not as easily putting myself into it these days. Not sure if it is the angle at which I am placing my legs, which would be a function of learning Eka Pada. Or if it is my emphasis on backbending lately. Or maybe it’s just having lots and lots of Diet Snapple in my tummy – it’s summer, and I have been drinking so so so much lately, sometimes as much as 50 ounces before getting to the mat.
No trouble getting into Supta K when someone else puts me in it, whether it’s the Good Doc, one of my fellow students or the Husband (on the rare occasion when I can coerce him into helping me). So, not sure what the problem is. But I hope it goes away soon.
Pasasana is steadily, but slowly, improving. I can reliably bind it on my own at home. Never in the shala. Not sure why that is. Maybe it’s because sometimes I have to try a few times before succeeding, and I never get the chance at the shala. What is it with that pose? Why is it even THERE?
Eka Pada is going to be a LOOOOOOOOOOOONG time coming. And I don’t care. I really don’t care at all. I enjoyed it initially because it took the pressure off the Kapotasana. And now that Kapotasana is coming along, and my standing-up is improving as well, I feel less obsessed with Eka Pada. So, my leg won’t stay behind my head. It will eventually. The hip sockets simply need to soften up so that the leg doesn’t cry out to jump out from behind my head. When it can relax itself right above my shoulders, then it will stay on its own, and nothing anyone does is going to make that happen. It just will happen when it happens.
What else, let’s see…
I have been bike riding again, finally. When my kids came home, I wanted to bike again – hadn’t biked all summer, maybe due to the heat, maybe due to the fact that I had been spending so much of my energy on the garden. So we have twice explored the North County Trail, a no-cars-allowed (for the most part) trail that runs up through Westchester County starting halfway up (the South County Trail connects it to New York City). I’d like to continue riding through Thanksgiving, like I did last year. It feels nice to do be outdoors, it feels nice to push the pedals, and it seems as if strengthening my legs in this non-yoga way might be good for my drop-backs and stand-ups. Well, it has been for the past two days at least.
I really like having my kids home. They ground me. And I am in need of that.