Sultry and sunny it was, and it was the first time in a long time that I had to ask my body to gear up for the fourth day in a row of practice. (It’s been a long winter of on-and-off slacking.)
I told myself, just 10 Sun Salutations, but even so, I knew that on such a deliriously perfect-for-practice-al-fresco-day, once I started, I would have to do the whole thing, which is exactly what happened. In fact, I had just finished Primary when it was time to take Adam to baseball practice. When I came home, I did five Surya A’s and launched into Second.
I wonder if my shoulders will ever soften sufficiently for me to take both my toes in Kapotasana. Or if not my shoulders, then perhaps my back will bend enough so that it doesn’t matter about my shoulders. Or if not my back, then perhaps my hip flexors or quads will release enough to make up for any lack of mobility in my shoulders or back. That’s how it works, after all. That’s why I believe that I have to be a certain level of thin in order to bind without assistance in Supta Kurmasana: what I lack in shoulder-rotation flexibility and openness of the hips, I make up for by having less girth to get around. And conversely, it’s why no level of thinness will help me back bend better. In fact, for some odd reason, the thinner I am, the more difficult backbending seems to be. But I don’t know if that is purely correlational as opposed to causal.
I think I’m in a space, currently, where I don’t much care, where I have nothing really invested in, how much progress I make in my backbends. I do wish that I could eliminate all wrist discomfort in the pressing-up, and I do wish that I didn’t feel dread about Kapotasana. And I do wish that Ustrasana – a proper, thighs perpendicular to the floor version – came without angst and ouch. But it’s not about wanting to DO the poses so much as it is about wanting to feel good when practicing. I think.
Yesterday, as I easily caught my toes in baddha padmasana< I realized that I never "worked" on going from not touching my toes to touching my toes to fingernail bind on my toes to really gripping my toes. And I wondered if someday, Kapotasana, maybe all backbending, would come to me in the same way. Slowly, gradually, eventually. Using the analogy, the key would be not engaging in posture-angst: just doing the backbending practice and letting the changes happen, or not, as the case may be.
All this talk about it makes it sound like I am, in fact, QUITE invested. But I’m just naval gazing. Because it’s a lazy Saturday, and I’m in between All Star baseball games and Home Run Derbies and hot dogs and cotton candy runs at the Armonk Memorial Day Baseball Classic (which puts me in the mindset of small-town America. Reminds me of the sweet little town to which Julia Roberts’ character fled in While You Were Sleeping, when I’m not putting myself in the mindset of yoga and thinking about yoga and thinking about thinking about yoga).
Today would be Day 5 except (1) it is Saturday and aren’t I supposed to have Saturdays off? and (2) it’s under 70 degrees outside. So, maybe I won’t practice? Or maybe I will. More likely, I will. But indoors, blech. No expectations, just getting to the mat.
What I would like to do this summer, starting when my kids leave for camp on June 26 is do my own version of a yoga boot camp. Me, my back porch and the sun. Wake up in the morning, have a yogurt and a coffee, walk around my property and putter a bit, maybe water the containers, maybe water the woodland garden, since the sprinkler system doesn’t reach back there, then take a bath, do my practice. Shower, maybe see a friend, relax. Then later on, maybe in the heat of the day, go back to do some backbending. Then either gardening or a walk in the woods. I guess I’m planning on a very quiet, mellow summer, unlike last summer, when I awoke at the crack of freakin’ dawn, got my ass to the city and practiced with the Good Doctor. It was exhausting. Fun but exhausting. This summer, I want a more mellow, relaxed experience.
OK, back to the ballparks.