Saturday, March 24, 2012

Spring Breakthrough

If you have been reading my posts for a while, you may have caught on that I have a kind of white whale relationship with pasasana.  I would never say that I hate the pose.  Once in it, I very much enjoy the opening it gives the in chest and shoulders.  On the right side, I get the delicious "pop" in the hip. 

But getting into it would be the issue.  I once described my problem to a non-yoga friend: long muscular legs (especially muscular thighs) and abnormally short arms (I know everyone says that, but it's true) coupled with an old biking injury in the left shoulder-ish area.  He said "oh, you're like a tyrannosaurus!"

image from National Geographic

 One of these days I'll post a photo of me in the pose to see if you agree.

My teacher is very good at stepping in and squeezing the arms towards each other for the bind.  On occasion, I have been able to walk my hands down a towel and touch my own fingertips.  But in the six years since I received the pose, I have never touched my own fingertips without a towel or an assist...until Wednesday!

Oh the joyful shock of feeling my fingertips graze each other!

I can think of several things that may have helped with this opening:

Pinchamayurasana and Karandavasana are building awareness in the shoulders
Binding in backbending is opening the shoulders and chest
Weekly assist in Kurmasana (I've only recently been able to hold the bind)
Frequent assist in tititbasana C to bind
The seasonal cleanse cleared out a lot of gunk

Bhakasana B is also returning at irregular intervals after a three year hiatus.

In all, it's been a great week for the asana practice.

I'm making it a goal to start writing more about the other aspects of the practice.  They are as important to me, if not more so, but I find it difficult to articulate my thoughts on more esoteric subjects.   Be on the lookout for these posts over the coming weeks.

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