Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A little (gassy) practice report

Did full primary and second up to pincha mayurasana this morning. I felt rather heavy at the beginning of practice. Surya A and the first couple of Surya Bs felt heavy and sluggish. Probably ate too much last night. I had one baked potato too many, and too many salt-and-cracked-pepper potato chips. Many people have a sweet tooth, but I have a chip tooth :-)

The heaviness went away somewhere during the standing postures, only to be replaced by gassiness (I believe the medical term for this is flatulence?). This is one of those times when I'm so glad that I'm practicing alone. In such a state, postures that put extra pressure on the abdomen (all those half-lotus postures in primary) or wide-legged forward bends are triggers for spontaneous emissions. It would be so embarrassing if I were practicing in a shala... There's not that much that can be done about this, except to let whatever needs to come out come out. Some wise guy once said, "There's more space outside than in." Well said, well said...

Other than the gassiness and spontaneous emissions, primary went very smoothly. Second went smoothly too. I've decided to begin cautiously challenging my comfort zone. Instead of stopping at Supta Vajrasana or Ardha Matsyendrasana, as I've been doing for the last few months, I decided to go on to the leg-behind-head postures, keeping in mind Susan's advice to do the postures slowly and with awareness, trying to create space across the hips and lower back so that the sacrum can float comfortably and not get compressed or dislocated. The leg-behind-head postures today were not great (certainly no epiphanies), but they weren't bad either. The other day (see my previous practice report), I thought that it was my left SI joint that felt something in the second side of ekapada sirsasana. Today, I tried to feel that sensation more carefully as I went into the second side. It turns out that the sensation is actually somewhere in the region of the external hip rotator/hamstring attachment. Hmm... if it is the external hip rotator, it's probably a good thing (means the hip is trying to open up). If it is the hamstring attachment, then I need to be careful, as this is where many hamstring injuries tend to occur.

Did the standard leg-behind-head vinyasa out of ekapada, and went on to Dwipada Sirsasana. Dwipada felt good. Surprisingly, it felt better and more open than ekapada. Ekapada probably did a lot of work opening my hips. Yoganidrasana felt okay, except that when I looked at my chest in the posture, I noticed that more of my left chest came through my legs than my right chest. Hmm... an imbalance to work on here? Tittibhasana and pincha felt good.

I'm going to stick to just talking about my practice today. No vampire stories. Got to prepare for class now. May the Force (can vampires become Jedis? Hmm...) be with you.


  1. I'm not able to put my leg behind my head yet, or at least, keep my foot there and not have it pop right back out. Trying to develop enough back strength for the day to come. No epiphanies for you? I'm kind of hoping for one when the pose finally happens for me...

  2. @Yyogini, "I'm not able to put my leg behind my head yet, or at least, keep my foot there and not have it pop right back out."

    This sounds like you've actually tried putting you leg behind your head (but it popped right back out). Is this true? If so, then maybe you are quite close to putting your leg behind your leg, after all. Working on those hip-openers and forward bends in primary is very useful for preparing leg-behind-head. Supta Kurmasana is also very good for this purpose.

    No, no epiphanies in this area so far. It's probably just how I'm wired, as Grimmly would say :-)

  3. What a coincidence! I wrote an entire blog entry about supta kurmasana. It's about the bind not about the feet over the head though. I'm not really in a hurry to get the latter to happen.

    Definitely working on those forward bends.. I don't understand why they make me so happy. Who needs a new iPhone or Xbox or a new dress or whatever when I can just do forward bends? :P

  4. Yyogini, I just read your blog entry. It's very hilarious and honest. I really enjoyed it.

    "Who needs a new iPhone or Xbox or a new dress or whatever when I can just do forward bends? :P"

    Couldn't agree more! :-)