Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Practice report, faith in arm balances

Practice was good this morning. Did full primary and second up to pincha mayurasana. My arms (especially the triceps) feel pleasantly sore now. It's probably because I have been paying more attention to jumping into arm balances, especially Bhujapidasana. It's only in the last couple of weeks that I have finally mastered the art of consistently jumping/floating straight into Bhujapidasana from downdog without touching my feet to the ground. It's kind of funny when I think about it: I've always had problems jumping straight into Bhuja P, even though I have been jumping/floating straight into other arm balances like Bakasana and Astavakrasana from downdog for years (For the record: I don't do third series, but I sometimes fool around with Astavakrasana :-)).

Then again, maybe it's not so funny. When I think about it a little more, the reason for this discrepancy is actually quite obvious. What it comes down to is a certain lack of faith. In order to successfully jump straight into Bhuja P, there is a moment in the jump through when one needs to extend the legs a little in order to hook them around the upper arms. I've always had this mental block about this extending/hooking movement. One needs to have some faith that one's arm, leg, and lower back muscles will be strong and coordinated enough to pull this movement off. And up till about two weeks ago, I didn't really have this faith.

So what caused the change? What caused me to suddenly have this faith in my arm, leg, and lower back muscles? I don't know, really. There wasn't any aha! moment of epiphany. I only remember telling myself during one practice two weeks ago, when it came time to go into Bhuja P, "You really should try jumping and hooking your legs around without touching the ground. You can do it." I tried, and did it. But then again, I had been telling myself this same thing for the last few years, and this time didn't seem any different; at least, there was no difference that I was consciously aware of. So, what gives? I don't know. This is one of these enduring everyday mysteries of the mind/body.

1 comment:

  1. I also voted NO. I find Ashtanga simply too hard at my age (69). I see the general population getting older; hence, a falloff in the number of people doing this rigorous practice. However, I see this aging population moving to a more gentler form of yoga in the future.
    Ralph from DeKalb