Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Practice Report: Landed the Duck!

[Image taken from here]

This morning, I succeeded, for the first time in recorded history, to land my lotus on my upper arms in Karandavasava without an assist, and hold it there for a full five breaths. To be sure, the lotus was perched only slightly above the elbows: I understand that in the ideal expression of the posture, the lotus should be closer to the armpits. But I am quite happy with what I did this morning, and will continue to work on getting the lotus higher up the arms.

The next thing to work on is going back up. When I tried to go back up this morning, it felt as if there were a giant rock weighing me down. Well, actually, to be more precise, it felt like there was simply no place for me to exert the leverage needed to move my lower body away from my upper arms (which probably comes down to the same thing, in absolutely physical terms...) So I basically just aborted the mission, lowered myself down to a seated lotus, and exited the posture.

From watching Kino's video again (see my previous post), it seems that there are a couple of things that can help with going back up:

(1) Landing the lotus closer to the armpits.

(2) Bringing the knees towards the chest, and the hips forward.

In addition, Kino suggests that bringing the head to the ground in the beginning is also helpful. I'll work on all these tomorrow. In the meantime, if any of you out there have any tips on going back up, please feel free to share. 


  1. Congrats! Not that I am anywhere close to this pose yet. Can you go back up from headstand base formation? Easier to play with than from forearm stand.

  2. Thanks Yyogini. Yes, it is quite definitely easier to go back up from headstand than from Pincha Mayurasana (although I do not know for sure, since I always go into it from Pincha). In order to do this, though, I will have to enter the posture from headstand in the first place, since it is quite impossible to transition to headstand base formation once your knees are on your upper arms. Hmm... maybe I'll try both entering the posture from headstand and from pincha tomorrow, and see what the difference is.

  3. Honestly, I wouldn't worry too much about doing it from headstand so much. Doing the headstand version is a good exercise for learning how to form the lotus while inverted and then begin to lower (so, at first, you might do the headstand version and then, having the feeling of forming the lotus fresh in your muscle memory, you do the full/forearm version--Kino & Tim both had me work on it this way when my knee had just recovered). But if you can form the lotus in forearm stand already, doing the headstand version will just take up energy you should be using for the full version. Coming up in lotus from headstand is easy. Really. I'm speaking in relative terms here, of course, but by this point, you've spent several years, probably, working on Urdhva Dandasana (headstand halfway) during the closing sequence and coming back up to headstand. That's the same action, but it's actually harder because the legs are straight, so more core strength is required. I'd suggest doing the full (up and down) sequence in headstand if you do the headstand version and go down; that is, if you take the lotus down, you should also take it back up. But you don't seem to need the headstand version at all, so your energy is probably better spent on the forearm version (another way to look at it is don't modify things you don't need to modify). That would be my suggestion, for what it's worth.

  4. Thanks for the input, Frank. Hmm... I didn't know that Urdhva Dandasana is actually harder than coming up in lotus from headstand. Interesting. "Don't modify things you don't need to modify." Nice. I like that :-)

  5. Thanks Frank :-) I certainly will.