Friday, December 23, 2011

Ashtangic Holiday Blues; or, how I almost lost my front teeth this morning

First, a little practice report. I had to start my practice earlier this morning, as I had to get my fiancee to the airport by 9 a.m. for her flight to Florida... yes, she's going to Florida to visit her dad, while I'm stuck in this little midwestern town for the holidays! How can this be?! Aren't I supposed to be this super-jet-setting-aspiring-yoga-bum who flies all over the place to take classes with his favorite teachers? Well, I can probably explain the chain of events and choices that led to my present grounded state, but it's way more detail than I (and probably you) would want to go into. So let's just stick with talking about my practice...

So, as I was saying, practice this morning. This morning's practice was a bit lackluster, asana-wise. You may be thinking: How much more lackluster can your asana practice be, when you are already modifying most of your half-lotus poses on one side, and not doing padmasana altogether? Well, not to brag or anything, but despite the lack of padmasanas in my practice for the last month or so, I still can do some pretty cool stuff: Grabbing my heels/achilles tendons in Kapotasana, binding at my hands in Supta Kurmasana (with my legs snugly behind my head, no less), wrist bind in Pasasana, dropping back and standing back up, etc., etc.

Yeah, I know, yoga is not supposed to be about asana achievement, but you got to admit that asanas are fun. And besides, as most of you probably know, asanas come and go; despite our best efforts, shit happens, and sometimes the shit that happens results in your having to modify asanas (because of, say, a busted knee; don't even get me started on that...). So it makes a lot of sense to enjoy your asanas while you have them. Because life is unpredictable. Enjoy what there is to enjoy, suffer what there is to suffer. And do your asanas (or whatever modifications of those asanas you can do) no matter what. If this is not yoga, well, I don't know what is.

Wow, I said I was going to talk about my practice this morning. And I still haven't done so! Okay, I'll do it now. So, in practice this morning, I only got my fingers in Supta K. And while doing the standard exit from Supta K, I lost my balance while transiting from Titthibhasana to Bakasana, and nearly landed on my mouth! I still don't know exactly how this happened, but somewhere between Titthi and Baka, I found myself plunging mouth-first towards the mysore rug, and it was only a last-second intervention on the part of my arms (I somehow managed to regain my chaturanga at the very instant my mouth touched the rug) that saved me from losing my front teeth!

And to add insult to the proverbial injury, in Pasasana, I barely managed to bind my wrists on the second side. Why did all these things happen in my asana practice today? I didn't think I ate too much yesterday; although, come to think of it, my fiancee did bring home a bunch of Ferrero Rochers that the parents of a few of her kids at school (she teaches Montessori) gave her as holiday presents. Even though I do not have a sweet tooth, I nevertheless had three Rochers after dinner last night, just to show that I'm not some super-anal Ashtangi who can't even have a few sweets :-) Could it really be that having just three Rochers could affect my (again, not to brag or anything) asana prowess? I wouldn't think so... but then again, what do I know?

 Could these things really have caused me to almost lose my front teeth this morning? 
[Image taken from here]

 In any case, the fact of the matter is that I did not lose my front teeth this morning (in this universe, anyway: There could be a parallel universe in which I did not regain my chaturanga in the nick of time this morning, and am now walking around with two (or more) missing teeth. But hell, I'm sure glad I don't live in this universe...). So it's better not to brood over what could have been, especially if what could have been could have been way worse than what is. So I need to end this post with some semblance of holiday cheer. Where to find holiday cheer? Well, here's something. Most of you probably have already seen this Yoga Girls video that has been making the rounds of the blogosphere lately (believe it or not, I only just saw it this morning; seriously, who has time to keep up with every single viral video out there these days?...) It's not exactly high-brow yoga literature, but we don't need to be high-brow all the time, do we? Anyway, here it is, if you haven't already seen it; if you have seen it, well, see it again anyway.

In the meantime, I'm going to go eat more Rochers; since tomorrow is a moon day, there's no danger of falling on my mouth and losing front teeth :-) 


  1. Hey Nobel!

    Don't worry. The reason you couldn't bind is probably due to shrinking arms. Usually happens around the new moon. Should be back to normal by Boxing Day. But I wanted to let you and your followers know that your post: "What is the blogosphere for?" made it onto It's All Yoga's top fifteen yoga blogs of the year! Nice job.
    Happy New Moon and Merry Christmas. Keep up with the writing and the chocolates!


  2. Hello Erica,
    interesting. I did not know anything about arms shrinking/becoming shorter during the new moon.

    I see that your Kinogate article on Recovering Yogis made it on Roseanne's top fifteen yoga blogs too :-) Congratulations! Yay for more readers! Happy New Moon and Merry Christmas too.