Fortunately, nothing happened to them this morning. Throughout my practice, I tried my best to maintain a "bird-radar" around me, so that at any given moment, I have a general sense of where the birds are in the apartment. Probably not very good for my drishti, I would think, since half my attention is always on pinpointing the spatial location of the birds.
But my "bird-radar" must have worked, because nothing untoward happened to the birds. In fact, a couple of interesting and possibly Youtube-worthy moments happened; at least, I think they would have been very interesting to watch on video if somebody was around with a video-camera, and had filmed them. One such moment happened when I was in Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana on the second side. I had just finished my five breaths, and was about to exit the pose when I felt a tiny pair of claws digging into my butt. Based on my general sense of where the birds were, I knew that Thelma, the grey cockatiel, had landed on my butt.
Can you picture a cockatiel perched on his butt? (Sorry, Arjuna, no offense...)
I then lifted my feet off the ground into trini position. She was still attached. Damn! Either my movements are so steady that even cockatiels can perch on my butt and fall asleep while I lift up from Uttanasana, or cockatiels have amazing presence of mind (or both). It could also be, of course, that these cockatiels are special beings sent to Earth by Patanjali to test my yogic powers (for more details on this possibility, see my previous cockatiel post). Well, well, I thought, let's see what happens when I float back into chatvari. Well, I didn't have so much luck with chatvari: The moment my feet impacted the ground in chaturanga, she flew away. I guess I need to work on a softer landing :-) Better luck next time...
The other thing I noticed is that birds seem to be attracted to the energy of backbends. When I got into Kapotasana, the birds flew down from their perch, and started walking around near my Mysore rug (I'm glad they didn't try to land on me in that posture...). When I was doing my dropbacks and standups, the same thing happened. I seem to remember reading somewhere (it might have been Eckhart Tolle, but I can't be certain about this) that birds are much more pure energy beings than us human beings, that there is a higher proportion of pure energy relative to dense matter in their beings than ours. Which probably explains why they have less dense bones and can fly, and why they can sense things like impending earthquakes...
Anyway, I'm totally out of my depth here, so I won't say more about this. But could it be that we become more... birdlike when we do backbends, that somehow, backbends tend to increase the amount of pure energy in our beings relative to dense matter? Just wondering. Anyway, if this is true, then perhaps success in backbends can be measured by how "birdlike" we become while backbending? Perhaps shalas should start keeping birds in them, birds which would serve as "canaries in the mines" to indicate the level of pure energy that the practitioners' backbending practices have generated in the environment? Just a thought: Don't take this too seriously.
On a different note, I have recently been toying with the idea of possibly splitting my practice again. But I am thinking of taking a different approach this time. Instead of simply dropping primary altogether and doing second only, I'm thinking about doing it in a much more incremental and gradual manner.
Here's what I have in mind. Right now, I am doing full primary and second up to Ardha Matsyendrasana on a daily basis. What I'm thinking about doing is to add one or two more second series posture onto this practice at a time, while at the same time dropping one or two primary series postures. So for example, I might add Ekapada Sirsasana, and drop Setubandhasana. If this works out, then after a few days, I will add Dwipada Sirsana and Yoganidrasana (it seems to make sense to add these two postures together, since they basically involve the same action), while dropping Ubhaya Padangusthasana and Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana. And so on so forth, until I get up to Karandavasna, which was the last pose that both Kino and PJ Heffernan gave me.
Anyway, this is what I'm thinking. I'm thinking that this may just be a better way to split for me; the last couple of times I tried splitting, I basically did it the traditional way: Drop primary altogether, and do second only. Things went quite well for a few weeks, then I injured something. Yeah, both times. So maybe a more gradual/incremental approach would work better for me. Anyway, I'm not going to do this right away. I'll give myself a couple more weeks, and wait for my shoulders to regain their full strength (my strained trapezius insertion from a few weeks ago is healing very well, but it's not quite back to pre-injury strength yet. So better to wait a little more.). In the meantime, if any of you guys have anything to share (feedback, suggestions, advice, etc.), I'll love to hear from you.