Friday, February 22, 2013

Backbending with block, premature ejaculation

Haven't had much to say since coming back from Randa's workshop in Bozeman last weekend. During the workshop, Randa brought my attention to an unhealthy habit in my backbending; I have a tendency in backbends (especially Kapotasana and the finishing backbends) to splay the feet open and compress the lumbar spine in order to bring myself deeper into the posture. Actually, I've been feeling this compression for a while now. It just took an impartial observer that is not myself to call me out on this, bring this to the light of my conscious attention, and give me and my ego the impetus it needs to get to work to change this habit.

So for the last few days, I have been working on really getting and feeling that inner rotation of the thighs. I've gone to the extent of putting a block between my thighs in Kapo and the finishing backbends. Not "standard" Ashtanga, I suppose, but in my case, the block turns out to be a really good litmus test of whether I'm keeping my thighs close together and innerly rotated: If I move my thighs away/splay my feet, the block starts slipping and falling; it is harder to "cheat" when one is backbending with a block.


Well, there's only so much one can talk about practice. So let me change the subject, and bring your attention to a (maybe not) totally useless factoid I just heard on the radio: According to a few recent studies, nutmeg is good for treating premature ejaculation! But then again, I suppose many of the readers of this blog wouldn't have much use for this factoid, especially if you are (a) a woman, and (b) only have sex for procreation and never for pleasure (for more details, see Grimmly's recent post on this and other Ashtanga-ulous factoids).

Now I wonder if there is Karandavasana premature ejaculation (we of course all know what Karandavasana impotence is).

Ah well, I'm boring even myself with my random useless musings here. So little to write about these days. So I guess I'll sign off now.   


  1. Noble, did you really have to bring me into one of your sexual innuendo posts? But seeing as we're on the subject, the mythical Ashtanga police never do seem to bring up that part of Yoga Mala, selective dogmatism? I've always considered voluntary celebacy a fascinating discipline, all forms of abstention are a form of pratyahara no?

    1. Oh and Kapo in Vinyasa Krama is done with the legs, knees, feet together....same as in dropbacks, scary stuff.

    2. Wow, doing backbends with legs, knees and feet together... does sound intense and scary.

      Well, it's harder to police what people do in the bedroom than to police what they do on their mats, isn't it? :-) But I think there is something to be said about abstention being a form of pratyahara.

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  2. You guys just killed me, way too funny. Thank you, I've had the flu and needed a good laugh.

    BTW, David Garrigues had us use that block for kapo in a 2nd series workshop until I wanted to burn it. Does get the point across, although I still cheat on drop backs. It's probably hard to see though, I start with parallel feet, but by the time my hands touch down the feet have splayed out. I immediately correct this. Perhaps I should work harder to prevent it. Always something!

    1. I have the same issue with feet splaying out around the time when my hands touch the ground. And I think that correcting it after the fact is too late; the "damage" has already been done. Which is why, for people like me who have yet to learn to fully engage the legs in deep backbends, using the block is probably a good idea.

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