Friday, February 8, 2013

Kapotasana in a dream, Kapotasana in waking life

Last night, I had a very interesting dream. In the dream, I was in Mysore, practicing at KPJAYI. Sharath came over and told me to do Kapotasana. And I did; I got on my knees, arched over, reached my arms back. The front of my body lengthened spontaneously like the longest rubber band in the universe, and my right hand grabbed my right ankle with the greatest ease, as if my spine didn't even exist. My left hand didn't quite get that far; it kind of touched my left heel, but didn't go any further. (Which, by the way, is kind of the way it is in my waking life; because of my mild scoliosis, my backbending has always been uneven; one side of the spine is more flexible than the other. When I do Kapo in waking life, I'm able to grab the right heel/ankle with my right hand, but I usually have to walk the left hand a couple of inches to grab the heel/ankle). Anyway, Sharath was standing by watching as I did all that. He smiled and said, "Very good! You try again tomorrow!" And went away.

Isn't it weird that I should dream about Sharath even though I have never met him in real life? Actually, I have also dreamt about Guruji in the past (whom I never met). Sometimes, I wonder if this may have something to do with why I got into Ashtanga rather than any other style of yoga; maybe I dream about Guruji and Sharath because I feel a certain kind of affinity to what they teach. But I'm really just speculating here; I'm no dream-reader...

Anyway, when I woke up this morning, I thought about Sharath's "You try again tomorrow!" And then I thought, "Well, isn't this tomorrow?" But as I haven't attempted Kapo in two months (I cut back down to primary only when I moved here to Idaho, and am slowly building my second series practice back up), I decided that I would just do my practice as usual, and see how my body feels when I get to second before I decide whether to attempt Kapo today.

So I did that; started with the Suryas, went through standing and then full primary before doing the first few postures of second. And then I decided to try Laghu Vajrasana (which I also haven't attempted in two months). If I have become so weak that I can't even get up from Laghu, there won't be any point in trying to do Kapo, I thought to myself (oh, btw, you might be interested in reading this little post about Laghu that I wrote some time ago). I lowered myself into Laghu, breathed five times, and then, the moment of truth... my legs engaged, and I came back up. Yay! Now, Kapo. I got on my knees, took a few breaths to try to open the upper back, and then reached back, all the while trying to get my body to recall that sensation of utmost ease I had in the dream. No such luck; my right hand grabbed my right ankle, followed by the left, but I definitely felt my spine. But I was happy that Kapo is still there after two months of not doing it. So I did Kapo A, then Kapo B, then got back up. I then did the next posture in second series (Supta Vajrasana, which is always difficult to do without a partner), then went into finishing backbends. 

So yeah, I thought I'd write about my practice in this post, since I haven't done this in a while. And besides, having a dream about practice is probably a good omen for writing about practice, no? :-) But I have to go take care of other things in my waking life now. More later.

10 comments:

  1. :) Practice dreams are the best!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is true. I like to think that they are our subconscious's way of showing us what is possible :-)

      Delete
    2. i've had several dreams in which i did poses, effortlessly, that i wasn't doing yet in my practice. some i now actually do effortlessly, some are still off in the distance. so yes, i agree that your body/deep mind knows what you can do before you do. i've lived it. practice dreams are sweet

      Delete
    3. They are indeed very sweet :-)

      Delete
  2. What do you think these practice dreams mean? I too have dreamed I could do poses I can't do, and it feels wonderful and effortless. Why is this universal? It sounds like many ashtangis have had this sort of dream? I often wonder what it means? Maybe it is about possibility, but I am older (if not old), and I do poses in my dreams that seem impossible in this lifetime. So glad to hear yet another person and another and another have these dreams.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A friend once told me that backbend dreams signify the opening of new areas or possibilities of consciousness, but as I mentioned above, I'm no dream reader, so I'd rather not try to speculate about this. I think I'll stick to my belief that such dreams are the subconscious's (if you believe in the subconscious, that is) way of showing our minds and bodies what is possible. Many Ashtangis have such dreams because they already work their bodies to the limits in waking life, and it is in the dream state that the subconscious processes what was going on during the waking life. And age is not a barrier :-)

      Delete
    2. Thanks Nobel! :)

      Delete
  3. I never met Guruji either, but I dreamed that he told me it was time to start teaching. Oddly, the setting was something like a shabby doctor's office.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A shabby doctor's office? Interesting... maybe the shabbiness is a reference to the fact that he taught in relative obscurity for most of his life, and the doctor's office is a reference to the therapeutic (chikitsa) nature of the practice?

      Delete