Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Ashtanga High

I think I'm experiencing an Ashtanga high.
Is such a thing even possible?

Yesterday was the lightest and strongest practice I've ever had.  And it was that way consistently straight through Primary from start to finish.  It just felt so good.  And I felt so... compact.  That's not a word I have ever used (or thought about) when describing my practice.

I was able to bind for the first time on both sides in Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana.  Granted, the descent to the floor in the forward fold was a bit wobbly and slow, but still... I bound!  Then I was able to bind both sides (dare I say somewhat easily?) in Marichyasana A and D.  (My teacher has me working on a modified version of D wherein the leg that's supposed to be in half-lotus is instead folded the same way underneath you.  The top foot then comes to rest on the outside of the thigh of the lotus-on-the-floor leg.)

The best part, however, was my jump-throughs.  Now please understand that I use the term "jump through" really lightly.  The degree of "jump" and the amount of "through" in my practice may be better described as step and wedge.  Here's an excellent video from Kino that I've been using to help me break the move down:

I've been really working the first modification she shows with dedication but mine hasn't even come close to hers.  From Downward Dog, I step-step my feet forward and more-or-less underneath my shoulders.  Then begins a series of 8 or 9 little scoots with my feet as I try to wedge myself through my arms.  Eventually, I get most of the way through and then fall back onto my butt as I straighten my legs in front of me.

A week or so ago, my teacher told me that my effort was great (thank you for the little acknowledgements, right?) but that I should concentrate on not allowing my butt to touch the ground as I bring my legs through and into straight.  So I've been really working with that.

Then yesterday, I was able to sort of hop into the crossed-ankle position that Kino demonstrates and after that, I only needed one or two scoots to get all the way through with straight legs and my butt lifted!  See what I mean about feeling compact?  It was a HUGE day for me with the jump throughs and after working on them for a good 8 months now, it made me feel so good to experience this progress!

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