21 January 2011

Padmasana in Sirsasana

So good to get home from work and have the rest of the night to myself.
I started practice at 7.15pm, wth Light on Yoga next to my mat, it's permanently stuck open at the Week 26 - 30 sequence.

I start with 20 breaths in Sirsasana (Headstand) then effortlessly move through the variations – Parvsva Sirsasana (twisted Headstand), Eka Pada Sirsasana (one leg straight up, the other lowering towards the floor), then Padmasana in Sirsasana (folding legs into Lotus while in Headstand) and Pindasana in Sirsasana (folding the lotus legs down and into the body).

Tonight for the first time I am able to do all the Lotus in Headstand variations on BOTH sides. Up til now the first side has been impossible, but my legs have folded easily into Lotus on the second side.
The first leg is the most difficult one to bend into place. Without the help of the hands to guide or pull it in, it doesn’t get very deep, but when the second leg bends in, the moving thighbone helps it to slide a little deeper into the groin. Once the second leg has bent in, I scissor the foot back and forth, sliding it closer to the groin with each scissor. Squeezing in the knees, the next challenge is to press the sacrum into the body and raise the knees upwards making the whole pose as straight as possible. Ideally the spine and pelvis should be in the same alignment as if you were laying flat on the floor with your legs in Lotus and the knees near the floor. That’s actually the best preparatory pose for Padmasana in Sirsasana.

In total I am upside down, balanced on my head for 12 minutes...my eyes are blurred with double vision as I come down.

Child's Pose - I could have stayed here for an hour, so sweet and soft it is in this coccoon.

Back up in the air - Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand) plus all the variations keeps me upside down for a further 17 minutes.

I get about halfway through the rest of the Week 26 – 30 sequence when I am abruptly interrupted by an impulse to quit yoga and play with my new toy, the AppleMac Pro.
Right then, I should have paused and asked myself where does this impulse to stop in the middle of a practice come from, but in the moment I forget to do that and instead just follow it blindly.

(Note to self: Must train the mind to pause and question these impulses. There is so much to uncover and discover.)

I compulsively get off the mat, suddenly excited by the thought of my new toy.
I set up the laptop near the mat and after some exploration into the hardware and software, I work out how to record a movie in PhotoBooth.
So excited at this new development, I proceed to film myself doing Padmasana in Sirsasana (without even cleaning up my room or putting on pretty yoga clothes or setting up any lighting). It was a spontaneous experiment.

So there it is, I made my very first film...and the whole episode made me laugh.

Now I know what the yoga bloggers are doing when they film their practice and post it on their blogs. Once again I’m reminded of those tourists descending upon Uluru with their cameras and mobile phones, obsessed with capturing the outer image of something sacred instead of entering into its mystery.

One benefit of filming one’s own yoga practice (especially for those who practice at home and who don't have a teacher) is the opportunity to objectively view their bodies in motion and detect any anatomical and structural imbalances and habits, not just in the pose itself but in the entering and exiting of the pose.
Watching the film playing back I am teacher observing student.
I can clearly see how lopsided my pelvis is in this film and even more so in the second one I took.
But how easy it would be to get obsessed with filming and analysing and therefore to lose the essence of what is sacred and unique to a yoga practice.

Nevertheless I shall post my first film below and suffer the spiritual consequences of this little wave of yoga narcissism (which definitely feels yukky). There is no ego involved, just a little amusement and like a wave it shall pass over me.
Very amusing that the film sped up into double time when posted on the blog - it now resembles a 1920's Charlie Chaplin comedy!

One hour of authentic yoga practice, followed by one hour of playtime - experimenting with my new toy and then watching the replay of a stranger in yoga pants doing my practice (is that REALLY how my body moves, is that REALLY what my bottom looks like?)

All good fun, and a temporary reprieve from sadness and heartbreak.


greenfrog said...

What fun!

I like that the video clip ends with your lips in a small smile.

I'm on a yoga sabbatical right now. Shoulder surgery Wednesday.

I'll let my practice for the next couple of weeks be imagining you practicing with a cat.

Sarah said...

sweet, sweet.

nobodhi said...

Know that I am thinking of you during your shoulder surgery Sean, the small smile is for you :)
Does the yoga sabbatical mean more sitting?

The Domestic Yogi said...

Fun! And I like the catasana co-star :)

greenfrog said...

Yes, the sabbatical does mean more time for sitting, but somehow the discipline of yoga often yields more discipline for sitting.

Also, I confess that I don't love sitting while medicated. Pain meds dull things -- like practicing yoga in tight jeans and an overcoat. Steroids the docs give to reduce inflammation seem to generate a little bit of agitation -- not enough to make me leave my cushion, but enough to be noticeable.

All that said, I suspect there's something of a desire to control things that lies deep at the heart of my sitting practice, and it's the loss of control that make me want to shy away from sitting while medicated.

I'll take the smile as a reminder that what can be found in a moment of real experience is always more interesting and holds more potential than anything I can craft in my head.