Friday, May 31, 2013

Its Just Another Posture

So the ironic thing is that right after I wrote that post about accepting where you are and not needing more, I was asked to do Bhujapidasana. Rhada told me that I would do it on Sunday, after the rest day. 

Bhudjapidasana. Part One. 

I spent all day Saturday with the thought in the back of my mind. Would I be able to do it? Did she give it to me because she thinks that I think that I want to move on? I really do only want to move on if it is appropriate, and i trust my teacher completely to be the one to tell me if its time or not.

One of the things that I’ve learned is that what I’m capable of and what is appropriate to do in a long term day to day practice may be two different things. Could I haul myself up into a headstand? Yup. But I am not strong enough in my shoulders, forearms, back and core to keep myself lifted, to keep my head just barely touching the floor. So I don’t do them yet. And I wont do them until I’m so strong and so ready that I just kind of float on up there. 

Sunday morning came, and it was one of those random “stiff” days, where I just felt kinda tight. My “rest” day here is not truly a rest day. Bodhi and I get on the motorbike and ride through heavy traffic to Kuta Beach right after practice on Friday. He goes surfing and I either surf, swim, or get some work done on my tattoo. We mission around Kuta getting food and mosquito smoke, sleep badly in our hot, still, shitty fan room at the Sukah beach inn, and do it all again the next day. 

We head back Saturday evening, usually in a rainstorm after Bodhi is done surfing. By the time I hit my bed in Ubud Saturday night, I’m wiped. Sunday’s practice is usually a jolt of plugging back in to my breath and my practice after the intensity of our two day break. There might be a lesson for me here, as well. 

So Sunday’s practice was slow, tight. I was okay with that, I’ve learned to stop wishing and just find out where my body is on that day at that time and work from there. I got to Navassana, and Rhada came over. 

“Okay, now jump your legs past your shoulders, feet in front of your hands. Bend your elbows, and hook your right foot over your left foot in front of your face. Go.”

I did. I went. 

And I did not fall over, and I breathed and it felt good. Challenging, and good. 

And as I was sitting there breathing, I realized that it was just as challenging as Janushershassana A had been for me six months ago. Its just another pose. Not even that its the “next” pose, because that implies some sort of linear progress, but just a pose. And as I was propped up there, I saw this infinite number of poses and modifications stretching out ahead of me, and I was at this little point somewhere along the line, at a place where my body was challenged. 
Janushersasana A. This used to be impossible for me. I still have work to do here, but as Prem would say, 'Is possible."
I came out and sat down. I was satisfied, there is something nice about being ready to challenge your body and meet the challenge. I felt good, strong, safe and happy. I went into my finishing postures.

Later in the series, I was rolling back into Hallasana, and I felt that my back and neck were still kind of tight. I decided not to do the full closing sequence. I’ve always known to listen to my body and adjust my practice. Rhada makes me be even more diligent than I have been in the past about that. 

As I rolled out, I pulled a muscle in my neck. Its posterior scalene, on the left side, a main postural muscle that was severely challenged by my surgery. Its weak, but it has been becoming so much stronger. I’m not sure why it tweaked today, if it had anything to do with trying a new posture, or if it was just in the right position to be tweaked and it would have gone anyway. No one can tell.

The result of that is that I’m in big pain again. Three days of sensations similar to post surgery. There is fear there. Anxiety. My body has been healing, I want it to continue. Yoga is supposed to be good for me, why am I hurting? 

Because I’m human, and I have some muscles that are still healing, and honestly, there is a part of my physicality that will always be affected by my surgery, even though I’ve come so far. 
Halasana, plow posture. 

The next day, I went through the whole series, eager to get to the shoulder binds, hoping they would stretch my neck out. They did, but I was fatigued from pain. This was not my place of benefit. 

The next day, my practice was just the sun salutations A and B. That was my place of benefit, I had no wish or desire to even know another posture existed. With Rhadas patient and gentle help, I focused on my breath. I am trying to cultivate this juicy, incredible sound that Rhada can make in her throat, this warming breath. 

And so on and so on. Now, I’m back into the seated postures, my neck is healing. But slowly. Its just a posture, the one I’m currently doing. There is no point of having a goal, that takes the purpose of this healing practice and throws it right out the window. 

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