Holy Headstand, Batman! I had a mini-breakthrough today. Note the key word "MINI".
So, no, I didn't hold for all 15 counts, but I did hold till his EIGHTH count! If you recall, I've only ever managed to hold till SIX before (only once), and all other times I've averaged til FOUR or FIVE.
I came down for 2 counts, then went back up again from TEN till FIFTEEN.
WHOO HOO! ...it's all about the baby steps, innit? I'm just thinking that it's only another 2 counts I need to get over to hold the whole way. Of course by the time he came to FOURTEEN, the voices in my head started back up again. "HOLD... HOLD... HOOOOOOLD... Almost there just haul yourself up!"
Oh, and at 90 degrees, again I held for the last 5 of his 10 counts (it actually took me the first 5 of his counts to catch my breath after the first round of Sirsasanas!). By the 10th count, I've usually just come down straight away instead of bringing legs back up again on the inhale, before releasing on the exhale.
Today, after the 10th count, I gave it my best shot and hauled those HEAVY legs back up again on the inhale. I didn't make it all the way straight to the top though, and had to release about 3/4 of the way up.
What made it easier today to hold for longer in the regular Sirsasana is pulling my legs further back. It's complete fear that has held me back from bringing them too far back. Fear of what? Fear of falling over. (Sharath says "No chakrasana!" a lot when we come to Sirsasana!)
...and all this on only 4 hours of sleep. If Sharath hadn't been in town, I would've probably had a lie-in, telling myself I'd be no good at practice with not enough sleep (as you can tell, this has happened before). So I'm pretty chuffed that even though I was exhausted and crabby and didn't want to be there today, mini-breakthroughs are still possible.
So... how long more until I get to this variation? Look Ma, NO HANDS! HAHA.
Photo Credit here
I realize too, that after almost one and a half weeks of Led, what I'm really missing from a Mysore practice, is as follows:
1. Adjustment in Supta K. I need help in catching my hands behind and getting my legs bound behind my head. Once I'm wrapped, I'm in the pose... I miss the tightly, snug bound feeling in this pose, and on my own I just can't seem to grab my hands behind my back, let alone wrap the legs behind my head fully. It's starting to piss me off too (why can't I find my hands behind my back? Is my belly roll getting in the way THAT much?)
My hands feel kinda close-ish behind me but they can't seem to find each other. Anybody has any tips or recommendations on what the heck I'm not doing enough of? (I'm trying to scoop as much of my shoulders under my legs to get more of my arms through. Now what?)
Oh, I'm also missing doing that lift up into Dwi pada from Supta K... I've recently been able to actually lift off my bum in this more regularly (even though I can't hold past 2 breaths!) Hello Mulabandha!
2. Dropbacks. I miss doing these. I've started to stand up on my own from backbends (right now, it looks more like I'm hauling myself up and hurtling at the wall in front me, or stumbling around at the top once I'm up. No grace yet)... though I'm still working up the nerve to drop into the abyss from standing, on my own. So, I miss getting the dropback assists.
3. Handstands. I've recently been given these, and still working on bunny-hopping into it. Just before the workshop started, I was just kinda getting the hang of hopping up (CORE CORE BABY!) *sung to the tune of "Ice ice baby"* and wondering if I'll still be able to find that point after this week? (shoulders over wrists!) Staying up is a whole other story... kinda like my Sirsasana issues... what's supposed to be "straight" doesn't feel straight to me. Yet.
4. Paschimottanasa Squash. Need I say more? ...oh, that glorious squash after backbends.
I wonder if I'll "lose" any of these poses after not doing them during this 2-week workshop? (not #4 of course, teacher always gives that squash). :)