Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Move & More on Taking It Up The Lotus

Thanks everyone, I've been overwhelmed by your emails, tweets and comments on my previous post on leaving. It's nice to know that you guys are "there" and I can kinda sorta share this move (AGAIN!) with you.

See how I changed the blog description above? ...I'm now moving "To infinity and beyond!" ...also coz at the rate I'm moving around like a gypsy, there'll be no more space in that blog description for more countries.

Now starts the calls to removal companies, immigration agents (ARGHH! Visas again!!)... just as well it's part of the new year "purge and destroy" mode I'm in... I need to cull out books, shoes, clothes... put things up on eBay, send things off to the Salvation Army and only ship back the stuff we NEED. Oh, and I'm away on a shoot in Brisbane next week too. And Kelly's still in Cape Town by the way... not sure if he's headed back this way again before I leave here. So... ARRRRRGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Solo packing up SUCKS. (And try solo packing up within 3 - 4 weeks!!)



There's been a Youtubing blitz going on here!

Got lots more great videos since I've started fixating on "taking up my lotus". Thanks to you lot, of course! Most of these came from comments on the post. So here they are again, in case you missed them.

Scroll through to 00:49 on one of Guruji's world tours. Yes, that's David Swenson taking up his Navasana into handstands between each asana, and as Liz pointed out... STILL STAYING ON COUNT! If I were the girls on either side of him, I would've stopped and watched him. No, stopped and STARED at him. (And then GLARED at him, thinking "SHOW OFF!" Hehe.)

(OK, so this isn't exactly a take-it-up lotus but it's still cool to watch. So zip it!)

I remember Daydreamingmel mentioning that someone said apparently at one point in Mysore, all the fancy transitions by the advanced practitioners in the Primary series got a bit out of hand and Guruji finally decided "Enough with the circus!" and banned all the fancy transitions. I hope it's a true story coz it's kinda funny. :)

And then here's a kinda grumpy Govindakai in his take-it-up-lotus (is he grumpy coz the camera-lady said "Whatever"?) Hahaha.

(The lift he's got looks like Gregor Maehle's photos in his Primary series book)

Grimmly had a good suggestion of puttng knees up to chest before even pushing off your hands. Tried that today and it definitely helped to make the pose feel "lighter" and easier to lift up from, but HOLEEE MOLEEEEE! How do you swing back so you get a high enough lift?

My knees just keep getting stuck on the floor as I'm trying to swing them back. Yeah yeah... Maehle says something like "lift the tailbone as high as you can"... BUT HOWWWWWWWWWW?

I suspect I may need to tilt forward A LOT more as I'm swinging back, but part of that is conquering the fear of falling splat on my face as I'm trying to uncross the lotus while leaning forward and only having faith in my core and arm-balancing strength. YOGA IS HARD.

The lotus obsession continues...


  1. Wow, I miss all the drama and land here with these fab vids. Hello, by the way.

    Taking up the lotus: it's the same as jumping back, in many respects. That moment of Lolasana/pendant, where you (ideally) have the legs tucked under as you press up, before you jet the feet back to chaturanga? Throwing back the lotus requires you to do that, exactly the same way.

    For me the operative muscles in both of these situations is/are the latissimus dorsi. Head moves down, hips move up, lats massively engage (i.e., don't let the shoulders scrunch as the head moves down).

    If/when your knees clear the floor, send the knees AWAY from each other to unknit the lotus, and think "Chaturanga!" It'll happen faster than you can think it, and it'll be a marvelous suprise.

    Good luck!

  2. Hey Patrick! I've been following your blog too. Hope you're keeping up with 7th series! ;) Thanks for the tip... it kinda feels like what you're suggesting is what I'm TRYING to do but I ain't there yet, not in the least. In regular lolasana, I'm lifting up and tucking feet under, but it feels like I don't have enough bandha strength to jet feet back completely in one move. I end up cheating by kicking one tucked foot off the floor. Heh. Except in lotus, I can't cheat coz both feet are on the thighs (which is probably why I end up on my knees!) HAHA.

  3. I'm behind on your posts- will comment on the one below (though I think I know the news already!)-

    I had to laugh... I think the woman off camera is saying "Whenever" not "Whatever". But I like what you heard better- it's so hilarious. Because really... all this asana stuff, it kind of is "Whatever"! ha ha ha! But we love it!

    Guess who was at the table next to us tonight at a local Italian restaurant... Mr. Handstand after Navasana himself. I had to laugh inside, thinking of all the other diners and how they had no idea that this thin, unassuming man sitting at the table with his wife could do the most amazing stuff and has toured the world sharing it with people.

  4. Hey,

    Good luck with the move. Those video clips are brilliant.

  5. I seesaw back and forth from despair to inspired watching these, and have to keep reminding myself that much of what I am doing now on my mat seemed impossible not too long ago. Thanks so much for sharing your process with such insight and humor and generosity. And all those great links!

  6. SS--awesome! So we are "e-acquainted" after all, eh?

    Lolasana: I think it was Maehle in his Primary book who said, when you hold it, try to take it up, all the way up, for an inhale. Then if you can do that, take it up for a full breath. If you can do that, build to five breaths, then to ten.

    When your knees don't touch (and this is somehow terribly obvious and yet not), you'll throw the lotus back. Pick up the foot you drag now, and you'll throw the lotus later.

  7. Liz - OMG, you're right! Dunno how I heard it as WHATEVER. ;p Did you ask for Swenson's autograph? (HAHAHA!) Or did you just point and stare from the corner, making him uncomfortable? That's pretty cool. Someone on Twitter mentioned that he isn't actually tall & lanky like he looks on his DVD. He's quite a small person. What's your verdict? (Why do I even care?! see this is why E! TV is my favourite channel)

    Thanks Helen, hope you had a good break!

    Fran - is that you, @recoverhealth? If not, sorry! And I generally tend to be inspired by these videos (also, my ego says "if they can do it, so can I". Totally discounting the fact that these guys have practised for years and I think I can do it in weeks. Heh).

    Patrick, I just went and looked up the book (for anyone who's looking, it's Pg. 70, after paschimottanasana) and yeah, that's a good tip box he's got. It's lifting up in Lolasana with feet pointing backwards then swinging back & forth without touching the floor that I'm gonna try on my next vinyasas.


  8. yup, that's me '0)
    I tend to be optimistic too, or maybe it's just foolhardy, but it keeps me going. After all, I'm still aspiring to full intermediate by the time I'm 60 and that's not so far off any more. In the meantime, I'm still working on that Lolasana/pendant thing.

  9. DS is little. Not teeny, but not tall. He's just thin and has a practice that makes him look tall!!

    Being optimistic is never foolhardy!


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