Monday, March 22, 2010

Intermediate Self-Practice vs. Me: Round 1

I did it! My first home self-practice of the Intermediate series. Up until the last pose my Sydney teacher gave me - that dreaded Laghuvajrasana. This was the first time I practiced Intermediate PROPERLY on my own. *Curtsy*

I dunno why it was such a big deal or why I had such a mental block with it. Today I decided: Enough is enough. No more excuses, just do it. No more just stopping after Primary, or even shortcutting Primary just to get to Salabhasana (skipping so many poses in between!)

And breaking it down the simplest, most fuss-free way to do it... I figured I might as well practice just as my teacher had told me to - with that weird split, cutting out UHP up till Dandasana. I figured for now at least, it might just make it less of a mental block for me, making it a little "easier" to handle. Heh.

It worked. I had a Pavlovian dog response. At this point, I'll try anything to try and get into a home-practice groove.

And even Laghuvajrasana today actually felt open. *GASP*

I still don't like the pose of course, and my head is still far away from the floor. But as I was hanging just at that point where I couldn't handle it anymore - any further and I would've crashed my head onto the floor... I actually felt like "Hey, everything in my body is exploding but I'm feeling a lovely chest expansion".

It was weird, but a nice feeling. :)

And by the fifth breath, as I was pressing my shins into the floor like there was no tomorrow, both calves suddenly cramped up. What the eff?! Is that supposed to happen?

So I stopped, did a vinyasa, and decided to do Laghuvajrasana again (Yes I did it again. Damn you Laghu, I'm gonna nail you.) And AGAIN, on the fifth breath, both calves cramped up. Maybe I'm just trying too hard or pushing the shins into the floor too hard.

It was a practice that was 12 hours late (7pm instead of 7am), but better late than never, right? I'll try and see if I can finally kick myself out of bed earlier to practice tomorrow morning.

Oh, the other thing is - this lopsided, slanting floor is starting to really annoy me. I already have a crooked pelvis I'm trying to straighten, so trying to determine if laying flat on the floor doesn't actually feel "flat" is coz of the pelvis or coz of the floor is starting to do my head in.

I might start laying my mat in different places to see if maybe practicing in the bedroom or the kitchen might be better. Bahaha! That would be a sight. Kitchen practice would probably be too distracting, with those stroopwafels within reach.

Sigh. This Beige Heaven apartment will be fine. We will get into some kind of self-practice groove. I'm just not sure if these will be better alternative practice spaces!


  1. Good on you for practicing! Self-practice is HARD. One thought re: cramping in laghu-- instead of pushing the shins down to the floor, try squeezing the thighs together and relaxing the glutes. It might feel like a losing battle to squeeze (i mean, my thighs always come out a little bit during the pose) but it keeps the inner knees anchored down. Might help.

  2. Thanks Ellie! I forgot to mention that apart from pressing shins down, I'm also pushing hips forward, squeezing thighs together and puffing chest out/ opening up the chest, while concentrating on nose drishti. HAHA! I don't know if I'm relaxing the glutes though. I think I just have weak legs. ;)

  3. Ha, yeah it's kind of an everything-at-once pose. Thanks for writing your awesome blog, I really like reading about other yogadorks! :)

  4. Aww thanks! Appreciate the support. :) (now without a teacher, at least I have readers to feel "accountable" to. Maybe that'll help kick me up the bum for self-practice). Hehe.

  5. hi Skippetty
    would it be possible to place the feet towards the downward slope, if the furniture is moved around? that would your body more even. or how about alternating direction of facing. sometimes facing one direction while listing to one side, then facing opposite so you list to the other side. just to balance things.


  6. Yup, I'm doing that - and realized that it's not actually just sloped to the right. It's on a diagonal incline. It helped with the dropbacks (so my hands had a few millimetres less till they touched the floor. Haha.) But this slanted floor is bringing out the Iyengi in me - where's the proper alignment?! ...I'm still at the point where it's distracting me, I'm not yet at the point where I just get on with it and not let it bother me.


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