from Kalama sutra, translation from the Pali by Bhikkhu Bodhi

This blog included. "So, as I said, Kalamas: 'Don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, "This contemplative is our teacher." When you know for yourselves that, "These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering" — then you should abandon them.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

"Now, Kalamas, don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, 'This contemplative is our teacher.' When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness' — then you should enter & remain in them. Buddha - Kalama Sutta

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Raja Kapotasana first toes to head.





Too excited about this not to post on it right away, not a lot of equanimity floating around the home shala this evening I'm ashamed to say.

Raja kapotasana is doable, fancy that.




Was it really only yesterday I wrote about Raja kapotasana (in THIS post ) though I think I was writing about the evening before after a bit of a layoff from serious backbends. I was questioning whether it was doable and considering a two week challenge. Here's the picture of the best one I could manage.


This evening I decided to start the campaign with regular primary up to upavishta konasana but skipping the marichi's. I wanted to relax my hips as much as possible the whole lliopsoas group (hip flexors) as Mike suggested. Next I switched to Vinyasa Krama and the Bow sequence (subroutine posts to come on that next week) then some drop backs and on into the VK Meditative sequence and vajrasana, kapotasana, eka pada kapotasana before having a go at Raja kapotasana, was thinking of all the postures that might help prepare for the Raja..

The first couple of attempts were exploratory, trying to get the hips further through and yet ground them on the mat. Looking at the results on the camera there seemed to be some improvement and it looked like I could bring my legs further in so I did another, that looked even closer and it struck me that perhaps if I stretched through the legs more they would come up a little closer, plus I wanted to push my chest out more and try again to ground my hips.

The fifth attempt I felt my toes touch my head and managed to hold them there for, what a second perhaps two. I was a little worried about my calves cramping up and pulling something so decided to call it a night and move on to some winding down and basic finishing sequence.

The best thing about it is that my backbends are still pretty rusty. I used to be able to grab my heels from the air in regular kapo but at the moment I'm catching my toes and only managing to hold my feet. As the backbends comeback Raja kapo should become a little deeper, a little more stable. I think I like it too.

Here are the best screen shots from the first four attempts as i get a little closer each time.






Just a posture?

Yes and No, it's another example of something that you don't believe is possible for you ...and then it is. Whether that is getting your legs flat in paschimottanasana, jumping back, binding in Marichiyasana D, dropping back, coming up, catching toes and then heels in Kapo....tictac, whatever it is for you. There is that aspect to the practice, of exceeding our expectations.

And of course after feeling pleased with ourselves for a little bit the realisation that though doable now the pose is tatty, shabby, the breath unstable, the posture itself unsteady and so the constant refining and that too is another wonderful aspect and lesson of the practice.

Of course nailing it was the fun part, making it constant  and stable is the hard graft

....enjoyable in a different way.

12 comments:

  1. Wow, GORGEOUS! Very cool how it suddenly appeared for you.

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  2. Thanks Megan, still on a high over it, strangest thing brushing your hair with your toes. Hips are still off the mat but it's somewhere to start from, can't imagine holding it for five breaths though.

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  3. Who cares about equanimity, yes we care, but once in a while... I saw you touch toes to head and cheered!!! yeah! nice one G! inspiration to watch

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  4. You've made a bit of serious progress there!

    By Wednesday, you'll be able to feed yourself grapes from your toes. :o)

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  5. Thank you Claudia, equanimity had a moon day. of course now the realisation come, 'What I have to do it gain? and again? Nice to know where to work it though a stretching/lifting out of the pelvis but also a kind of stretching out from the opposite direction. before I was trying to bring my legs in but there's a kind of stretching/'pushing'(?) almost from the femurs...an elongating that then seems to allow the legs to come in.

    curious about how that might play out in other postures, ghabdha B, regular Kapo or anywhere. Thanks for cheering ; )

    Does feel like a little progress, an awareness of something else to work , a new place to stretch rather than just the asana itself. Just in time too grapasana comes up in today or is it tomorrow's VK subroutine post.

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  6. Update: Slept fine, so much for the practicing backbends keeps you from sleeping.

    Hamstrings of all places a bit stiff this morning, had to back off a bit in paschimottanasana.

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  7. I remember being a kid and being able to rest my head in the soles of my feet. My daughter can do that now. I remember being surprised at about 14 years old to find I could only touch my head with my toes. If only I had realized that if I didn't do that every day, I would lose it! As I did! Now, 25 years later, my toes are miles from my head. Touching seems impossible, even though I can clearly remember doing it. Oh well! But maybe it's possible to get it back, eh?

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  8. God, do I really have to do this everyday to keep it? Hope you give your kids a clip round the ear every time they drop effortlessly in to some YJ cover pose, bless the little (clip) darlings.

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  9. Yes, you really do, every day. But I just took this pic for you, of the as of yet unclipped darling! http://mayalassiter.com/2011/11/sophie-does-the-yoga-journal-cover/
    I mean, for god's sake, right? Does she even have bones?

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  10. oh, i'm there too maya. i remember managing to do it up until teen years and then i thought of it couple of years back and was bitterly disappointed that my feet and head were miles apart ;-(
    congratulations G! amazing! ivana

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  11. Hi, I wd suggest you to 1st perform Fullmoon pose (ArdhaChandra Asana) and den do Raja Kapotasana cauz you can stretch with ease ... I did kapotasana at the age of 4 as part of my Classical Dance training and still continue do at the age of 27 ..

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  12. Hi, I wd suggest you to perform Fullmoon pose (ArdhaChandra Asana) and den do Raja Kapotasana cauz it helps you to stretch with ease ...
    I did kapotasana at the age of 4 as part of my Classical Dance training and still continue do at the age of 27 ..

    ReplyDelete

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