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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.
Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga at home by Anthony Grim Hall is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
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from Kalama sutra, translation from the Pali by Bhikkhu Bodhi
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