Thursday, April 14, 2011

Ashtanga practice... finally doing (almost) the full Primary series!

Ashtanga practice update in point form:

- Question: does anyone else find it difficult to hold up the arm in utthita parsvakonasana B? The arm just feels insanely heavy and my shoulder burns in this pose. I kept expecting it to go away as my shoulder becomes stronger but it's still there after many months of practicing the full pose.

- Prasarita Paddottanasana C: I thought normal human beings are not meant to actually touch their hands to the ground, or something would tear in the shoulders; but my teacher got my fingers to touch the ground with slow but steady pushing after 5 breaths. So okay, with someone pushing on my arms this can happen. But after a few assists I suddenly found myself being able to do this without assistance. Freaky!

- Mari D: left side binding is totally inconsistent (some days I get it and other days I don't); no idea why

- Kurmasansa: heel lift is consistent, but holding for 5 breaths feels impossible. I aim for 2 breaths and then just give up

- Supta kurmasana: my teacher said when he first learned this pose, he felt pain/discomfort in the upper sternum near the collar bone area. I said I wasn't feeling it when I first started practicing this pose. I'm feeling it now! Does this mean I'm getting closer to achieving the actual pose?

- Garbha pindasana: not happening unless I lose a few pounds of meat on my thighs. I have NOT lost any weight since I started yoga! Does this mean I have to start dieting?

- I just started doing the rolls (like 2 weeks ago). Can't even get all the way around in 9 moves so there's no way I'll be able to pull off 5 rolls. I'll stick with 9 (or 10) for now.

- Teacher still hasn't taught chakrasana yet; I searched a few Youtube videos today and am going to try to learn it on my own (I'm really impatient) By the way, do non-Ashtangis call urdhva dhanurasana -> chakrasana? It was not that easy to find actual chakrasana transition videos.

- In place of no chakrasana, teacher tried to teach me padmasana jump-backs today. I started laughing uncontrollably when I heard the instruction "make cleavage with your elbows" so I was unsuccessful with this move.

- Just learned setu bandhasana today. Definitely feels weird. Oh well, new pose to work on!

- Utpluthih: I can lift off the ground for a few breaths now. Exciting!!

I once had a massage therapist who pushed his forearm hard on my back and ran it all the way down the spine (perpendicular to spine). Lots of cracks and pops were generated from this technique, which was kind of scary, but afterwards the back felt awesome. I could use that chiropractic adjustment again right about now.


  1. Mentally, try to re identify the arm holding as arm stretching. Like reaching to touch something instead of holding something (maybe? It can't hurt..I hope!)

    "make cleavage with the elbows", huh? Nice to know.

  2. Thanks Serene, I'll try that next time!

    Yep, I guess he meant placing the elbows outside of the boobs instead of digging into them for the arm balance transition. My arms are not really strong enough for this transition yet I think.

  3. Hi there! I stumbled across your blog as I too am having some pain in collar bone area in supta kurmasana. As this was posted 6 years ago, can you say if it's improved?? Thanks :)