Feels a bit like a post from my when I first started blogging, old school, feel quite nostalgic.
|See the update at the end of the post with David Garrigues new dropping out of pincha to blocks video|
Kristina mentioned that I was 'fearless' on fb the this morning, that put me to shame a little because there is one thing (at least) in Ashtanga that scares the bejesus out of me, Pincha mayurasana, let along karandavasana, away from the wall.
This never used to be an issue, as a Home Ashtangi I would happily do my Pinca Mayurasan and Karandavasana in front of the wall at the end of my mat. If I was facing the other way in my practice I would tend to turn around and go to the back of my mat for those two asana, no problem.
I learned to do Karandavasana what, five years ago with my Richard Freeman Two week Karandavasana challenge (actually I think I took the duck back up for the first time the week following that challenge). Five years and I still like to have a wall there even though I rarely need it.
Last year at Kristina's shala in Rethymno on Manju's TT I found myself practicing my 2nd series in front of Kristina's beautiful alter, I was terrified of flipping over landing on the alter and sending everything flying. When she came to spot me I felt uncomfortable and couldn't go up, karandavasana too felt all wrong with somebody standing there. Later that week I tried to sneak over to a wall during practice, Kristina called me back..... top of the mat or not at all grrrrrrr.
Next month I'm going back to Crete to practice at Kristina's shala for two months as well as attend Manju's TT again, that Pinca without a wall is haunting my dreams.
"Why you fearing?" Pattabhi Jois would supposedly ask. Well Guruji it's not so much the falling, I was fine about tic tocks (eventually) it's the way the arms are set up, it seems all wrong, I'm not convinced I can drop out of it, land on my feet without ripping my arms out of my socket and I never liked the twisting out of a fall method.
Perhaps Youtube can help, it owes me one. I found these
OK, so it seems you don't rip your arms out of your sockets after all.
The evening after watching these I went up to the shala with great determination and intention, did my evening Vinyasa Krama practice and set up for pinca mayurasana, did one at the wall as well as my first karandavasana in pretty much a year (been exploring the ultra slow, kumbhaka infused original Krishana primary all year), went to the end of the mat, set up again....... and decided not today. Again, it felt all wrong, "Why fearing?"
Gee'd up by Kristina's 'fearless comment this afternoon I decided to 'overcome the asana' (subtitle of my blog, overcoming the difficulties we have with asana as well as out fixation on asana). But still with great reluctance.
I was a little worried about the shoulders and back so did a short shoulder and backbend focused Vinyasa Krama practice, did a couple of pinca's at the wall then set up at the top of the mat... paused went back the the wall and walked down it into a forearm version of urdhava danhurasana (wheel), just to double check, still felt all wrong, couldn't visualise it, what the hell.....
The idea here then was to try and 'fall' safely such that I would no longer worry about falling and feel more confident about Pinca Mayurasana and Karandavasana away from the wall.
And so here it is my first attempt at intentionally falling out of pinca mayurasana, followed by my first ever Pinca Mayurasana and Karandavasana away from the wall. To be honest the Karandavasana barely counts, I'm still not comfortable enough away from the wall to lower it nice and tightly which pretty much cancels any thoughts of getting it all the way back up, but hey, first one, I'll take it.
It felt fine for me but then I have pretty good backbends and flexible shoulders, you'll have to make your own decision based on your own practice on whether you want to try this yourself at home.
So a little more fearless this evening perhaps..... however coming back up from Karandavasana still in lotus and flipping over..... now that scares the bejesus out of me.....
"Why you fearing?"
Here's my friend laruga showing how karandavasana can be done, look how far she takes her hips back as she goes back up, terrifying.
And here's David with the argument for the wall that is there but we pretend that it isn't
a new video from David on dropping out of Pincha mayurasana to BLOCKS
(Thank you to my dear friend HD for the heads up on this one).