Sunday, August 23, 2009

On the OTHER hand...

So in my last post I talked about how sometimes your poses totally go to shit when you aren't paying attention.  But on the OTHER hand... sometimes you get to pleasantly surprise yourself!

First, a word on the yoga championships.  I am hoping to participate in them again this year - it would be my third year now! - so I decided that I might as well get my shit together and start ACTING like I'm going to give it a try.

In keeping with this, I decided to do a first "rough run" of my competition routine after class tonight.  But since the competition is done in an unheated auditorium (or possibly a mall this time?!), I've decided that this year I want to practice "cold" as much as possible.  So I took class at 4:30, showered off, came home, put on some dry clothes, set down a yoga mat in my backyard, and practiced postures while my sister cooked dinner for us.  My friend came by at 7 and I asked her to be my camera-girl and take a video of me.  This was actually a great idea, because having somebody watch me - even a good friend who is totally ignorant of yoga and impressed by everything - gave me a considerable performance adrenaline jolt, like "oh, ok, we are seriously doing this now!"  (She was a great audience - she goes, "I'm pretty sure that cobra thing you did defied the laws of physics."  She also said, "That doesn't look like a rabbit!")

In my short-sightedness, I did not clear my memory card beforehand, so we only captured about 1 minute of the 3 minute routine.  Whoops.  But I got to see the first two and a half postures, and that gives me plenty to think about!

First posture: standing head to knee.  Hmmmm.  Why does my kicking leg drift up in the middle?  How long has this been going on?!  I can't tell whether it moved BECAUSE I was loosing my balance, or whether I started to loose my balance because it moved.  But very good to see!!  Also, would love to get forehead higher on the knee.

Third posture: floor bow, cut off in the middle.  Not sure if I saw the final posture or not.

Second posture: standing bow.  The topic of this post!!!  I am totally surprised and delighted to see that my standing bow is NOT the total train wreck that I was envisioning.  This might actually be my new favorite picture of this posture on me.  (Posture-wise that is.  Camera-wise I think it's like 1 megapixel resolution, pretty ugly.)  Hooray!!  There are still plenty of things that I want to tweak (like the shoulder alignment and the placement of that free arm, which is in a really odd position), but the essentials all look okay to me.  I was so sure that I was loosing the grip on what used to be my favorite posture... but I guess I've still got it in there somewhere!  And I have to admit that it really is MUCH easier to do without all that SWEAT.

Don't hate me for being vain enough to post the pic... it's late at night, I'm just now seeing it for the first time, and it is making me kinda happy.  :)

Taa daaaa!!  Keep it locking....

14 comments:

Mei said...

AWESOME, YOU MUST JOIN! Freaking awesome standing bow! Lock it lock it lock eeeeeeeeeeeeet! Don't worry too much about the shoulder for now, or maybe you could imagine a shoulder rotation ala pigeon when you're doing it cold? Mei's logic is that when you're cold you're less flexi [but slightly more stronger cause you haven't done 4 postures before that!] hence you need to work a little harder?


GREAT idea. I've been practicing my routine "cold" the past week [I never knew I could crack so damn much!] and starting to include distractions, such as cats and dogs rubbing themselves against my leg during head to knee [but they never do that when I'm hopping around on 1 leg, strange! I think it's the energy / chi thing going on!]

thedancingj said...

Thanks!!!

I'm not really worrying about any shoulder rotation... it just looks to me like I could have let my shoulders pull open a liiiiiiiiittle bit more so that there are really truly in one line. My right shoulder should end up floating directly under my chin, and right now I can see it is touching a little bit to the right. That's the giveaway! It's almost always been like that, but hey, now would be a good time to fix it.

Cats and dogs - LOL! You're gonna be ROCK solid after that. Next you gotta start asking random people to watch you. You'll be amazed at how different that makes it. I had the neighbor's lawnmower going on in the background when I did this one! Meditation ain't much use if you can ONLY do it in an empty silent room, right? ;)

Shabs said...

Gorgeous pic!! The posture looks great.

Also, fantastic idea to film yourself! There are so many things you could never see for yourself in class. I remember a teacher saying that we are our own teacher. I don't think they were referring to this exactly :) but what a great way to work on your postures!

thedancingj said...

Thanks Shabs!! It's super nerdy, but I've found that sometimes playing with the camera helps me a LOT, especially for something like this. It's SO true that you have to be your own teacher and I do sometimes take that literally. :) I have a decent eye for technique... and I don't think I'm gonna find anyone to coach me this year (very sad...), soooo I get to be my OWN coach for now!

Duffy Pratt said...

It's a really good picture, despite the background. And it's a great pose -- worth gloating over. I've got only one quibble: to my eye (and I could be wrong), it looks like your standing leg is just a bit hyperextended. Instead of being straight, there is a very subtle backward curve to it. Am I wrong on this?

thedancingj said...

Thanks Duffy!! (You don't like my SCENIC backyard? Haha.) You are totally correct. Emmy has said the same thing to me. :) My legs have always had that shape to them, and I think they are slooooooooowly getting a little straighter. The curve is not as pronounced here as it is in my older pictures. I think I need to just keep engaging all 4 quad muscles and distributing the weight all over the standing leg (not sinking in the heel).

However - there is no deduction for that, since Bikram does not recognize hyperextension as an issue! Hooray for me!!!!

lifelonglearner19 said...

J! Firstly - your standing bow is quite beautiful. Great photo! I'll be very excited to see how you do in competition this year. 3rd time is the charm, right!

Secondly...I have to second what you say about unexpected surprises. About a month or 3 weeks ago, my practice was horrible - or at least it felt that way. My confidence went totally down the tubes and I actually took an entire week off. I was not only getting fed up with my practice, but also struggling to understand my frustration. Two weeks later I'm curling down in both sides of standing head to knee and Tomo is pushing me to new places in multiple postures. Really - out of nowhere, it felt. I'm continually up and down but appreciating it more and more.

Fascinating!!
Keep it locking...as you say. :-)
-LB

thedancingj said...

Waves in the ocean, babe.... waves in the ocean....

I think I actually stole the phrase "keep it locking" from Tomo. AHA!!! THE TRUTH COMES OUT!!!!! :) :)

bikramyogachick said...

Oh J, that standing bow takes my breath away and gives me inspiration! WOW! It is amazing. And no, we would never hate you for posting that pic. Just the opposite! It makes your blog even more real/exciting/relatable.
Lock it out girl! Lock it out!!!

Duffy Pratt said...

Your back yard actually looks quite nice. It's the lines of the trees and fence competing with the nicer lines of your bow.

And its interesting that Bikram doesn't think hyper-extension is an issue. That would explain the pictures in the first book. Many of the people on the "correct" side of that book are seriously hyper-extended. If I did that, my knee would be in much worse shape even than it is now.

thedancingj said...

Thanks M!!!!

Duffy - Yep, there are a lot of imperfect examples in the book. Everyone's doing their best, but the standard has definitely been raised since then! Here is the standard for 2009 - http://usayoga.org/Photos/2009/Courtney/3.jpg (So nice!!)

a. said...

damn girl - i don't think i bend that way! no wonder you do the advanced series, want to do yoga championships, etc.! i would too if i was that bendy!!!

thedancingj said...

Hee, thanks... I had a good 14 years of ballet behind me when I started Bikram, so I started off nice and bendy, which was why I got tossed into advanced and championships right off the bat. However, as bendy as I was, I had NOOOOO idea what to do with it at first. TECHNIQUE!! Having doesn't mean anything if you don't know how to use it. ;-)

But I've seen people who couldn't touch their toes when they started who are now bendier than me... soooo... I really believe that ANYONE can do it if they try.

Jen said...

Beautiful! Sometimes I forget that as much as my blog is for others to read, it's primarily for me! I don't find your pic posting vain in the least, inspiring is more like it. Get your lock on girl!