Got stuck in to a full on practice session this morning working on the Senior 1 poses and finally completed our registration for the month's classes at the RIMYI office. Blessedly a little cooler today, but still wet with sweat at the slightest exertion. In the afternoon we ran a mini class on the outside terrace to practice our teaching with timings and linking poses as we will have to do for our upcoming assessment - a full on day's work, so as we were leaving for evening class we were already fatigued. I had vaguely thought it was Gulnaz on a Thursday but when I went into the small changing area an older local lady informed me that it was Raya. Gulp. And he didn't disappoint! We started with leg raises in AMSvanasana and Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana holding for as long as humanly possible with complete suction on the kneecap. We had to stay and stay and stay and then stay some more, just holding there watching the sweat roll down my nose and drip on the floor. When we finally were allowed to come down, it was only to go straight up again in the next variation on the same side leg. It was a pretty gruelling class and he directed a lot of the teaching towards pancreatic work for Diabetes as I have worked with him previously in medical and he spotted me in the class, though he'd forgotten my name, so it was "Hey black t-shirt, take proper distance!" "Hey black t-shirt keep the back heel pressed down!" etc etc. I managed to stick with it until the bitter end (an improvement on Feb, but then it is only first class of the month, it may get harder still). At the end of the class, I comedy staggered into the ladies to be greeted by my friend from earlier looking calm and unruffled in comparison to my sweaty and exhausted demeanour. She looked me up and down and said "Hard work, but good work!" I came out and drank 2 coconuts and 2 cups of tea straight down and am looking forward to a deep sleep tonight. Thanks to Lydia and Wendy for note sharing.
Sit in Padmasana, hold the knees to suction the back body to the front body and circularly roll the back armpits forward, frontal armpits upward. Invocation in padmasana
AMS Suck knees back
Eka Pada AMS Take correct distance (not too close) Suck the kneecap deep into the leg, descend the heel to suck the knee and thigh up. Do not disturb the line of the pelvis – if the rod was placed over the buttocks, it should be parallel to the floor, not one side lifted. Down leg straight, kneecap tight GRIP the thigh, lift it up and push back.
Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana Sucking the kneecap extraordinarily deep into the leg and stay, stay, stay – maintain for as long as possible, the competition is with yourself. Stay according to capacity, do not come down until you absolutely, really, truly have to – and when you do come down Eka Pada AMS on same side leg, same instructions as previous.
Utt feet together whole palm on the floor and walk hands further and further back. Root the heel of the hand into the floor, learn to fully press there, screw palm into floor until the heel of the hand bears more weight than the heels of the feet. Screw! Root! Press! Abdomen squeezed into the thigh. Deflate the abdomen, learn to be soft there.
Vira 3 CCB (concave back) fingertips on the floor extend the trunk forward, chin up, eyes up, lengthen forward. Harden the knee, descend the heel, lift the thigh, kneecap tight – hold parallel to the floor. Let your leg shout at you, let your spine shout at you and see how this works the kidneys and pancreas. If you are diabetic this will affect you.
Eka Pada AMS Knee needs to be hard, lengthen ankle joint. Feel the quadriceps. Jump to Uttanasana.
AMVrksasana Jump up with legs straight. Join the legs, join the ankle bones, raise the ankle bones higher, scrub the heels up the wall. Straight legs to come down.
Ardha Sirsasana We worked for an incredibly long time here. Walking in and taking hips higher and higher. Then we had to descend the heels towards the floor, at least perpendicular to the floor but keep the height of the hips (and spine). See how this works on the outer knee ligament, how it has to stretch, tear the back of the knee skin. If you don’t lift the tops of the thighs here, the legs become dead (over 50’s were told they could have the feet hip distance apart). Very long and arduous stay here and then when we finally came down, he said “Change the interlock and go up again” and took a crack at how long he could estimate we would take over changing the interlock. Walk in more and more, Take heels down , legs like AMS, open outer knees, sharpen the buttock bones. Loong stay. Left heel down and raise the leg vertically up to eka pada sirsasana with the heel on the floor this is horribly difficult. Then he allowed us to lift the heel and be on the tiptoe and feel how wonderfully nice this is (it was). “Lift the heel, go to Mahabaleshwar, it’s a nice place to go!” Suck the kneecap.
Parsva Ardha Sirsasana We repeated 1st interlock ardha sirsasana and then walk legs around to the right side, keep going and going until they are in line with the elbow. When walking to the right side, raise the outer heel and outer hip and grip in the outer ankle to grip in the outer hip. Then raise the left leg straight up, so that you are in parsva eka pada sirsasana. We repeated all this work on the left side and then he said each of us must make a judgement as to whether we would be stable enough to lift up into parsva eka pada sirsasana proper from here (those that couldn’t went up into sirsasana classical and did the parsva eka pada from up not down).
Parsva Eka Pada Sirsasana (from down on the floor walking wound in ardha sirsasana or from sirsasana). Rotate up leg a little out and allow it to go out to the side.
Sirsasana Turn feet out (heels together toes out, Charlie Chaplin feet) and find out what is the grip of the outer hip? Bend knees slightly, touch heels and roll big toes out. Straighten from the outer knees. Keep left leg turned out and repeat Parsva Eka Pada Sirsasana taking right leg out beyond elbow line, touch big toe to the floor and come up.
No mats using the lines on the floor for standing poses. Ardha Chandrasana lift left pelvic towards the ceiling, even turning the big toe up to get the lift and rotation of upper hip, outer hip of standing leg in and suck up the quadricep.
Angular Vira 2 into Parsvakonasana into Trikonasana Turn left foot slightly OUT (opposite to what we normally do) to gain the pelvic opening – lift left pelvic to the ceiling. Resisting left thigh, bend the right leg rolling the knee back and cut the right buttock forward to come in line with the knee. Head back and right buttock bone further and further forward. Maintain this position of the buttock bone and straighten the right knee to come into Trikonasana suck buttock and throw head back, front left groin to outer thigh and press outer corner of heel, use your left hand to manually roll the upper pelvic back. Standing poses done in this manner to work on the pancreas for diabetes.
Are your hips breathing?
Tadasana feet turned out (Unless problem for knees) Turn your feet completely out, see if you can turn them out so much that the inner edge of the foot is completely parallel to the horizontal line of the floor tile (Charlie Chaplin but more so). Suck the knees, grip knees and hips. Feel the grip? This is how the standing leg hip should feel in ardha chandrasana.
Vira 2 – Parsvak – Ardha Chandrasana now in classical pose, heel to instep, briefly to feel this hip grip.
Parsvottonasana into Parivrtta Trikonasana using the vertical line of the floor tile to gauge alignment x 3 different positions all on same side so that you experience the difference. 1) Right foot to right of line, left foot to left of line 2) Both feet on line 3) Right foot slightly to left, left foot slightly to right (not to be taught, do you feel why?. Lock forearm against outer shin to fuel the rotation and in all 3 versions, keep your nose in line with the big toe and inner front foot grounded on the floor. Take proper distance and keep back heel down.
Turn feet out uttanasana big toes together and heels out. No gap at all on outer feet. Lift inner ankles and roll outer foot down. Feel the spread of the groins – the outer hips tend to collapse forward, take your thumbs to the outer hips and push them back. The exact area that sometimes gets the cramp in Vira 3? Move that back.
Uttanasana feet joined, ankle bones pressed together into Vira 3 first lift leg, then lift fingertips off the floor – hips intensify to lift arms.
Vira 1 using the line of floor tile to gauge alignment 1) Feet either side of the line 2) Feet on the line. Feel the difference those few centimetres make.
Take single blanket pleated 4 fold or bolster if neck a problem. Halasana fingers interlocked behind. Take heels to floor but lift outer hips up, use your hands to lift outer hips up. Heels down, thighs up. Feel whole hamstring from buttock bone to back of knee.
Parsva Halasana when you walk to right side, raise right heel higher and grip outer ankle / outer hip in.
Parsva Halasana Catch the big toes and then whole palm under the foot and raise thighs and outer hips up. Arms straight, legs straight Continue to hold the foot with both hands and raise the left leg to
Eka pada nirlambe sarvangasana Throw raised leg out, turn foot out and feel how right side abdomen opens. Those that can, raise the other leg up to nirlambe sarvangasana. Press the hands down, tuck the buttocks in, extend the body upward and grip the legs together. Repeat other side and then both legs joined, come half way down. Then repeat 5 or 6 times Halasana to nirlambe sarvangasana touch the floor with the toes, keeping legs gripped and extended to come up and down with the kneecaps sucked in.
Savasana Spreading legs and arms a little wider, leg pits and armpits open, clarity of separation there in those darkest of places.