Inspired by the A-Z theme of life I gave K a little consideration before yesterdays’ class. Once in, it was suddenly obvious, the key to so many postures is ‘Kick’ Kick harder, kick further into your hand, kick your heels up, kick your heels out… keep kicking! Weather standing head to knee, Standing Bow or the floor series there’s a serious amount of kicking going on – not that it’d be so apparent to the observer as it doesn’t look like there’s much happening!
And there was one kick I didn’t want to do – emergency exit from toe stand where you flick your heel out whilst on the floor when you can’t get back to standing in reverse.
So my mission today was exactly that. I was going to really focus on several poses. In Standing head to knee I struggle to lock my leg, sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t. That’s the leg you’re stood on as without contracting the thigh, raising the knee caps and something else I’ve not quite figured out, it bends. When that leg bends the teacher can see it before you even realise, and if they’re talking to you it’s time to accept that you won’t be lifting the other leg in front as below:
OK so even on a really good day I don’t get past the first stance here, it looks so easy but how on earth I’m supposed to balance everything on one foot god knows. My body sure hasn’t got this figured out yet.
I did ok at times, I manage to get my leg out forward but every time my mind turned to kicking my heel out my standing leg buckled and I did some serious wobbling. There was no-one behind me so I didn’t have too much weight of responsibility.
Standing Bow. As described in ‘Imagination’ it seems I had a serious lack of it today. I hate knowing I can do postures that don’t work out, but they do say ‘no expectations’ at the beginning of class. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out. I entered steadily by kicking out first and bending a little backwards, as stressed by one teacher who sternly tells us if we fall out it’s because we’re going to fast into the pose. (‘Charge forward’ does, to me, carry some implication that you need to go forward pretty fast!) Of the four, I fell out of the first pose. I’m not sure what’s going on there, I was kicking and kicking but I think I get to a point where I’m… bored? That doesn’t seem to fit, I guess I start questioning if I can finish it or not. I hate the word ‘lower’ too, and am distinctly aware that it’s almost becoming a cue for me to fall out. Must break that habit. The other three I held. But did I kick as hard as I can? I know I’ve done better before. One day, I’ll be that yogi on a mountain top or by a beautiful lake Standing Bow with all the grace and effortlessness of the image in ‘I’. But not yet.
Pass. I didn’t emergency exit! Granted I didn’t lift high enough to keep my hands off the floor but today was the first time they came up!
Clearly this image is not me either. I am not male, black or anywhere near to perfecting the pose like this but I couldn’t let him disappear back into the sea of Google Images and it will give me good reason to re-read my own posts sometime…
But you get the picture.
Locust pose today was inspired. I thought the aim was to get your legs off the ground around, two hands maybe? Then I saw this crazyness:
What IS that?? Amazing. It’s not about a kick, but I needed to share that today. I didn’t do that either, but I did get a little higher than usual.
Bow I’m not 100% on how it looked but I felt as though I nearly gave as good as in ‘C’ when I received my only ever well done…
What I thought I was aiming for:
What a REAL kick can do:
How to look a little bit crazy in Bow. I’m sure it’s justified.
I’ll not post pictures of leg stretches, we’ve all seen or tried them at some point and there’s nothing exciting about them. Except for me managing to kick my heels off the ground on individual legs – with two I’ve done it a few times but never with one!
Kicking may have edged me forward in places, I don’t think focus on one thing is going to change much over night but hopefully it’ll knit into the greater learnings sometime. If it does in the course of A-Z you’ll be the first to know about it!