I love this moment in Bikram’s sequence. It means I’m not going to have to balance any more, or feel like I’m going to fall over. I’m allowed to breathe and hang my head down. I also feel the frustration that follows of never getting my head to touch the ground but it’s almost funny because I’m still feeling, at this point, huge relief that I’m not struggling to breathe. This is also only minutes away from a water break – not that it’s really water that I’m after just the momentary distraction and normality. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll try and skip it. The water cravings are not always about being thirsty, apparently if you don’t breathe properly it is a way for the body to gain oxygen.
Talking of oxygen, I learned the hard way recently what happens when you breathe through your mouth. Having slipped out of toe stand when reversing I gasped, unplanned and involuntary but the breath was in before I could clamp my mouth shut again. Everything raced, I felt I wanted to gasp for air as if I were being suffocated, my heart pounded and my mind was grappling for a way out of the studio – it took the entire interval between postures to regain clear sight.
‘Quarter turn to the right’ is safe time. The posture that follows hurts, but in a different way to the balancing series. Perhaps once I’ve learned to do it right and manage to touch the forehead to the ground I’ll realise otherwise and it’ll be a trigger moment for dread, but for now it’s as good as a water break.