November 2, 2011

Opening My Eyes and My Hips to Padmasana

Last night, I was able to make it through my practice right up to Marichyasana D without forgetting an asana.  I am able to complete the binds in the Marichyasana until I get to D where you must bind your bent leg with the opposite arm while your other leg is bent into half Padmasana or half lotus.

Marichyasana D. Via
There I was struggling desperately to grab my hands or even the tips of my fingers and rolling around on my butt, when Jeff came over to me and asked me if my ankle that was in Padmasana hurt.  Yes!  It always does.  I've mentioned this to teachers in other disciplines but had never gotten much in way of feedback, other than that my ankles were tight.  Well, did I just learn a wealth of information last night.  Jeff had me take my leg and bend it at the knee with my calf in front of me and parallel to the floor.  He then had me point my toe, like a ballerina, to prevent my toes from pointing to the ceiling and my ankle from turning.  Keeping my shin bone parallel to the floor I pulled my heel tight into my abdomen.  Jeff pointed out to me that my tendency is to bend my ankle, pointing the toes upward, which is what causes the strain on my ankle and my knee. I then turned my knee to almost point forward while rolling my hip and my calf in. 

Wow! What a difference.  My ankle no longer hurt.  It felt stiff but it wasn't painful.  My legs felt strong in Padmasana.  They never felt that way before.  It always felt awkward to me.  Suddenly, it was - it is - a new pose.  I felt grounded.

Jeff told me that in the next little while, I should work up to Marichyasana D in my practice, working on the variations of Mari D until I build some more strength in my core and am able to sit up straight so that I can reach my opposite arms.  In John Scott's book, he says that if you cannot perform this asana, do not progress further.  It is importatnt to develop opening in the hips and ankles before attempting the following asanas.

So, I will continue building my practice and working with my breath through the fluidity of the movement of the asanas while working on opening my hips and strengthening my core.  I feel like I have a goal that I am working towards and a focus.

My practice has shifted again.  It was always does, when I least it expect it to, things change.

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