Surrender in Kapotasana and Eka Pada Sirsasana

Today I made it to Eka Pada Sirsasana pose, or the head behind the leg pose. Wait. That doesn’t sound right. I mean, leg behind the head pose!! Obviously I am still recovering…

I realise that I had not written a post for a while…I suppose I got caught up with life, meaning chasing after two children, making the scary decision to go into full-time private practice, and studying for a PhD program. I have had many folks ask me, “How do you do all of that and still stay sane?!” Well, yoga — even a bad day of yoga — is what keeps me sane.

Today David helped me grab the heels in Kapotasana, and even though I can do this, I still hate the pose. I tell him my feelings about it, and he said that the deep and intense backbends are meant to help focus the energy inwards. And I suppose that was also why I had fallen off writing about my yoga process; something about the series of backbends in the Second Series are very intense and thus feel highly personal. I found myself focused on the poses but suddenly not wanting to express very much about them.

There is an element of surrender in both of these poses. For me in Kapotasana, the moment of surrender occurs when I have touched my hands to the mat as I bend as deeply as I can toward my feet. I feel my body wanting to resist bending deeper, but the paradox is that if I keep my hipbones/thighs as straight as I can toward the ceiling, I can touch the hands to the heels. Sometimes I need assistance. I surrender to having my hand being placed on the heels, focusing on keeping the hipbones centered towards the ceiling. I went through a phase where this pose would have me in tears…it was so intense, tears just sprang to my eyes. Today I can breathe through the intensity, focusing on breath.

Eka Pada Sirsasana, the mid point in Second Series, seems to require that same kind of surrender, especially in bending forwards. I focus on the breath, I do not realize how hard this pose is until I am actually in it. At the same time, I realise that it is another milestone for me. Mid point into Second Series, and the poses keep on getting harder and harder. Meanwhile, the mind goes deeper and deeper…


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