Saturday, May 28, 2011

Three Kapotasana Assists in a Single Month

It is the best of poses.

It is the worst of poses.

And my rendition of Kapotasana has been going backwards since my 2008 trip to Mysore (when I'd do it up to five times while waiting for Sharath to get to me. My left arm and fingers would tingle and go numb later in the day, and at some point I finally realized it was time leave. First, though, I had to get into a scooter accident to drive the point home).

Usually I work on Kapotasana at home, alone.

When the back and neck are feeling good, I try to do it three times - as Dharma instructed me.

He had us do the pose three times each time I practiced with him on a recent trip to NYC. Like Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (who adjusted me in Janu Sirsasana C the first time I practiced with him back in 2000), he zeroes in on the student's weak spot. Even with his help, the hands barely touched the toes and the elbows were nowhere near the floor.

(Dharma says that upper back tightness comes from anger; to loosen it he recommends actively moving the head towards the floor in Downward-Facing Dog).

On Thursday, Bill S helped me. We tried it twice (at my request), and the second time was much better.

Today Suddha gave me an assist in it. The fingers got on the toes, and more or less stayed.

(We won't talk about what happened in Karandavasana).

The other nice thing about today - apart from practicing asthanga with other people. And a teacher - was that MariKay, Joy N and Inside Owl were there, too.

Lovely group.

Lovely space (where Manju will give a workshop next month).

Lovely practice.

(The ego also thought it was nice to hear S. say that the new hairdo brought to mind Emmylou Harris).

NOTE: That pic is *not* of this body. I don't know whose it is. I found the image here.


  1. say hi to mary k. she had to put kukla down. she won't call me for some reason.

  2. She is in the throes of great sorrow *and* has a houseful of guests; I suspect she has no energy for anything else. I'd send her a comforting text - and expect nothing in return.

  3. I was so happy to meet you and Suddha. You're both lovely.

    And the space... wow.


  4. Too bad you never met Venki when he was good. He could've helped you with Kapo, I bet.

    But anyway it's just asana!

  5. I was in Mysore back then, but my focus was on SKPJ.

    Yes, it *is* just asana.

    But it sure makes the mind feel calm.

  6. OvO-

    It was nice to meet you, too!

    CYC is where I was first introduced to ashtanga (by Suddha).

  7. News you don't hear regarding India>

    One of the benefits of living in a developing country is discovering that pretty much nothing is ever as it seems. The latest news out of the Telegraph confirms that, by reporting on a crack down in a massive stolen-car scam which has seen the country's millionaires abandon their supercars, among them Bentleys and Aston Martins, literally on the streets of New Delhi in droves: up to 400 cars are suspected of being part of the tax-scam and theft ring. It turns out that these same cars, which were sold to top Bollywood film stars, and a couple of Indian international cricket players, were stolen from around the world, then resold by the top car dealer as second hand and falsely claimed the cars were being supplied tax-free to diplomats in order to avoid India's double taxation of luxury vehicles. "More than 40 cars are now impounded in a government car park. Models parked in the lot include Porsche Panameras, sold in India for £250,000, a Bentley Continental Supersport, costing £350,000, several Aston Martin Rapides, with a price tag of £290,000 and a Maserati, costing £170,000." But while the dealers were merely providing an unmet, if illegal, service, the ultimate enabler of this behavior is naturally the Indian Central Bank, which despite attempts to cool inflation, has created massive pockets of wealth in a society that only compares to China (and the US of course), in the schism between the few uberwealthy, and the masses of less than privileged lower classes.

    From the Telegraph:

    According to officials from India's Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, the alleged scheme to cheat its tax authority out of millions of pounds centres on a British-Indian car dealer in Britain who is accused of arranging shipments to India where demand for luxury cars is insatiable. In some Indian cities businessmen have formed groups to bulk buy Mercedes cars direct from the manufacturer because they are too far from an official dealer.

    Detectives are now seeking permission to take their investigation to London where a number of Britons are suspected of involvement. They are also preparing to approach North Korea and Vietnam to uncover more information about the roles played by their diplomats in New Delhi.

    Investigators believe they were lured into the scheme by dealers to exploit diplomatic tax concessions. Duties on imported luxury cars are 100 per cent of their import value – doubling their price.

    A New Delhi-based car dealer, named as Sumit Walia, was arrested earlier this month and charged with importing luxury cars on forged invoices. Detectives claim he has defrauded the customs authorities by passing off new cars as second-hand to save 40 per cent on import duties.

    They suspect some of the cars may have been stolen in Britain, France, Singapore and Japan before being imported to India.

    One businessman bought a Bentley Continental Supersports from an employee of New Delhi's North Korean embassy, which is not known for its high-paid diplomats or luxury fleet. The deal was allegedly brokered by Mr Walia, one Directorate of Revenue Intelligence official told The Daily Telegraph. Another was imported by a Vietnamese diplomat and sold to a different businessman. "Our investigators suspect around 300 to 400 luxury cars have been imported on fake papers and sold in all major cities across India using the same modus-operandi," said the revenue intelligence official.

  8. Yes, that's why I went to practice with him! Just before you walked in the room, C, Suddha asked me how I'd heard about him. I told him that you had told me a few years back that he was your first ashtanga teacher.

    And then you walked in, and it was the three of us.

    When he wasn't sculpting the begonia plant at the front of the room, he offered me two FREAKISHLY accurate suggestions. His ability to perceive bodies is incredible... and very inspiring to me as a teacher.

    One of his pieces of counsel was on how to protect an overly flexible knee for the long term - having focused in this teaching all week, I realize it'll impact my awareness deeply and enable me to avoid future suffering. Now there is some yoga. I'll be back.

  9. Yes, he's so good at that.
    I'm glad you'll be back!
    Let me know when you're coming
    X Om