Tuesday, January 27, 2004


I had to do kapotasana twice this morning. The first time was w/ Gwendolyn who is very methodical, and it seemed like I was there for a week, trying to first inch my head back (w/ the inhale) and then crawl my hands towards the feet (w/ the exhale), and then repeating many many times. After about 45 years she let me move my hands back a few inches and straighten my arms for five breaths (Part B of the pose) and then said "Come up with a big inhale" and I did -- slowly, and not without smacking the thigh of the person next to me (yesterday she said the same thing and I started to come up and faltered. "You were doing it until you started thinking about it," she said. "You got scared." She is seventysomething and she was right). I count coming up on my own today as a breakthrough --- and it'll totally help me to stand up from BB (Which is what Lino said yesterday when I asked him what I could do to prepare to do it -- "Kapotasana," he answered). So there I was kneeling on my faded purple rug, triumphant w/ coming up on my own, and panting. Next thing I know Lino is standing in front of me. "Why you not touch-a the toes?" Because it's my fourth time (officially) doing the pose. "Fourth time, you touch-a the toes." How far were my hands from my feet? "This close" (holds fingers less than an inch apart). Oh! Should I do it again? "How does your back feel?" Fine. "Then you do it." Oh, boy. "Oh boy who?" Oh *man*. (Laughter). So I got on my knees and went back -- first you put your palms in prayer (this pose requires a prayer. And some wings) then take your arms back and land on your palms. Then the head comes down and you walk the hands in, then move the head closer and lower onto the forehead, etc. Lino gets right to the point with this adjustment (which is easier to do the 2nd time around) and next thing I knew my right fingertips were toucing something that felt like a half-cooked lima bean or semisoft M&M -- the back of one of my toes. While crawling my fingers back (like spiders) I lost sensation in the left arm, but not before feeling my fingers touching the other toe-pads. Lino helped me up this time (Thank Rama) and after doing a vinyasa he gave me the next pose -- Supta Vajrasana or Sleeping (ha) Thunderbolt pose. (You are in lotus w/ arms crossed behind your back, hands clasping your feet; for an image see http://www.tejasyoga.net/gpage.html and scroll down). That was also very exciting as my hands stayed bound to my feet the whole time (Lino really knows what he's doing). My muscles felt like putty afterwards, and then it was time for back bending... (still haven't come up) which seems easier to do after those two intense poses. Once I caught my breath, that is.

We were getting ready to leave for the flower show and art museum at 11:30 when who arrived at our wee hotel but T. and U. from Chicago. They are here for 3 days, then going up to Mysore. We got them coconuts, showed them the important places (tailor, German Bakery, beach, coconut lady, Webby World -- all w/i steps of our place) and then took off in the rick$shaw.... I just got back and am filthy/completely spaced out. (Miss Y and I wore Indian dress, including ankle braclets, bangles, salwaar kameez w/ scarf and bindi; I also brought my orange and pink parasol for the sun). There were a lot of cool orchids. Also a mini auto show, which I insisted on dragging Miss Y to. They had mint cond. British vehicles circa 1950 including Austins and others w/ steering wheels on the wrong side whose names are elduing me at the moment. And nearly every taxi on the street is an old white Ambassador -- very cool.

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