All weekend, I was itching to do some yoga. Of course, having driven down 7 hours to visit Rouyn for the Thanksgiving weekend, I had forgotten my mat.
Last night, I finally got the chance to give parsva bakasana – a.k.a. side crow pose – a go. I used Shannon Elliott’s video from Teachasana and used yoga blocks to get a feel of where my shoulder placement should be. As I got more and more comfortable over two hours, I slowly took away the blocks. Here are my best three videos stitched together:
Like I’ve said before, doing something new can be nerve-racking. It’s funny to say that at the beginning of the evening, I kept envisioning myself smashing my face into the ground or my yoga mat. I do get nervous, believe it or not. I didn`t even think that I would be able to do it without blocks until the end of the week, so hooray! I have added another asana to my repertoire!
I`m not sure how quickly other people normally pick up poses, but what has allowed me to pick up poses quickly may be due to a few factors:
- Starting with headstands: Yoga and other sorts of bodyweight movement often require hyperfocus. It’s not like running, where you can zone out and just keep going. In a headstand, you have to engage your core. In chaturanga, you have to lift your pelvis and squeeze your rhomboids. The benefit of having started with inversions was that I have learned to become more aware of each part of my body and as I am learning a new pose, I try to follow the exact instructions for moving into a pose.
- Cody and YouTube videos: I would not be able to get as far as I have today if it weren`t for the amazing tutorials that are available on the internet. From Patrick Beach, to Kerri Verna, Neil Keleher, to Shannon Elliott and of course, the ever-smiling Kino McGregor, are fantastic teachers! A great instructor gives great guidance and is able to see the shortfalls or common mistakes that a beginner makes. Avoiding those helps guides you into the right posture.
- Patience: You have to learn this! As Kino says in all her videos, don`t get frustrated, it comes with time. Your body is slowly `layering on muscles that you need`.
- Community support: This is what Instagram is for me. There is an amazing community of yogis and yoginis that give me the cheers I need to keep trying. People of all abilities post their videos. I don`t get much critical feedback, unfortunately, but when I ask a question, it does get answered.
- Instant feedback: My iPad is my best mirror right now. I can see how my spine is aligned, where my hands are or if my feet are pointed out in urdhva dhanurasana (they usually are). If I did not record my poses on video, I would be progressing a lot more slowly.
So where do I go from here now that I`ve got two more arm balances?
I`d like to continue with the related poses, specifically:
- Hurtles pose
- Fallen angel pose
- Grasshopper pose
- Baby crow pose
Feel free to throw me any suggestions if you have any good poses to recommend!