I spent the afternoon practicing asana with Gioconda which was fun. We made another foray into back bends- going in the direction of her very hard dream pose gherandasana 2. We got as far along the journey as padangustha danurasana (see above) with lots of fun along the way. We spent a lot of time on the belly down back bends which are certainly not the sexy, immediately gratifying group of back bends, as far as I am concerned. But as we practiced and explored BKS's words of wisdom on them, I began to see on a whole new level just how important the belly down back bends are to a lot of then advanced postures.
Once again, cobra has to come, danurasana has to come in its classic form- (which by the way has only the belly down- his instructions are ribs off the floor AND pelvic bones off the floor), full bhekasana has to come for poses like padangustha danurasana to come to their full expression and certainly for gherandasana to come. It is almost always helpful when lusting after a pose to see where it is in Light on Yoga- to see what poses are grouped before and after it because usually those poses are the gateway to the one you want to do.
All right- so after that Kelly and I had dinner and then went to the movies with mom and Dad. We had a lovely time at How to Train Your Dragon. I highly recommend the movie. It gets bleak in a few moments but Kelly kept reminding me it was a cartoon and they were probably not going to end it horribly. (They didn't- it has a very sweet ending.)
And for those of us wanting to train our own inner dragons, once again we get the message from this movie that compassion is a key component. See, the dragons who were wreaking havoc in the village were acting violently, largely because they were defending themselves, not because they were bad by nature. So, they calmed right down when given love, compassion and understanding. (Making a long story short.)
So too, with the inner dragons of our negative coping strategies. They usually got but in place as a defense against some actual or perceived threat and usually when we violently try to purge ourselves of these demons, they just get stronger, more violent, more volatile. For me the best strategy is to get underneath the outer violence of the patterned behavior and trace that dragon's history back to the point of the original threat and then give it (and me) some compassion and care, which was what was needed originally anyway. It is a much more healing approach.
Anyway- today is a big day. We have a staff meeting at Castle Hill at 2 and then from 4:30-9:00 tonight is Teacher Training at Breath and Body. And remember, 4:30-6:00 is a public class so please come! So I have a few things I want to do for myself before the day of work begins.