Here’s an incomplete list of the Ashtanga teachers who have adjusted / assisted me in Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana:
- Tim Miller, numerous times
- Jörgen Christiansson, lots
- Maria Zavala, often
- Jodi Blumstein
- Leigha Nicole
- Nancy Gilgoff
- Kate O’Donnell
- Robert Moses
- Annie Pace
- Bobbie, of course
- Danny Paradise, I think
Kate’s the most recent, on our Indian trip. (Her adjustment was a few days more recent than Robert’s. Also, a note: She’s been churning out some good thoughts about Mysore and the practice lately. Take a gander.) And she did it, as many of them have, despite my trying to get out of it, to — to steal a baseball term — shake them off.
I don’t try to weasel out of this adjustment for what I expect is the usual reason: the extra stretch the teacher can provide … produces sensations. (Is that the nice way of saying, “It hurts?”) I can manage a pretty decent stretch on my own, thanks to / despite my inflexibility.
That inflexibility, I know, makes me a tempting target for this adjustment.
The reason I try to avoid this adjustment is because I know how cruel it is on the teacher. My legs weigh a lot. And when they yank them up there, I’m not able to offer much aid in keeping them aloft. So I am caught worrying about the brunt they’re bearing and if I could end up being part of an injury to them.
This tends to throw me off my game. My focus, already tenuous enough, really wavers. “Is she having to grit her teeth?” “How much is he regretting doing this?” “I wish he were shorter.”
When Sharath came over to adjust me in it — one of a many adjustments I received, in the only class I’ve taken with him — I even gave him the “If you want, but it won’t be pretty” look (a sort of raised eyebrows, pursed lips look).
He plunged ahead. Teachers don’t tend to take me up on my implied, or even explicit, offer to let them bypass me. That’s because, as I’ve talked about before, I’ve been lucky in working with good teachers. Their professionalism and warm assistance, of course, just makes my worry and fretting even greater. If they were bad teachers, I wouldn’t care.
Anyone else have this issue with a pose or poses?
Posted by Steve