Friday, 23 November 2012



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I don’t really hate animals.  When it comes to yoga, however, if a pose is named after an animal, there’s a strong chance I don’t like it very much.  Cobra, Frog, Eagle, Camel, Locust, Fish, Rabbit…bah humbug.  The exceptions to this rule are Downward Dog, Cat, Crow and Pigeon.  It just so happens I have very strong feelings about all the others. 

Last year I was at a party in LA and got chatting to a friend of a friend who asked me out on a date after talking to me for five minutes (this happens a lot in the States).  When he wasn’t telling me where he could take me out for drinks, we started discussing yoga and for some reason (I don’t remember how this came about, it was a long time ago!) we were talking about Eagle and I said I didn’t like practicing Eagle.  “That’s stupid”, he told me.  This wasn’t why I didn’t go out with him – he also spilled red wine on my dress, ashed his spliff in my drink and assured me that he’d had an HIV test recently.  Charming…

It’s not STUPID to dislike Eagle by the way.  Some people can’t rotate their hips and legs that way, some people find it hurts their knees – it just makes me sick.  Literally sick.  I had a teacher who would say that doing Eagle releases all the toxins in your body and that’s what it feels like to me – toxic.  So I’m usually a whimp when it comes to Eagle and often just do the arms, cross one knee over the other and keep the toes of my top foot on the floor. 

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Camel and I don’t get on much better.  A lot of yoga teacher’s talk about how Camel brings up strong emotions in the body.  It just hurts my back and neck personally.  If I tuck my toes and put my hands on my heels, my arms are too long in the pose and I scrunch my shoulders up around my neck.  If I don’t tuck my toes, my neck feels much better but my lower back hurts.  If I keep my hands on my lower back and don’t tilt back, I find I can’t breathe.  I feel like I can’t win.  I’m going to have to give very, very brief Camel demonstrations if I ever want to teach it. 

It wasn’t all Wednesday night doom and gloom – weekly Power-Vinyasa-From-Hell was actually Ashtanga again for the second week in a row, and in YTT we got to study Half Moon, which I do love.  Half Moon is funky.  When you’re not falling over, that is.  

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