At different stages of time as my practice has evolved, I have struggled with various asana. Some are the usual suspects of ashtanga like Mari D, any form of balance, and my ever changing back bending. I’m a bit more than halfway through the intermediate series and kapotasana has most certainly kept it’s reputation as difficult, both physically and emotionally. The first time I ever went into it, I not only felt like I was having a full blown anxiety attack, but released a kidney stone…seriously. On the comical side of it, I had no idea I even was experiencing a kidney stone, I thought I had hurt my back, so…by the end of the week as the stone was finally breaking up and causing me to pee burgundy, the doctors in the ER thought I was a freak because I was happy and relieved to have a stone as this meant my back was not injured. I’m pretty sure this shows just how certifiably crazy I am. I promise, I hate pain and injury, but with any demanding physical practice, at certain points, things sometimes happen, but by knowing my back was open enough, not torn, nothing tweaked beyond the horrible discomfort of the stone breaking up and working it’s way out of my body, I rationalized that kapo helped heal an underlying health issue. I admit, my husband likes to point out to me that sane, rational people who don’t practice ashtanga may not understand my perspective, but I’m fine with that. I’m pretty sure it’s more than ashtanga that makes me beat to my own drum.
Anyway, it’s now been a year and change since that lovely moment in time, and though I now have bigger fish to fry in learning new asana, the evolution of kapo has not always been smooth, far from it. Illness, sleeping funny, cold weather, my mindset, as well as a trip to India all caused minor setbacks, but nothing has been more detrimental than my sweaty hands. I really have had an almost impossible time creeping my hands back and up to my heels and ankles. Towels, wiping my hands, more wet, dryer, I had almost given up on the floor method and was really just attempting to go straight down from the air as I can in an adjustment…sigh, I’m lazy here too, because three or more attempts to “get it” is just so taxing. On the bright side of it, I have really had to get my breathing calm and stable, and much of the time, it is!
About three weeks ago, my teacher S told me he had the same issue with his hands and the only mat grippy enough was the lululemon the mat. ( though now, over time he can just do it with any mat) I groaned, because, I had tried that mat, and given it away because it smelled so strongly of rubber, and it also wasn’t all that grippy, at least the one I had had before. I love my mat, my space, my manduka…besides The Mat isn’t cheap and from a frugality mindset, there was nothing particularly wrong with my two plus year old manduka pro. I resisted, I decided buying the mat would be an ego based decision and that is not what yoga is about, until of course you start envisioning the easy crawl into your feet on The Mat! So, I did what any sane rational person would do, and caved and bought The Mat about a week ago….and it worked! My hands actually stick to it’s slightly sheened smooth black surface! Ease in kapotasana is almost the most rediculous statement I can make, but hey, it’s working.
It has caused me angst though, as I let my desire for grip guide me to make a mostly unneeded purchase. Desire and I go way back, my mom always laughed telling me even as a small child I would say, but mommy I don’t want it, I need it! Well, I guess I still cave to that ego, because I really
wanted needed The Mat.