So… normally it takes a full week to get back to Monday. However, I feel like Monday came rolling back around in less than 5 days. Still, this is something to celebrate, because I have officially reached the humpday of the series!
That’s right! Week 3 out of 6! This is a good day for me to evaluate what I’ve learned, and how far I’ve come at this halfway point.
I’m so excited!
I get to class and it starts off as expected with our usual round of stretching. Neck, shoulders, arms.. they’re all present and accounted for, though not particularly happy to be there. We stretch out our backs and hips, and it comes time for our tree pose.
Me: Hey guys… do we want to try for the thigh this time?
Me: Awww… it’s been a couple of weeks, I think we might actually be able to pull it off… how about it?!
I decided not to press my luck. It was, after all, still the beginning of class. But, I was totally going to try closing my eyes this time. I’ll just spring that on my body last minute…
That should go well.
I get into my tree relatively easily. My branches were a little wobbly, but the breeze didn’t knock me down…
Sara: “Alright, on the count of three, we’re going to close our eyes! 1…2…3!
Not the best, but I stayed what one might consider to be “upright”… so I’m gonna count that as a win!
Sara: “Now… let’s see if we can go ahead and kick our leg straight out to the side!”
… baby steps.
Finally, we’re ready to get into the silks!
Sara: “Alright, I want to work on some conditioning exercises today!”
Body: hmm… that… that doesn’t sound good.
Sara: “Everyone get into your wrist locks and we’re going to practice holding our tuck”
Body: Dude… just say the word… *click*
The tuck… is pretty much where you have your wrists locked into the silks, but you’re still holding on with your hands (We’ll get into that component in just a second). Then, you have to raise your knees and tuck your feet under.
Your feet have to actually leave the ground, and you have to try to hold yourself up for as long as you can.
Now, beyond the standard issue torture this puts on your body, you are gripping the silks with your hands… Tightly… on account of the holding yourself up. This is very different from your run-of-the-mill pull-up. First of all, your grip is vertical, not horizontal. Secondly, um…
There’s nothing metal to let your hands know “hey… you’ve done enough, good job!” No… this fabric is just like
Listen to me very carefully when I say this. After doing everything you could possibly do in this class, after all the muscles you use that you didn’t even know existed (and honestly, probably don’t) the one thing on me that always hurts more than anything else…
Ugh! Tuck practice is the worst!
Sara: “Now, while you’re holding your tuck, I want you to alternate between tucking, and stretching your legs out in a straddle. Tuck…straddle…tuck….straddle”
Brain: What did she say?!
Me: C’mon guys… maybe it won’t be so bad!
Body: Maybe it… I will do no such thing, Madam!
Me: It’ll be fine… look! tuck…str…
Me: TUCK… STRA…
Me: C’moooon Man!
Body: I can do this all day.
So, the tuck and straddle didn’t go as planned… Ugh, that has to be the absolute worst!
Sara: “Now, let’s try a dead hang!”
Sara: “Take your hands out of your wrist locks. We’re going to want to keep our shoulders down and back, not over extended. Gripping the silks with just your hands, you’re going to just let your body hang as you lift your feet off of the ground, arms straight.”
Brain: so… after a preliminary check, we don’t think this is something we want to do.
Me: I know, but… we have to, if we’re going to get stronger…
Brain: it has the word “dead” in the title… you heard that right?
Me: Yes. Yes, I heard that. But let’s just get through it.
Brain: You realize you’ll be holding up the entirety of your body weight with just your already sore hands, right?
Me: Alright, that’s enough
Brain: Do you remember how much you weigh?
Okay, so we’re 0/2 with the hangings and the holdings…
Sara: “It’s good to push yourself, but make sure to always listen to your body!”
Body: Get your coat…
This humpday is not going as planned.
Sara: “That was very good, everybody!”
… it’s adorable when she lies.
Sara: “Okay, let’s put our silk knot in and try a pose!”
POSE! You just said the magic word! I’ve never knotted a silk so fast in my life.
Sara: “Today I want us to try the Lotus Pose!”
Brain: *researching everything having to do with Lotus + Pose*
Me: *IMMEDIATE Skeptical Fry*
This time, I didn’t even get to voice my concern, because everyone in class realized the same thing I did…
Sara sounded way too excited about this.
“uhhh… is this going to be as hard as the diaper pose?”
AHA! a comrade!
Sara: “it’s… a little different than the diaper pose…”
Everyone in class:
Sara: *noncommittal smile of tomfoolery* “You’re going to want to start with your foot on top of the knot sideways at a right angle. Once your foot is in position, we’re going to grab our silks, pull up strong, bringing our other foot in to match it and settle down to a comfortable spot. From here, we’re going to bring one shoulder in front of the silks, then the other. Keep your back straight and tall, pushing back with your feet and your shoulders to get a nice tight hold keeping you upright, and when you feel stable… you can let go of the silks and bring your hands in front for prayer position.”
Sara: “From here, you can bring your hands behind you, grab the silks, let yourself roll forward and *super dumb dummy head smile* Tada! Inverted Lotus! Everybody ready to try it?!”
No… I can do this.. Okay, foot, on top of the knot. Check. Okay. Foot’s feeling good right there all sideways. Alright, lets grab ahold and 1,2,3 UP! Quick, settle in! Okay… status report…
Body: We’re … I think we’re okay. We lost contact below the calves, though.
Me: Boost the signal! Hello Hello? Are you guys reading me down there?!
Body: Maybe it’ll help if we go ahead and get our shoulders in front of the silks.
Me: Good Idea! Now we’re playing as a team!
Brain: Um… I’ve been doing some calculations…
Me: Later, Brain! Shoulders! We need you on the front lines!
Shoulders: Oui, Mon Capitan!
(don’t ask me why my shoulders are French)
Me: This is nice! Alright, here we go… hands in prayer position!
Me: WHOA! no no! ABORT! ABORT!
My hands somehow had the good sense to grab onto the silks (when in doubt, grab onto the silks!)
Me: What the HELL happened, y’all?!
Brain: Like I was saying… I did some calculations, and it would appear that your major cargo hold is located in the upper portion of your front quadrant…
Me: In English, please?
Brain: Your boobs are huge and drag you down like an anchor.
Me: Ah… okey dokey then.
I tried a couple of times to get my hands into prayer position, but as soon as I would let go of the silks, I’d immediately start to topple forward… so…
This is as lotus-y as it was gonna get.
I tried the inverted lotus, which was a lot better, but I ended up getting stuck, and had to call Sara to “unlotus” me. We’ll add that to the “Needs More Practice” list… which is getting pretty long.
Sara: “Alright, now that we’ve given our hands a rest, let’s work on our climbing a little bit!”
Me… Oh joy of joys!
Climbing is at the TOP of that “Needs More Practice” list. I’ll admit it…
I suck at climbing!
I’m really great at trapping the fabric. a little bit too great, because I can never seem to get it to slide down my leg … and then my body feels super heavy, and my arms get tired , and my hands hurt.
Me: Okay guys, I want us to just give this a good try, I mean really put all your effort into it!
Body: … I think we should see other people.
Me: Okay, here we go, knees high, we’re wrapping the fabric around bringing it across the foot, pull up strong! Other foot traps it! Whew! okay, let’s just swing here for a while. Now, let’s see if we can get the fabric to slide down… unravel!
Leg: I’m trying!
Me: Okay, you keep working on it, in the meantime, let’s try to pull up!
Me: OMG… I … I think we’re doing it! We’re doing it!
Sara: “Great Job, Sheenal!”
Me: OMG I’m the itsy bitsy-est of spiders! Climb! CLIIIIIMB!
Sara: “Make sure to save enough energy to come down slowly and controlled, one hand under the other…”
Me: Yeah… okay, let’s not push it… great job everybody! Let’s make our way down…
Inspiring right?! Well, I happened to look down, only to realize that I had climbed my @$$ off, and I only got 6 inches higher than where I started. I was literally like:
But, I did it… and it that’s what counts, right?
Now, I’m feeling pretty good about myself. This halfway point wasn’t the triumph I was expecting, but it’s definitely starting to look up.
Sara: “Alright, let’s tie another silk knot, but this time let’s tie it low.”
Me: Okaaaay. I like the sound of this!
Sara: “Let’s go ahead and lie down, put our feet in the silks for a nice restorative/resting pose.”
It’s like Santa read all those letters!
I don’t want to brag, but my resting game is SO STRONG!
It’s Rassy’s time to shine!
Sara: “Feel free to swing your feet to and fro…”
Me: I’m to’ng and fro’ng so HARD right now!
This is the best moment of my life right now!
Sara: “Now, let’s flip over on our stomachs…”
Me: You’ve got it ma’am! Whatever you say! Life is glorious! *flip*
Sara: “And let’s go ahead and take our right foot out of the silks… leave the left one in there, let’s just drop the right foot down to the floor.
Me: um… okay… this should be fine… life is still good…
Sara: “On the count of three, we’re going to go up into a plank pose, bringing our right foot up at the same level as our left, outside of the silk. 1,2,3!”
Brain: I believe she’s talking to you…
Sara: “Good, everybody! Hold it for as long as you can!”
Brain: Dude, are you crying?
Me: B***h, I might be…
Do you know how long 30 seconds is?
…. two hours. I’ve checked.
After I collapsed onto the mat in a pile of my own despair, Sara announced we had one last activity.
Well, unless it’s a full scale mutiny… count me OUT!
Sara: “Sheenal, you wanna help me demonstrate?!”
We all partnered up, Sara was my partner (I’m sure her spidey sense alerted her that I was about to bolt) And we did a very effective, only mildly torturous core exercise where you lie down and your partner has to try to push your feet to the ground, and you have to keep popping them back up.
… I did pretty good at this ? It was hard work, but she never got me down.
And that’s what this class is really about. Nobody said this would be easy. Nobody really explained how hard it would get sometimes, but still, you don’t let anything that happens get you down. You keep popping up, you keep climbing, you keep holding on.
Maybe that’s really what I needed to learn at the halfway point. I’m still here. I’m still doing it… I’m still…
Sara: Okay, we’ve got a couple of minutes left if you want to practice your tuck, or your climbing…
Me: NOPE! Good day, one and all! You’ve wrecked me enough for one evening…
But, I’ll see you all again next week.
Check out Rassy at www.rassy.me