It’s a pose that makes me feel weak and awkward, so I generally avoid it. I was practicing it pretty regularly around Christmas time and had noticed some progress, then I toppled right on out of it and bruised my poor ego. I tend to shift my weight forward too much, so that my wrists give out and I fall on my face. Once I fell, I took a nice long break from the pose and have just started re-visiting it in the past month or so.
We have been attempting this pose in class lately. Well, I have been attempting it and my fellow yogis have been succeeding in it. Not that that’s hard on the perfectionist in me or anything. Anyway, my teacher has been immensely helpful for two reasons. 1) she keeps reminding us that it’s a lifting motion, not a leaning forward motion, which is something I need to focus on 2) she gave us the option of placing a folded-up blanket in front of our hands. That removed half of the fear from the situation. So what if I fall? Look at this comfty blanket that will cushion my head!
At home the other day, I decided to have a little courage and practice bakasana on my own. With no one around to judge me except for my dogs, I decided it was a good time to push my boundaries. There were no blankets within reaching distance, but I did have my meditation cushion.*
The cushion is much taller and firmer than a blanket. The first time I lifted to bakasana, I had to force myself to try. Turns out once your mind decides it’s scared of something, it’s really hard to talk it out of that. Sure enough, down came my head until it rested on the cushion, so I was in an elevated sort of tripod. From there, I tried to counterbalance myself, and actually managed to find the pose for just a moment.
I sat back into my squat and made a little sound of surprise. The lightbulb went off in my head. Maybe I can use this cushion like I use the wall in headstand. If I can begin to get a good feel of the pose with the aid of the cushion, maybe I can slowly move it farther and farther away until I don’t need it at all.
I’m a little worried that the cushion will become a debilitating crutch of sorts, but for now it’s allowing me to actually feel the pose the way it’s supposed to feel, and that makes me happy.
* I was very upset when I ordered my Yoga for Relaxation kit only to receive it and find that this cushion is inflatable. I didn’t read anything about that in the product description or reviews, and I looked on two different websites. But regardless, it has served me well for as often as I use it.
note: I changed my layout again. I know, I know I just did it a month ago. But I reserve the right to change my mind at any moment, and this one is awesome, so if you’re viewing this post in a reader, click through and check it out : )