I lifted this image of the "Vrschikasana" pose from yoga.about.comYesterday I ventured gingerly back into yoga after laying out all day Tuesday with the sciatica. I waited all day until around 3 p.m. before the restlessness finally overtook me. In my defense, the day was not a total loss, as I did spend nearly three hours washing windows and blinds. So I decided to pick up Iyengar's "Light on Yoga" and see what he recommended for this ailment. There is very detailed appendix of injuries and ailments in the back of the book, where he recommends asanas that should ease the situation.
Well, standing asanas of course. I did all of them except any the involved twists. Even the balancing ones went well. But all that took about 40 minutes and I was sweating by the time I was done. I decided to skip the rest of his suggestions and just do pigeon, which is also called Eka Pada Rajakapotasana. Eka means "one," pada the leg or foot, and kapota means dove or pigeon. Rajakapota means the king of pigeons. It's a fun pose, but I only did the prep for it, which is one leg folded in front by the stomach, the other leg straight back. You then can lean over the front leg and rest your head on the floor.
Anyway, I know pretty much none of you do yoga, unless I have lurkers out there. The point of this post really is about Iyengar's book. I picked it up at the beach for $4 and this was the first time I've actually used it. And there is a certain amount of reading you have to do to figure out how to use the pose section. Here are the instructions for the asana section of the book:
"After the name of each asana, there is a number with an asterisk. These number before an asterisk indicate the intensity of the asana; the lower the number, the easier the asana, the higher the number, the more difficult the asana. The easiest number is 'one,' the most difficult 'sixty.'"
SIXTY?I mean, c'mon! So 'one' is just standing in Tadasana, which is mountain pose. Utkatasana is only a two, which is basically a pose where you pretend you are sitting in an imaginary chair. I mean, that's a really hard pose. Try it. I'll wait.
See? Hard. Yet only a two. And he's got these twisted up poses that are only a fourteen. I found one that is fifty-eight, but it's basically standing on one foot, holding the other up behind your head with your hand, and then stretching the other hand out front. Yeah, hard. But I think the twisty ones are harder.
I don't get it.
Anyway, today I'll go back to my yoga class and just not do any twists. I'll take it easy on the other stuff. The hip is a little sore, but not bad. And I really should do more windows.
Oh. The pose above? Is scorpion. Iyengar rates it "Thirty-two."