About a few months after going for regular yoga classes, I was first introduced to kakasana in a Hatha 1 class. It was the last pose, introduced just before cooling down for savasana. Of course, the noobie me could not lift at all, my wrists hurt like crazy, and the next day, I had bruises on my triceps from repeatedly jabbing my knees into them. I practised repeatedly, watched online tutorial after tutorial, face planted until I contemplated a nose job, and finally, in January 2016, this happened.
As you can see, my toes were just 2 inches off the mat, my back was flat and my face was tense like anything. Still I celebrated my lift-off. I realised it was truly an arm BALANCE. I don’t need brute strength, I just need to find that elusive sweet spot to balance on my palms.
The months after, I practised kakasana on and off, working on other balances and inversions that interest me (inversion junkie/ wannabe, me) instead. Then, when I learnt about the udiyana bandha in my Level 1 immersion, that’s when I felt an improvement in my arm balances. I felt lighter on my palms (although my weight never budged), I did not dump my weight on my arms and I could hold the arm balances for a longer period.
This is me in September 2016.
My lower legs are parallel to the mat! My face is relaxed, and I just discovered that I could hold it for about a minute by alternating between engaging my bandha, resting on my wrists, or engaging my hip flexors to lift my bum. Sort of like shifting my weight around to rest the various parts of my body to hold the pose.
I am darn proud of my progress. While you may say 9 months is a long time to work on a pose, I say to you, PRACTISE AND ALL IS COMING. The DURATION of it coming is redundant.