Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Seeing My Toes

Will I ever see my toes in "Floor Bow"?.......I ask myself this question after 4+ years of practicing Bikram's Yoga.

Of all the 26 postures in Bikram's, I can tell you which ones (postures) I was not genetically born to do. Combine that with starting a yoga practice after the age of 40 and what can a person expect?

Tight hamstrings......that's my first problem, and I take responsiblility for it. Sure, I can take the time to stretch on a regular basis.....stretching and practicing yoga, by the way, are two different things. So, any kind of forward bend is challenging for me....let's start with the first forward "head to knee" posture.....how about "seperate leg, forehead to knee", even a simple seperate leg, forehead to floor.....these three postures are the reason that I decided to train for my level 2 RKC....(again, another blogpost for another time.......)

Here we are, backbends......ahh....backbends....I can figure these out. In fact I find backbends, well, I'm not going to say easy, but easier, because I know if I contract my glutes (swings....) that helps t release my hips and voila....so why was arching back to the point of seeing my toes in floor bow (a backwards bend) so far from reality.....or so I thought.

A few months ago I noticed, from my peripheral vision, one of my yoga instructors (who is naturally flexible, by the way) get into the full expression of this posture, effortlessly.....what was different with her pose than mine? Her neck. The extention and flexiblity of her neck....you can only kick your legs back, and up, so far, and then what? And then your neck, has to have the flexiblilty for your eyes to look behind you to see.....YOUR TOES!

Monday April 5th, 9:15am Bikram yoga class (after a 7:15am "warm up" class, lol) Tracy Reifkind saw her toes, in "Floor Bow", for the very first time!

OMG! I've been hell bent on seeing my damn freakin' toes for a few months now. Now that I had figured out it was the flexibility in my neck that I had to focus on.......and now it paid off! Was that real? Did I really just see my toes? Yep! First my right side toes, and then I looked quickly to my left.....yep, there they were, both sides, two feet.....good Lord, today it seems like a dream....but it did happen!

I flagged down my teacher during savasana and excitedly "mouthed" to her....."I saw my toes! For the first time ever!"(thumbs up)....She announced it to the class...."Tracy just saw her toes for the first time!" And she's been practicing for years.....see! It'll happen".....(it was thrilling to have my fellow practioners, besides me, congratulate me, and a few more of my friends after class, take notice.

Whew....now, if I can ever get my damn forehead to my knee......

Top picture was taken about 4 hours after my Monday mornings yoga practice....obviously whithout heat, and after my Level 2 training with Mark.....but it starts to show the difference from the next picture, taken about 2-3 years ago....see the difference in the neck flexibility and extention? The last picture is of my backward bend......much easier for me to do than forward bends......but as you can see with the rest of the class it's not easy for most.


Diana said...

That first picture? Yeah, we had to do that pose last week for the first time and I said to the instructor; "you want me to do what?" "you want me to grab what?" "you want me to raise what?"
Being a 48year old runner/biker/shit posture person just isn't made for this kind of "torture". But what a great feeling it was when I was able to get both feet on the first try! Damn if I'll ever post a pic though!! I don't have a set (of balls)that big yet to post yoga pictures!
My 36/36 is going well.....the harder you make these workouts, the harder it is for me to quit! Addiction.......you may see me on the TV show; "Intervention" being dragged away from my kettlebells.....hahahahahaha!
Yeah for Yoga-awesome sidekick for KB's!

Tracy Reifkind said...


Your balls are plenty big enough, lol!

I love your comment about the show "Intervention"....nothing like trash TV...I love it....but seriously, I need to start a RKA Group (Russian Kettlebell Anonymous)....let's see....there's you and me....and maybe Meg., lol!

mslloyd said...

You don't want me for your RKA group. My idea of "support group" is the bunch of friends that gathers at my house to drink vodka while we watch Intervention on Monday nights.

Tracy Reifkind said...

meg....love it! That'll get you a nomination to be president of RKA!

ljbarron said...

i need to join this 12 step program too. Hi My name is Leslie and I am addicted to kettlebells It has been 24 hours since my last workout......

Tracy Reifkind said...


The 12 step program should be for those NOT addicted to kettlebells!
Hi my name is ......I'm not addicted to kettlebells and my life sucks....

Step one. Swing
Step 2. Swing
Step three. Swing
Step four. Swing
Step 5. Swing
Step 6. Swing
Step 7...OK you can learn the snatch now!
Step 8. Swing/snatch
Step 9 Swing/ snatch
Step 10. HKC
Step 11. Swing, snatch, Get-up, Goblet squat.
Step 12. RKC....thank God I've been training with Tracy Rif, now I'm ready to kill it!