Bali in 19

Style: Vinyasa Inversions
Teacher: Todd Lavictoire
Studio: Upward Dog

I need a solid handstand to add to my repertoire. I’m officially obsessed. Every day I come closer and I can’t rest until I make it mine.

I attack the handstands like a drill Sergeant. I expect full cooperation and demand success. I'm not hearing any excuses tonight and I'm only accepting total victory. Barking orders at my biology I flip upside down over and over again. I tackle each new challenge with no hesitation, with the mindless brainwash of a well-trained G.I. Life upside down never felt better. My balance is improving, I have more control. I'm an adrenaline junkie and I'm feeding off the discombobulation flipping the world upside down provides. It lets me feel power. It's like I lift the entire planet over my head and hold it there. Eternity stretches out in every direction and my mind crystallizes. My attention comes to a razor sharp focus that could cut glass.

Along with the militant inversion exercises, Todd incorporated more of the bandhas. I've had some practice with Mula banda, or root lock, but today we took it even deeper and studied the Uddiyana bandha. Also known as the abdominal lock, it's practiced by exhaling completely with a curved spine, then straightening the spine and drawing the abdomen in and up without taking in any breath. We experimented with the locks in different positions, noting their effects on the practice and on the body. Learning these two bandhas eventually makes way for Agni Sara, an intense cleansing and detoxifying practice which literally translates as "purging by cascading the fire."

It might just be an old adage, but I've heard it said that it's darkest before dawn, that the darkest point of the night is right before the sun comes out. Experiencing a week-long dark night of the soul with no end in sight, I can only hope that sunrise is right around the corner. It's an internal electro-magnetic storm and it's wreaking havoc on my psyche. All I can do in the meantime is flip the script as many times as I can, trying to evade my incessant mental chatter in an inverted reality. Until I figure things out, if I ever do, I'll spend my days head over heels.


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