I did something I have never done before in yoga class tonight! I did a full Bird of Paradise for about 5 seconds!
For those that think that a Bird of Paradise is only a flower or an actual animal, well let me clue you in on the yoga position that I accomplished today.
Picture your feet spread apart a good distance, and you bend your left knee, put your left shoulder down next to the inside of the same knee. You follow? Now take your left arm and wrap it under your leg so your hand is attempting to grab your own ass. (insert inappropriate joke here) Then take your right arm back around your back and put your hands together behind yourself. That position is called Bound Warrior.
To get to Bird of Paradise, you lift the leg that your arm is wrapped around and stand up on the other leg. So basically you are standing on one leg, with the other is in a cradle of your arms while your arms are wrapped around your body backwards.
I realize the last two paragraphs probably make no sense and you are thinking "What on Earth is she talking about?" But I assure you it's possible, just google "bird of paradise yoga" and you'll get an actual picture. The last part of the pose is to bring the leg that is being cradled out straight. That I did not do.
I was so stunned with myself once I actually stood up that I audibly gasped, remained in the position for a few more seconds and then let go. I had never done that before and I almost didn't believe that it had just happened. It is a very odd feeling to stand on one leg while holding the other with your arms wrapped backwardly around you.
I could only do it on the left side though. I've noticed that I'm much more flexible on my left than on my right. In doing Bound Warrior on my right, I can't even get my hands to touch.
I also did what yogis call Wheel pose, but what we all called bridge as kids. Where you just go into a back bend. I like that pose, it stretches and opens and comes easily to me. But then I kicked it up a notch and put a foot in the air. I had to let my mind really go for that one. Here I am upside down, looking at the floor and I need to put my foot on the ceiling. Easy, you may say. Try it. Right now. I had to actually say to myself, lift your leg, and then trust that the rest of me wasn't going to give out when I lost 1/4 of my support.
I love yoga. I am going on 4 hours of sleep (thanks St. Patty's day) but I knew I would feel a lot better if I went to yoga tonight. And now I'm home, still tired but also feeling renewed and a bit impressed with myself. Here's to a sound nights sleep!