Savasana, the name itself (meaning corpse pose in Sanskrit) is a downer, morbid, death-invoking. It usually comes at the end of class and is a kind of “do-nothing” pose that sends some practitioners heading for the door, mat rolled up and tucked under arm.
I found myself in a curious position over the weekend in yoga class. I was unable to sustain myself in a pose modified for novices or people not used to sustaining their body weight. It should have been easier for me.
The pose was side plank (Vasisthasana) — most vinyasa 1 practitioners grind their teeth when they have to get into this pose from plank. In this case, the teacher decide to use me as a demo for the pose and its modification, which required me to place the lower knee on the ground to support my core (as illustrated in the photo to the right). I found that I could not keep my leg directly under me and aligned in the same plane as my body because I could not fully open up my hip. It seemed to reach a limit at about 45 degrees. It was more difficult resting on the right knee, but I also had issues with the left variant. When I tried to muscle my way into a more open expression, it was as if I butted up against bone, with no give. It actually hurt.
For at least 10 years, I’ve suffered from the sensation of a sharp pain, like a pin prick, on my right foot. Originally, it was located on my outside ankle, but it began to shift around and ended up between my third and fourth toes. During the day, I didn’t notice it that much because my shoe pressured the skin and disguised the sensation. At night, it was hard to sleep because I found feel the pin prick (no shoes allowed in bed) and only by pressing my other foot into the spot could I achieve relief.
Well, this week, I suddenly noticed that I no longer felt the pin prick — yoga has cured me! I suspect it was a pinched nerve and I somehow relieved the pressure on the nerve.
Now I just have to work on the other weird nerve sensation on my feet — when I rotate my ankle, my toes go numb.