Is This Cheating?

"That is cheating" said T, one of John's great assistants. I was on prasarita padotanassana D unsuspectingly trying to get deeper into it, when she pointed out that my thumb was doing the work that my legs were supposed to be doing.

In the picture I am back at home and perhaps exaggerating a little, at least I hope I am.  Truth is the pose does become a lot easier when"cheating"


This is the corrected version (below), and the legs do indeed have to work harder. Nice to know. Thank you T.

The thing is that up until this moment I have been unconcscious of this situation, I do not remember if I always did it the way shown in the first picture or not.   I found an old video from last winter...



But even then I could not tell!



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16 comments:

  1. Yeah, apparently so, I remember David Swenson being very particular about those thumbs, and many other minor details...which now 6 years later I really appreciate. He didn't miss a trick, he provided such a strong foundation for me to build upon, albeit very slowly ; )

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  2. エスタ Thanks for sharing that story about DS... and so it is then!

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  3. The way I first heard it was something to the effect of "No thumbs as kickstands!" :-)

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  4. Cheat schmeat smell my feet!!! :)

    I do it. I don't give a ______ that some consider it cheating. I remember talking to C about something someone or other had said about back bending. He looked at me for a moment and said, "People say a LOT of things."

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  5. Boodie's still got training wheels : ) But hey, what's the point of opposable thumbs if you cant use em.

    Claudia did you do your nails especially for these pictures? You might have got away with it if your nail polish was less striking.

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  6. definitely cheating, one of the first things I was told not to do in fact!

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  7. Frank, I love that! will use it! ;-)

    Boodiba, that is kind of funny... yes, people do say a lot of things, I am definitelly one of them! I want to try to avoid it only because I can see how my legs work a lot harder this way.

    @Grimmly HA HA HA, and you got me on a "normal day", today they are yellow... yesterday they were orange, I am going through a nail polishing face.... and there is nothing wrong with that, that is NOT cheating... hee hee

    @Loo, yeah, really? you were told THIS as one of the first things? seriously? I had NEVER heard of it... never! wow

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  8. oh yes. it was an 'infraction', this was with my first teacher, not the mellow dude I practice with now who is probably letting waaaaaaaaay too much slide. My toenails are silvery blue.

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  9. Loo, ok, silvery blue, must find! must find it!!!

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  10. Yep, I agree with Loo, it was something I have been told by lots of teachers - now I lift the thumbs entirely so there is no temptation. I have painted my nails this week for the first time in aaaages (fingers AND toes! Matching!) and am finding it quite distracting...a bit like wearing a dress to practice or something ;)

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  11. daydreamingmel, nice that you did your fingernails... and they are matching, cool!!! I actually only find them distracting outside of yoga, and find myself looking at them all the time, but during practice somehow it does not bother me... as per the dress however, touche! I love dressing up poses lately

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  12. My old teacher in LA used to call it 'using the brakes'. Very bad habit.

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  13. usning the breaks, ha? I love all these terms that are coming up! yes a bad habit, good to be aware of it I suppose... glad you told me that

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  14. classical yoga, different from Ashtanga, the big toe is wrapped by the index finger only and the thumb.

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  15. In my classes, I compare them as "pushing the earth away from you versus trying to lift your body off the ground." Photo B changes the work from a thumb exercise to a bicep curl with an infinite weight; you can never lift yourself off the ground.

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  16. Dan, I see, it gives a grounding feeling. Nice.

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