Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Liberator

Months ago, on one of my favorite blogs, I happened upon a description of a tool/prop used to aid in dropping back from standing or into Kapo. It was called the Dune and basically it is a wedge-shaped mat used for tumbling drills in gymnastics. I decided that I needed to have one.

Thus began a months-long hunt for this product online, in gym equipment stores and industrial parks…I even emailed an acquaintance who works for the school board distributing gym equipment to see if he could hook me up. Turns out he is mostly into football and probably confused to no end why I needed such a thing. None of the online distributors could ship to Canada…disappointment at every turn.

Then….I saw the movie Burn After Reading, and realized there was another application (and therefore source) for the prop. So my traipsing online took a detour into Adult Furniture (yes) and I continued my hunt in sex shops throughout three provinces, online to many purveyors who would not ship to Canada and finally found a website that could help me out and promised discreet shipping to the great north. Sold!

Edit - the packaging was not as "discreet" as promised...:-)

I finally received "The Liberator", a wedge mat covered in durable black microfiber (I ordered blue, to make it less obvious, but they sent me black anyways).

Anyhoo – the point of the post is to draw attention to a couple other (yoga) uses for the liberator…I’ve been using it at the beginning of Pincha Mayurasana to get my toes up a little higher and therefore my hips/pelvis in the right place earlier in the attempt. It really made a big difference for me in my pincha mayurasana journey, and also relieved the tenderness in the pad of the bottom foot from repeated attempts at kicking up and coming back down onto one foot (I know I should do it double-footed, hopefully I can someday).

Karandavasana is a lofty goal. In all likelihood it won’t ever be possible for me, but I will still try, so I envision using the liberator to cushion my many, many falls.

H has trouble with Sirsasana and we used the Liberator to get her taking off from a higher point. She actually hung out in teddy bear stand for longer than she ever has (I don’t think it was just the liberator, she had E and I screaming supportively at her that she was “up! UP!”). I wish we’d had more time to practice together and work on it. I can totally tell from the attempts that I saw that she is so close. Like a couple hours of practice with someone beside her to debrief (too far with hips, not far enough) and she would likely nail it. I’m lucky that Sirsasana came to me so easily, I learned it as a kid.

I also use the Liberator in some of my Pre-LBH stretches and I recline on it after I get LBH and tire of holding my leg with hands and neck. I lean back onto the liberator and let gravity do some of the work while I continue the hip opening.

I adore my liberator - money well spent!

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