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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 Responses to Is This Cheating?

  1. エスタ April 11, 2011 at 7:08 am #

    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 ; )

  2. Claudia April 11, 2011 at 9:02 am #

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

  3. Frank April 11, 2011 at 9:52 am #

    The way I first heard it was something to the effect of "No thumbs as kickstands!" 🙂

  4. Boodiba April 11, 2011 at 10:32 am #

    Cheat schmeat smell my feet!!! :)<br /><br />I do it. I don&#39;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, &quot;People say a LOT of things.&quot;

  5. Grimmly April 11, 2011 at 1:05 pm #

    Boodie&#39;s still got training wheels : ) But hey, what&#39;s the point of opposable thumbs if you cant use em.<br /><br />Claudia did you do your nails especially for these pictures? You might have got away with it if your nail polish was less striking.

  6. Loo April 11, 2011 at 1:33 pm #

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

  7. Claudia April 11, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    Frank, I love that! will use it! ;-)<br /><br />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.<br /><br />@Grimmly HA HA HA, and you got me on a &quot;normal day&quot;, today they are yellow… yesterday they were orange, I am going through a nail

  8. Loo April 11, 2011 at 5:56 pm #

    oh yes. it was an &#39;infraction&#39;, 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.

  9. Claudia April 11, 2011 at 6:00 pm #

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

  10. daydreamingmel April 12, 2011 at 5:23 am #

    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 😉

  11. Claudia April 12, 2011 at 6:10 pm #

    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

  12. LI Ashtangini April 13, 2011 at 12:49 pm #

    My old teacher in LA used to call it &#39;using the brakes&#39;. Very bad habit.

  13. Claudia April 13, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

    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

  14. Quentin August 18, 2011 at 8:48 am #

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

  15. Dan November 29, 2011 at 2:50 am #

    In my classes, I compare them as &quot;pushing the earth away from you versus trying to lift your body off the ground.&quot; 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.

  16. Claudia November 29, 2011 at 7:15 pm #

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