|image from here|
Oh yes, practice.
I recently discovered that in the garbha rolling, I was not rolling backward on the exhale and forward on the inhale. There was pretty much no relationship between the breath and the movement. Often, by the time I made it around to the front, I would be exhaling up/forward and inhaling down/backward. No wonder I could not manage to roll up and lift (though I never thought this was the reason..I just figured this would take a long time to do, sort of like lifting back up after bhuja, which still requires a good push from my feet as I can't yet make use of my inhale to come back up) This week, I have been focusing more on this movement breath relationship, and it makes quite a difference coming up into kukkutasana. This morning, I managed to roll up into kukkutasana and stay up for all 5 breaths. Not even a knee touching the ground briefly for balance. I was shocked. Previously, I have sometimes rolled forward and lifted up, but then plopped back down, mostly feeling surprised by being up in the pose.
Who knows if I will repeat this miraculous (ha!) feat tomorrow. But now I know, something that I thought was pretty much impossible, is possible.
On another note, I am experimenting with not showering after practice, but just sort of rinsing off a bit (still can't fathom not washing at all); so far so good. My muscles don't feel more sore, like I thought they would. I need to find something for my hair to counteract the effect/smell of sweat, as I don't wash it daily in the winter, and I do sweat a lot during practice. Not sure I will do this every day, but it is nice to save time some mornings too.