WoYoPracMo, Day 27.
This was one of those days when I simply had to unroll the mat and force myself to do the first few sun salutations. I did a slightly truncated (45 minute) version of the 'healthy back' class I'll be teaching all week. I wanted to have one more go of it so I would have some good pointers to pass on to students in class.
I really worked Shalabasana, focusing on setting the foundation in the pose (ouch, my pelvic heads). If the foundation is set first (root the pelvis into the floor) the lift in the chest flows very naturally from the belly button to the sternum. The arms are the last thing to float up, very lightly with little effort. Then the legs can come up using the strength of the back.
This is a tricky pose because I want to strengthen the back without straining it. I never hold for more than five breaths. After a brief rest in Crocodile pose, I repeat it.
I also worked on Bekasana. I've never noticed this before, but I can bring my heels closer to the floor when my chest is closer to the floor (not lifted). This makes sense. For an advanced practitioner who is already very open in the quadraceps, this would probably be a safe means to deepen the stretch. I'm not there yet.