Sunday, January 24, 2010


Interesting - GOOD - practice this morning, despite my modifications and subtractions. I really wanted to go all out, but reined myself in. I took it easy in the vinyasas, but I did them gently between sides today. I found myself instinctively coming deeper into poses that I had modified yesterday. It felt right, so I went with my gut feeling.

I’m not sure what’s changed, but Supta Kurmasana was absolutely amazing today. The bind was easy and the pose felt comfortable! It feels like such a miracle to me, since I couldn’t even touch fingers together a week ago. It's good to have that one back.

Urdhva Dhanurasana was also very good. I had lots of time for backbend preparation since I’m skipping the closing sequence for these few days. The pose was feeling so comfortable, I decided to do a quick State-of-the-Backbend photograph. I took only one photo:

Seriously, this is the best backbend I’ve done in months. I’m definitely on to something here.

In my comments section and elsewhere in the Astanga-sphere, there’s been discussion of backbending and Intermediate Series. I’m beginning to wonder if it might be useful to start adding Intermediate poses to my practice, particularly the backbends. I’m not a ’natural’ backbender, but I think I could get close if I did the work.

Anyway, it's Sunday and time for...The Internet Asks, (gems plucked from the Wonderful World of My Access Stats)

This week, the following keyword searches came up:

sucirandhrasana twist
This is an interesting query, given that I’ve never mentioned this pose on my blog. Sucirandhrasana is the Sanskrit name for ‘Eye of the Needle Pose’. When I teach Sucirandhrasana as a twisting pose, I instruct the students to completely drape one leg over the other, then bring the legs to the floor, keeping the opposite shoulder grounded. It’s a wonderful deep twist, though uncomfortable for anyone who is tight in the hips (or particularly boney).

astanga primary series audio
My favourite audio Primary series is Sharath’s CD (You can find the CD at Beryl Bender Birch has two led Primaries, both are available on iTunes and downloadable MP3 online (Aliveyoga and BetterListen).
Hm. I’ve seen this come up periodically over the past month and it makes sense, actually. I registered the domain last week and it’s up. Now you can go to to access this blog. Fancy!


Anonymous said...

.02 on Intermediate:

I really like Maehle's "can you do Primary any day you want, even low energy days" as a criterion for honestly beginning Intermediate.

I'd also recommend adding Intermediate from the start, so trying on Pasasana, Krounchasana and then the backbends. If you were "really" adding it on, that's how you'd do it.

But I'm not, of course, going to get all uber-traditional on you, since I too do the home practice show. Enjoy!

The Misanthropic Yogini said...

Nice UD. Who are these "natural backbenders" I keep hearing so much about? I've seen this phrase on a few ashtanga blogs. People seem to know they exist, but no one claims to be one.

She-Fit said...

Nice backbend :)

Kaivalya said...

Thanks for weighing in - I've read Maehle too and by his criteria, I'm definitely ready.

If I do Intermediate, I think I'll have to ease into it, kind of coax myself. ;-) To be honest, I know I can do the Intermediate poses right up to Ustrasana, though the bind in Pasasana will take a bit of work.

I just can't help but wonder if all that backbending is precisely what I need to deepen my practice.

Kaivalya said...

Well, some of those natural backbenders are in the classes I teach. One student of mine can drop back so easily and smoothly, it's like she's doing a forward bend backwards. No effort! I aspire to that :-)