Monday, April 26, 2010

Astanga

In the post-class discussion yesterday, I brought up jump-backs, since they’re my new Project. I asked Teacher P what it felt like in his body when he was bringing his feet through and shooting them back into Chaturanga. He said that the weight of the body shifts forward and the head drops, similar to the action of lowering the head for Bhujapidasana.

*lightbulb!*

Kino’s teaching is similar, except she emphasizes bending the arms as you come forward (like lowering into Chaturanga).

I didn’t have a chance to explore this in today’s practice because Teacher R was determined to clean up my jumpbacks. I’m now keeping my feet flexed (this helps engage the Bandhas, but *I* think it’s harder to get my feet through my arms), my hands are closer together (which gives me more height but it’s harder to get my feet through my arms - do you hear a theme developing?) and I have to keep my head up, up, up! Inhale on the lift, exhale as soon as the feet (painfully) clear the arms.

Argh! I felt like I was starting over (which I pretty much was), but it started to feel more natural by the end of the practice. True to my intention, I lifted up every time, even between Navasanas when I tend to fudge it a bit. No lazy today! I worked hard.

The Shala was quiet this morning and Teacher R was on duty for my full practice. I received so many great adjustments and lots of verbal feedback:

-I think I held Prasarita Padottanasana C for at least 10 breath cycles. I started on my own, then R came over to adjust. I thought it would *never* end. I have no idea if my shoulders are opening at all. I haven’t noticed much of a difference in the past month.
-I really like the adjustment in Tiriangmukhaikapada Pachimottansana. She pushes down on my hips and gives me a nudge, but mostly leaves me alone for the forward fold. Solidly anchored, I can really rev up my Bandhas and it feels fantastic. Wish I could find that on my own, I would enjoy the pose more.
-I had lots of help for Kurmasana and Supta Kurmasana today. In Kurmasana, my legs needs to externally rotate more. Today, I focused on engaging the legs and pressing through the heels to lift them. I’m SO close! But it’s exhausting - my legs were feeling the burn. The Supta Kurmasana exit continues to elude me. I can do it, just in a half-assed fashion.
-I received a new-to-me adjustment in Supta Padangusthasana that really opened my inner hamstrings and thighs. This is *exactly* what I need to do to open up my legs/hips for Kurmasana! I’m bendy in forward folds, but my hips don’t like the wide angles.

I’m still struggling along with Chakrasana. Teacher R walked over and suggested that I stop trying to use momentum to get the roll. She says that I manage to get my legs over my head and then I panic and freeze. She did a terrific impression of my tense face, framed by arms and I laughed out loud. Funny! So the first Chakrasana was all momentum, the second was R hauling my ass over like a sack of beans, and the third was me rolling slowly and pushing like mad with my arms.

If I have to make everything so difficult, at least I have fun doing it!
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It’s been awhile since I posted a 70s Yoga Pinup Girl. Here’s our Lyn, rocking the smurf blue full body yoga sock.

Bandhas, Lyn, Bandhas! ;-)

1 comment:

Damn, I look good!! said...

What a fantastic blog!
Ahhh ... jumpbacks ... when they happen for me it is like this tiny miraculous moment ... and I try to remember exactly how it happened ... and that seems to be the problem for me ... overthinking them! If I just let my breath flow, by bandhas engages ... it's like whoa! I roll through and JUMP BACK! Oh ... what a feeling ... like Lionel Ritchie said ... Like Dancing on the Ceiling! LOL Have a good day!