Friday, October 1, 2010


I did a led Primary this morning and for the sake of variety, I popped my old favourite, ‘Power Yoga’, into the DVD. It’s the DVD I started with, the one by Beryl Bender Birch and I haven’t practised with it since the spring. My practice has taken leaps and bounds in the past six months, so I thought it might be fun for comparison purposes.


I wasn’t even doing Chakrasana the last time I practised with this DVD and I wasn’t doing Setu Bandhasana either (because Beryl mentions very specifically that you’re supposed to ‘learn the pose from a qualified teacher’). I waited until I was practising at the Shala to learn both Setu and Chakrasana.

I had a great practice and savoured all of the moments when I was nailing a pose that I used to struggle mightily with. It was a good confidence boost and a reminder that ‘all is coming’, even if something feels impossible in the moment (Like, at the moment, all of Intermediate!)

I can clearly remember my struggles with Marichyasana C when I used this DVD regularly. And it’s an easy pose for me now! And it was fun to do Garba Pindasana, while remembering how completely *impossible* it felt to me even a year ago.’’

Quite a few of my friends and readers are working on Garba Pindasana right now and having a tough time of it. Bruises! I remember the bruises!

I recently posted some tips on the ‘Practice and All is Coming’ Blog by Amaranthinestudent and she found them very helpful. I thought I would repeat those tips here, along with some additional ones.

Tips for coming into Garba Pindasana:
- LOTS of water on the arms! Focus particularly on the area around the elbow and the wrist. On the legs, the top of the calves and the inner knees.
- Come into Lotus and insert the right arm, first lifting the left foot up out of the way to make a bigger ‘hole’ in the legs. Once your arm is through, pull your right hand toward you (even bracing it against the left hand for leverage) to get the arm further through.
- Push the left arm through the left leg. To get it further through, again try pulling the hand toward you (like you were ‘flexing’ your bicep).
- Curl your body toward your hands, round the back! This will help you get your hands over your ears.

Tips for rolling:
-Establish a smooth, steady breath *before* you start to roll.
-Move with your breath, long inhale up, long exhale backward. Try to ‘pause’ at the top of the inhalation.
-Use your Bandhas to power the rolls.
-Round your back and look toward your belly button (the ‘official’ Driste is the nose, but this really helps until you get the hang of it; tuck your chin!)

Finally, here is a small, rather embarrassing video clip that shows me doing this crazy pose. I’m hoping that it will be helpful to those of you struggling with the pose. Sometimes, it helps to ‘see’ how someone else goes about it.

I wasn’t aware I had such a ‘chicken neck’. Ug! *eyeroll*

For all of a nanosecond, I was part of Owl’s groovy bookclub discussion on Trungpa’s book, ‘Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism’.

I wanted to continue, I truly did, but Princess Fur is a sloooooow reader and I haven’t been able to get the book out of her furry paws long enough to finish it (the dog didn’t ‘eat my homework’, she’s reading it!)

Here’s Fur, taking a break from her ‘beach reading.’


daydreamingmel said...

That's interesting that BBB says not to try setu without being taught it...although I am not yet doing full primary I take a full led class every week, my teacher is Ok with us doing the whole series, but I NEVER even try setu bandhasana. I thought it was just a weird superstition (I don't want to "close the circle" and complete primary until it has all been given to me) but also it seems scary - and difficult!
Thank you for the garbha video too, I suspect I am one of the strugglers you mention...though sadly I don't think tips help me. I just need to do it, and keep doing it, and eventually I will get the rocking...but it definitely helps to be able to watch yours. I can't really do spying at the shala - plus SO many people seem to do it without putting their arms through! I'm going to try looking toward my belly button though, haven't heard that one before. Eek epic comment, sorry!! :)

Kaivalya said...

I think Setu is just hard to set up and figure out the physical machanics - and it's scary because of the neck. But if you're doing it right, there's no bad angle to the neck at all and all the strength is really coming from the legs and the Bandhas. I was fortunate that the Darbys worked with me on the pose and it totally makes sense now. I actually like it!!!

There's a whole tribe of you out there struggling with Garba Pindasana. My friend S is having a tough time too. I actually forwarded a link to your blog so she wouldn't feel alone in her rolling-angst and bruises.

Just keep practising - it will come! Breath, Bandhas and Driste, just like everything else. :-)

Loo said...

bruises: got 'em all over, arms and legs

thanks for the tips! I know it's going to help a lot... now how about getting back up from budjapindhasana? I keep getting stuck in the down position, ack!

great series of posts BTW

Kaivalya said...

I'll do a post on Bhuja Pidasana next! And, if I'm brave, video too.

Quick tips: When coming up, squeeze your legs into your shoulders and lots of Udiyana Bandha! Press the floor away with your hands. Long, deep inhalation coming up!

daydreamingmel said...

Loo we are yoga twins!!! I am still regularly getting stuck in bhuja, and am smothered in bruises (though a lot better than I was!). Hang on in there & I will too! (maybe we should form a support group!)

Kai I took a new rockin approach today - looked toward my belly button (sort of) and somehow did 1 great directional rock to the right before it all went wrong - progress!! Thinking of your video definitely helped :) I'm going to work on getting halfway round then coming back the same way, spinning all the way round seems too scary right now!!

(0v0) said...


It appears that PF has already integrated the teachings. One incarnation ahead, indeed