It's probably a *good* thing that I didn't see it coming. Longtime readers will recall that I've had a troubled history with this stuff, *especially* with standing up.
~begin historical recap~
At Shala Central (my old shala), dropping back wasn't taught until a student stood up (or at least, that's the way it went for me). I experienced a lot of fear and drama around learning to stand up from a backbend. Eventually, the teachers gave up trying to teach me and I gave up trying to learn. I felt like the shala 'problem child'. The whole experience left me bit traumatized and overly cautious.
I believed it simply wasn't do-able, even with help. During a workshop at Shala North, DR took me aside and encouraged me to try. With his assistance, I stood up easily from Urdhva Dhanurasana. Couldn't believe it! But I couldn't manage it on my own.
I was very keen to drop back though. Last summer, I taught myself how to drop back by working against a steep hill in my favourite park. I sealed the deal by dropping back to the 'scary floor' in one of DR's backbending workshops a few weeks later. For awhile, dropbacks were a regular part of my practice (and I was standing up from the futon for spell too).
After I was given Intermediate Series in August, I found out that D&J don't teach dropbacks in their shala until a student masters Kapotasana, so I shelved the whole project and decided to focus on deepening my backbends for awhile. Then I injured my shoulder and it became a moot point.
~ends historical recap~
I explained to DT that it had been about 6 months since I dropped back on my own and I'm 'not very good at standing up.' This was the Understatement of the Year. As far as I'm concerned, I'm the poster child for 'not standing up'!
DT proposed using a strap, which is new to me, but I decided to trust her and give it a go. I mean, what's the worst thing that could happen? Fall on my head? Done that! Make an ass of myself? Old news! Crumple into a miserable heap! I'm a pro! I figured that anything that didn't involve me crying in Savasana would be a 'win'.
DT helped me drop back very lightly and helped me stand up three times. No drama, no fear, no problem! (I know, I know! All that build-up and it turned out to be so...undramatic).
So I've been floating around in a happy backbending bubble all morning. All the other 'home practice people' will nod sagely when I say this, but here it is: practice is SO much easier with help! Daily help, not occasional workshop help. Getting consistent daily feedback and assistance is amazing. It *is* possible to learn these poses on your own (that's how I learned the Primary Series), but it's much harder and slower and more painful.
I'm so very grateful for the help!
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