Losing nerve

After spending another tedious day looking forward to practice, when I got on my mat I found I just didn’t have the energy. Standing were ok, to be honest I don’t feel there is any real difference nowadays between doing my standing postures at the Shala or home alone. When I got to seated I knew my heart, mind and body were not in it, I just felt drained from the day.

I did some forward bends and then decided as I had warmed up a little I would try some backbends, going through the familiar Kino warm up routine into Salabhasana, Ustrasana and Laghu V. Urdva Dhanurasana was the complete polar opposite of last night, I could hardly push myself up.

However I can’t be accused of not working on my backbends, I went to the door for some wall walking and leaning back, before lining up the sofa cushions along my mat for some dropback experiments. I stretched up and inhaled, leaned back about an inch, then completely lost my nerve, what was I scared of suddenly? Another couple of abortive attempts where I stepped out, then back to the wall for a few, then back to the mat before 5 proper attempts, none of which were very succesful.

Today’s e-mail from Yoga Journal was about dropbacks and having the nerve to try them. There seems to be various schools of thought about when the arms should be taken back, should you keep the hands in prayer until the last minute, so that the arms do not increase the weight going backwards or go with hands in prayer above the head from the start? I think it depends on how flexible your back is and if you can keep the length in the legs as you bend back. I have tried both leaving it until the last minute to send the hands back and going back with the arms from the start, trying to press into the hands, which seems for me to make the drop happen faster, with less chance of me having any control. The breath is also an issue, as Susan mentioned in her comment my ujayi inhale is good, I exhale as I go down, but once I get to the maximum and most intense point I stop exhaling and hold my breath unable to either let out the rest of the exhale or inhale again.

I hope if I persevere and don’t keep losing my nerve, that I will relax more and the breath will come more easily and at some point in the next 100 years I will land with the quiet grace of the person on my right last Sunday.

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4 Responses to “Losing nerve”

  1. susananda Says:

    🙂
    I think taking the arms over from the start is more ‘advanced’, it gets you deeper but only if you’re ready. Hands at the chest and only take them over when the rest is in place, is a much better place to start, IMO.

  2. Globie Says:

    I am more comfortable keeping the hands at the chest as long as possible, its easier to keep a modicum of control. Cary had me take arms over head from the start.

  3. Maria Says:

    I am still working working working on my back bends, but in YT last March, one of the teachers there, Neil, told me to imagine that as I was going back, just under my shoulderblades there was a shelf, and I had to stay over that shelf as I started to go back. It really helped me to visualise the position of the body, rather than just dropping or falling back as I had been doing. I dunno. Fo sure I dont thing there is one correct way to get there, and every body, as in each body is different, with different tensions and stresses and if you’re like me, is more or less flexible for one day to the next.

  4. Globie Says:

    hi Maria,

    Every day is different and it also depends on the time of day. Just need to work out what it is that happens on the good days!

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