Dropback attempts video!

I decided to do standing and then resume my backbend efforts this evening, culminating in the usual array of various dropback experimentation. Some of them began to feel much deeper, so I tried to video them to see how far I was getting. I must be boring the yoga blog fraternity with my never ending experiments, the only ones who get to see them for real are Susan, Vanessa, Sarah and AC, so just for fun I uploaded tonights to you tube (couldn’t get them to work on WordPress), so that the rest of you can see how far I am getting, you just need to tell me if I am still too far away to go for the floor or not.

Just go here to view

It may come up with a message saying “Unable to reach server”, but pressing the go button arrow in the corner made it work anyway.


23 Responses to “Dropback attempts video!”

  1. lew Says:

    Oh yeah, I think you can go for the floor. You are waaaay low! Feel free to take my advice with a grain of salt, though – my dropbacks suck big time. I lift my heels to soften the landing. Have you tried to put big cushions on the floor to take away some of the fear factor?

    Still, looks good from here. Good luck!


  2. V Says:

  3. V Says:

    Oops. Let’s try again.

    “Just do it” really are the magic words here. I know you don’t believe me, but it’s easier done than said. You can do it, you are ready to do it, and once you do it you will wonder why you anguished so much about it. I know because that’s exactly what I went through before I started dropping back 🙂

  4. openingslowly Says:

    Just to agree, you look like you could do it, must be in the head 🙂

    have to say being in the shala but not a teacher I actually never see much unless you are my neighbour or close to the door when I am leaving or arriving!

  5. Grimmly Says:

    Wow. great back bend, the ‘bend’ in you mid and lower back is way better than mine but I think I see why you hesitant.
    It looks to me like your going back almost parallel to the floor. Am I right in thinking you find it hard to see the mat? For me thats the decider of whether i go or not.
    I stand a little in from the end of the mat and start bending back until I can see the last foot of mat or so and then I know I’m OK.

    I think you need a little more ‘curl’. A big inhale filling the chest might do it, stretching up through the back curling your shoulders down around like a quaver.

    Did you see my video from a couple of days ago with the different hand positions. Try the reverse prayer hand position same as Utthita Parsvottanasana in standing. It’s great for bringing the shoulders back. Just try it standing up bringing the shoulders back around your hands but also try and stretch up and over the hands too dropping you head back. Now try that in backbend and see if it gives you more curl. Finally try to get that same sensation of curling your shoulders back but without the hands there as if your going over something, a stick say, while engaging the rest of the great mid and lower bend/stretch you already have. dropping back .

    Of course this is just my impression from one video, V gets to see you everyday. I’d forget about being near the wall for this too, use it for training and prep but if your gonna go then give yourself lots of space, your more like ly to hurt yourself trying to bail out at the last second. Once you do get it your going to have awesome back bends, coming up should be easy for you too as your legs are pretty straight but thats another story. good luck

    And i thought boodiba’s room was chaotic : )

  6. Ursula Says:

    You are so damned close, believe me. You don’t need the wall.
    It will happen soon. Nice video……….

  7. Globie Says:

    Hi Grimmly,

    Yes I have had a couple of mishaps bailing out at the last minute, one occassion realising I wasn’t actually close enough to the wall to use it and crashing in a heap.

    I do get or at least feel like I get a better “curl” when I inhale up with hands above the head, rather than in prayer, its like my upper back has more room to spread out, what Louise told me was more of a croquet hoop, than a bridge. I didn’t realise how “flat” I am going back until you said.

    I can’t see the floor, if I could I would be more comfortable with trying to reach for it, its the not knowing how far away I actually am, which comes back to the curl.

    PS There would probably be more order and less chaos if I spent less time blogging, reading blogs and doing practice!

  8. grimmly Says:

    No i don’t mean the usual hands in prayer in frount but another excercise where you put your hands in prayer behind your back. It’s just an excercise to pull your shoulders back. I posted on it a couple of days ago. Don’t have the link at the moment as I’m at work.

  9. globie Says:

    Hi Grimm,

    Ah I see what you mean, though I find that hand position very uncomfortable, but I’ll give it a go tonight.

  10. AC Says:

    Get away from that bloody wall and drop – use all the darn props you need should you fall on head!

  11. Linda Says:

    Just do it 🙂

  12. grimmly Says:

    here’s the link to my post with the hand positions for dropback video


    Your right it’s uncomfortable but it’s just an excercise and unlike in standing nobody is going to pull you up it. Doesn’t need to be pretty, the main point is that it takes the shoulders back, then if at the same time you kind of lift and stretch yourself over the top of the hands while in prayer then you should get more curl, enough to help you see the mat anyway.

  13. Alfia Says:

    As a person who was dropped a couple of times on the head in a dropback, let me tell you – it is not a big deal (Hmm, I realize that being dropped on the head does not add much credence to my opinions). I agree with everyone – your backbend is great and you are ready. Go, Kevin (can you hear cheering from across the ocean?)

  14. Kai Says:

    You are SO ready. Gosh, my jaw dropped when I saw that video. Your hang-backs are *amazing*. Go for it! I’m cheering for you 🙂

  15. Grimmly Says:

    I’ve just tried to explain what i was trying to say above better in a post with a video.


  16. Helen Aldred Says:

    Fantastic half bend, I think you can do it. Some great advice here already, i think you should half bend with hands in prayer at chest and then take them back. You seem to get a better bend in the upper back on the first two with hands in prayer at chest, when you take hands back counter with hips forward. Do not think you’ll have to wait for santa!

    Trying to book some train tickets for London, not this weekend but the following one.

  17. globie Says:

    Thanks for all the advice, encouragement and cheering from both sides of the ocean.

    This evening I took my mat back to the middle of the room, lined up some cushions and had a few goes at doing it, alas my head kept winning the gravity race, but only just. I tried keeping my hands in prayer Helen, but my thoracic bend is not as deep as when my hands are up. With hands in prayer it seemed to take longer for the mat to come into view and I wasnt getting my hands back and straight in time. I think if I can just get a little more control for longer in the hanging phase, then I will manage it. Maybe Santa will come early

  18. Helen Aldred Says:

    Good for you. Contol is key but you have the backbend, it’s so close I can smell it. Decided to come to London in 3 weeks time instead as train tickets expensive despite lots of looking. Glad to have a shala trip at least planned. Perhaps we can meet up, I’ll drop you a line nearer the time. H

  19. susananda Says:

    Totally agree with everyone – you’re so there! Also agree that the limitation is that horizontality (?) of the upper back, thus not seeing the floor. Here is a prep I just posted at Grimm’s place (just gonna copy/paste the paragraph as I’m in a hurry) to help target that area. It will also help deepen the breath at the ‘holding point’.

    Now here is one for you to try after the reverse prayer one, to bring the arch even further up the spine (can’t remember if you did this in your earlier video or not). Fingers interlaced behind the head – this is great because you can relax your neck completely and totally release the weight of the head into the hands. Let the elbows splay out at a comfortable distance, do the usual grounding feet, lift legs, mula bandha, hips forward; then lift the chest way up (incidentally, lift the SPINE, not the ribcage; keep the ribcage soft and relaxed), and make the candycane. Then exhaling, slowly bring the elbows towards each other… all the way in, and push the spine up just below the neck. Inhale, slowly move the elbows all the way out. Let your neck completely relax and hands carry the head. Great shoulder opener, and brings the bend up to the upper thoracic and cervical spine, higher than most people can get in reverse prayer, AND the arm movements help to get the breathing going for those who tend to hold their breath at this point. Try it!!

  20. susananda Says:

    Ah, one more thing: I would have your feet three inches closer together.

    That reminds me of another thing: when practising hangback variations, do them sometimes with feet hip width, and sometimes with feet together touching. Use the hands at sacrum variation at first to create width and length in the lower back. It feels nice and stable with feet together because the ‘two lines’ are close together… even though you couldn’t go all the way down that way. It’s good for working the candycane effect. Practise with feet hip width or slightly wider too, and this is how you drop back. Too wide isn’t good, because your ‘two lines’ are running at an angle to each other.

    Remember that crazy guy at Kino’s workshop with his feet way off the mat?? Oy.

    I’m going to be late for work now!

  21. globie Says:

    Thanks Susan,

    I am going to have to print it off and then try it out.

    I did notice on the ones where I nearly managed it last night, that my feet started shifting and I was losing stability, I couldn’t keep them planted.

  22. Portside Says:

    You are so close!

    There are some really great Iyengar upper back/chest openers – actually very similar to what Susan and Grimmly posted, but over the seat of a folding chair.

    You put the back of the chair towards the wall, balls of the feet against the wall, heels on the ground, sit though the back of the chair, extend your legs as lean back and scoot forward so that when you lean back your shoulder blades will be on the front edge of the seat. Extend your arms – to the side for a while and then overhead for a while. This really starts to get into rotation of the armpit chest, which pulls the upper spine into the body and really opens the chest and gets a nice curl. Does this make sense?

    It’s like doing a hang back but at a 30 degree angle – so you get gravity to work on your upper chest without the fear of falling. 🙂

    There are a couple more working with blocks and another with the chair which are fantastic. They a little hard to describe succinctly in a comment section, so I’ll try to post something to my blog over the weekend if you’re interested.

    One thing that an Iyengar teacher has been on me about recently is releasing the hip flexors and engaging and elongating though the lower abdomen. For me, this has really activated the entire spine and really gets the curve into the entire back body – and really helped in keeping my heels down.

    Keep it up!

  23. susananda Says:

    Just to mention, speaking of chairs… the chair behind YP reception is PERFECT for hanging back over… I love that chair…

    And don’t forget to hang the arms off the bed, that’s all you really need to do for the shoulders : )

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