Answers to the question

A few weeks ago I wrote this post, partly about how my teacher said I needed to undertake some internal inquiry into the what my body needs in order to stand up from backbend.

Well thanks in part to our lovely resident cyber shala teacher Guru Susananda, I have come to some conclusions, though thanks yet again to this Sunday being a Moon day I wont get to see my teacher until next week. But I will get to see my niece on her 18th birthday, this is the same niece who at age 6 was trying to copy me doing headstands in my Living Room, her feet shot up into my face, knocking out my tooth crown, explaining to the Dentist how this happened was hilarious, well she thought it was before she glued it back in LOL.

Anyway here are my thoughts after the best part of a month.

  • My hands need to get further under my shoulders, ie walk the handsΒ  in more.
  • But to do this my shoulders need to open more, cue “bed hanging”.
  • If my shoulders were more open, when I dropback my hands would be able to land nearer my feet, making it less likely that my head would get to hit the mat first, ouch…been there got the lump!
  • I need to control the exhale more on the way down, make the exhale last until the bottom, not use up all the breath before I am half way down, surrender Susan said.
  • Now the hard part, once down with my hands walked in I need to rock, exhale back, inhale up. This is my nemesis, I just can’t seem to get the synchronisation with the rocking, it feels much more natural (to me) to exhale as I rock forward
  • My other problem is keeping the head back. “Head last”
  • The head and the breath both need to happen automatically, as Ruth so succinctly put it last Sunday,”No Thinking, more breathing”.

Last week I got my Bolster and on the first night I amazed myself by dropping back on to the Bolster and rocking and coming back up to standing, I thought I was on the verge of a major breakthrough, but since that night my success rate has gone down and down, some nights I havn’t even managed to push off, some nights I have come up twisted and there have been occassions when the crash back down has been downright dangerous. My problem is obviously “THINKING”, I am conscious that on a good day my body is capable and because I have done it I have expectations of being able to do it, yet when I had no expectations I did manage to do it.

My lower back has also become very tight this week, to the point on Thursday that Urdva Dhanurasana was a strain and after a couple of dropback attempts against the door, I abandoned the idea. I am wondering if there is a point where you can work too hard at a posture, want it too much and end up putting back the chances of doing it by accumulating stress and injury from overworking certain areas, that’s kinda how it feels, like my back is saying “Give me a break”.

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13 Responses to “Answers to the question”

  1. Pat Moore Says:

    These are the things that can make the journey so aggravating! I understand so well your frustration! However, you’ve got some really cold weather right now and our planet is close to solstice. I’m trying to figure out my internal stuff too and as a result I’ve had a major muscle issue in the right lower back and now left shoulder. So I do think that one can over-think and over-desire a goal to the point of detriment. At least maybe two of us can and do!
    The breathing part is crucial. It feels foreign but once you get it, you’ll wonder how you ever did it differently. Hang in there and be patient. It will come but of course, “it” never lets us know when…..

  2. Maria Says:

    Sooooooo cold at the moment kevin, every part of my body screams when I just do a down dog….. be kind to yourself.
    m πŸ™‚

  3. globie Says:

    Hi Pat, the cold weather doesn’t help matters. Think I need to let go and go back to a what happens happens practice, then maybe something will.

    Hi Maria, isn’t it bitter, we had snow again last night. Practiced this morning at TLC with Michaela, nice practice and did assisted dropbacks, decided not to push it

  4. Ursula Says:

    All the points are important.

    To open the upper chest, to open the hips, to walk the hand more close to the feet, to breath deep and correctly, to move the head last. Yep.

    I simply exercise, that’s all I do. One day I will get surprised. When I think of the final result, I get frustrated. It’s too long that I work on this pose. So I simply do it. Sometimes my practice is more intensive sometimes it’s weak. That’s how it is.

  5. globie Says:

    Hi Ursula, I thought you could do it. It’s going to be a long journey, perhaps without reaching the destination, it’s fun trying, but very frustrating

  6. susananda Says:

    It’s frustrating but rewarding being a yoga teacher and dissecting your friends & shala mates’ practices, and wanting them to crack their poses as much as I want to do the same with my own!! But in my own case it’s just ‘too hard’ for a while… with others I feel like I can see what needs fixing and ‘why don’t they just do it?’ LOL

  7. Ursula Says:

    Susananda, you are sweet….:)

    No Kevin, I’m working on it. Every day, except on Saturdays, hahahaha. Indeed, a long journey to go.

  8. susananda Says:

    Thank you Ursula! What a nice comment to wake up to : )
    Happy moon day guys.. I think I will do some backbends today : )

  9. globie Says:

    Susan you are very observant with your Shala mates practices. It feels strange being at home on a Sunday.

    Have a Happy Moon day, enjoy your backbends, save your cartwheels for 3.15pm when the Toon have won πŸ™‚

  10. donutszenmom Says:

    What does your moon day practice consist of, Susan?

    Just occurred to me, Kevin, how lucky you are to have such great teachers available to you!

  11. Karen Says:

    Oh, and yeah, thinking is so overrated. πŸ™‚

  12. globie Says:

    Hi Karen,

    Susan is great during the weeks between Shala practices. She notices things (Usually she is my mat neighbour), but also if Cary says or does something I don’t understand, like when she told me to go away and think about why I can’t stand up, I ask Susan. And when Cary is away Susan gets to teach us, though my shoulders get prodded a lot LOL

    I think I need to give up thinking and just go for accepting

  13. susananda Says:

    I’m sure I can be obnoxious sometimes with unsolicited advice, but Kev is always very gracious and knows I mean well : )

    Karen, I wouldn’t normally do moon day practice, but I missed a day last week and Sunday was a better make-up day than Sat. I made my makeup practice pretty light though because of the moon and to not tax my wrist. So yesterday: suryas, fundamental poses, standing balances. Hanumanasana in backbend, forward bend and twist, long holds. Eka pada raja kapo and pigeon hip opener head resting on the foot, long holds. Padangustha dhanurasana, and parsva padangustha dhanurasana (made that one up by falling over to the side! Brilliant!). Long bakasana, paschimottanasana. Navasana 25 breaths, ardha navasana 25 breaths (rounded shape with lower back pressed into mat). Supine leg raises holding both legs up at various angles from the mat. Three twists, then closing with a long headstand and leg lifts. Voila! Backbends and ‘core’, one hour. πŸ™‚

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