Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Kapotanasana and backbending

I have wanted to write about the practice I had on Friday before I taught. I did 30 minutes of lower back work viniyoga style - lots of hip raises, hip stretches, cakravikasana, vimanasana, supta badokonasana and supta padangustasana.

Then moved into some sun salutations, just trying to get the repetitions in. Sun salutations are a new part of my practice and I'm really working on the jump backs and jump forwards and keeping off my hips when I come up to upward dog.

I then did the practice that I've been waiting to retry - backbending up and down the wall. I was alone in my studio so I went very slowly. I set up my mat perpendicular to the wall. Rested in Wheel prep pose, then pushed up. I walked my feet in a bit, looked at the wall, and placed the first hand there. Then you walk up and kind of drift over the top in this daring moment, then you're on your feet!

I placed a block beside my mat to mark where my feet were. It always feels like a long way to drop back. It's really the scary part. However when I was little I dropped back into backbends no problem so I know that even if I went down, I'd be ok. So... I stood in prayer and rested while the blood shifted all around. YOu can hear this "whooshing" sound and sensation while going up and down that's for sure. Hands in prayer, extended up tall through the upper back.

I moved the eyes back and stood backward leaning, getting tall, breathing, and connecting with calm energy. Then looked back at the wall and brought my hands out to the side and reached back - WALL! Then I walked back down. I went up and down four times! At the end I did get a little tired and ended up not pressing up into wheel and kind of coming down on my head but it wasn't that bad. I should have stopped before that happened though.

Lastly, I tried a backbend I really want to be able to do - Kapotanasana.
Image Courtesy of beatayoga.com

I went back and got my hands on the ground. I tried this twice, just getting the sensation of the backbend. I also tried Laghuvadrasana, which is the ashtanga pose that comes with Kapotanasana. THat's a really hard one! There's about a six inch gap between where I want to be (head on floor) and where my strength holds out. If you go further than where your strength is, you collapse down onto the floor. Learned my lesson on that one.

Anyway the deep backbend practice was wonderful - but I'm struggling these days to get my Bikram in. I need that as a base and to add all this stuff on!

However, I'm off to New Orleans for a week and will not be terribly yoga focused. I am going to try to do some bathroom Bikram and even visit a studio down there. Have a great week everyone!

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