The plan is to practice the two main Vinyasa Krama Back bend sequences IE. The Bow Sequence and the Vajrasana Sub routine from the Meditative sequence. I'll also throw in the Tadasana Hand variations behind back sub routine from the On your feet sequence. I want to incorporate some of the Venkatesh excercises that Boodiba has been sharing, the standing arches from last year which should follow on nicely from the Tadasana sequence, plus the Hang back exercises for Drop back and Kapotasana from last week. Finishing will be a pretty standard extended
Paschmottanasana, Sarvangasana and Sirsasana etc.
Thought it would be a good idea to take a look at my current state of play so that I can compare my Back bends at the end of the fortnight.
It's a long video so here are the times for the different sections to enable jumping around.
0:00 Vinyasa Krama hands variations behind back
Love using this subroutine as prep for back bends, I used to include it before the Sury's when I was doing Intermediate as well as when I went through a phase of doing drop back's at the beginning of the practice. The different hand positions seem to open up the different areas of the back nicely
3:30 Venkatesh standing arches
Need to review Boodie's notes and video's again here. I seem to remember she was hanging in these for a minute, I manage about 15 seconds tops, be interesting to see if and how much this improves by the end of the fortnight.
5:00 Drop back
Thanks to Boodie these have come on over the last couple of days. I misunderstood her instructions and started to bend my knees from the beginning. Though not the idea, it did make the importance of getting the knees as far over the feet as possible finally sink in. I'm aiming at a similarfeet/shin angle as in Pasasana. Add this to the riding the spring idea from a few weeks back and It's given me the back support and confidence to hang back. and control my descent more. Plus my feet are staying pretty straight.
6:00 Coming up
Work needed here. I think the knees over the feet is key to stop the feet turning out but I seem to have to completely relearn the hip action to come up. the second attempt on the video gives me hope, though the feet do move slightly.
Big surprise here as I haven't done Kapo for a month. The hang back exercise seems to really help. I'm getting my hips as far forward as possible to try to employ the 'spring' support and while hanging I have the time to keep trying to push my hips forward. Getting this Hang back in Kapo is exciting me more than grabbing my heels at the moment. I was surprised how deep I dropped in too, was thinking it would take a couple of goes. Lot's of work needed here though.
Yes I got my heels, but I think I can improve it by pushing up more, straightening my arms, breathing better. A voice in the back of my head is whispering 'ankles, ankles' but I hardly dear listen. Besides, it should be whispering "breathe, breathe'.
One thing I've noticed about both the Drop back and Kapo is the use of the wall. Those three steps away force you to drop down closer than perhaps you might do with a full mat to play with.
8:30 Walking in on Urdhava Danurasana or Ardha Chakrasana to chakrasana
This is actually in Vinyasa Krama in the Supine Sequence, Ramaswami has this to say.
' As a variation you can bring your palms closer to your feet during exhalation and keep your back arched. Stay in the position for three breathes, stretching and lifting your tailbone at the end of the inhalation.'
The Complete book of Vinyasa Krama p113
God, a ten minute video takes forever to load on YouTube, wont be doing that again. Here's a quick, minute a half version.
It strikes me, watching this all the way through, that, rather than thinking about grabbing the ankles in Kapo or Chakrasana or probably even getting my feet straight, I should be thinking about the breath, still ragged, unsteady and at times forced. Would be nice to make this video again, two weeks from now, and find long smooth steady breathing throughout.