Forward. Way forward.

Can I read something, have it make sense, and still not do it? Yup. I even made note of it in a blog entry: When doing jumpbacks, keep the gaze forward. Way forward.

Totally changes it up. You get this strange (and strangely delightful) little flex in between the shoulders once you kick back into chaturanga, when your gaze is so forward.

I didn’t remember, though, to put it into practice until about half way through the seated poses. I am always amazed at how our habits cling to us. How I want to tuck my head as I go forward at the beginning of a jumpback. How easy it is to draw a parallel to how I want to tuck my head in all stressful situations. Just a little easier to recognize when the stressor is so evident (“Am I gonna slam my face on the floor?”). I default to strengthening myself through my traps in stressful situations (physical and mental), when I really should strengthen through the shoulders. It distributes the stress more gracefully. Perhaps that is why I enjoy the little flexy feeling between the shoulders at the end of the movement: it is strong but flexible. Not like tightening the traps, which just sort of freezes up the whole musculature. Ah well, enough psychoanalysis of musculature 😉

My other little jumpback discovery was tested, too. My form, as I first starting attempting jumpbacks, included pulling my knees in really tight, with my ankles/shins crossed. Then I would isometrically pull my knees toward each other as much as possible. As it turns out, if I let my knees flop apart a little bit (though still keep them drawn close to the chest), they seem to get under me a little more easily. It feels like more momentum, more ease, and less hip flexor intensity. It seems counterintuitive–after all, the wider your knees are, the more difficult it should be to get them between the arms, but for some reason it seems to sort itself out and the arms aren’t a problem.

Of course, this may just be a little idiosyncracy that works with my body type. I was explaining it to The Cop, who did not practice this morning, and he was slightly skeptical, given his long arms and legs. We’ll see, though–I’m sure he’ll be eager to try it out at his next practice.

Back to another day at work. Another “how long can I keep my yoga mind?” experiment 😉

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3 Responses

  1. I tried looking forward on Tuesday and, the first time, almost on my face 🙂 Then after a few goes, I forgot about trying. I’ll try again tomorrow.

  2. aka Chanting man

    It is funny how we focus on the minutia of our physical practices. It is true, that sometimes you are missing one little cue, or move that once realized allows you to complete positioning in an asana of transition. More often than not, however, it just requires the repetition afforded by daily practice over a long period of time. I like to say that “Yoga time is not like waiting for your food at McDonalds time, It is more like Geological time.” ps. I am Vegan, and do not eat at McDonalds. It is just an example.I am not a geologist either.
    Stay with it, and it will come…..

  3. It really does make a difference–and it’s an interesting difference, because it kind of requires that you open up more to the movement, that you trust your strength. LOL! Sort of like dreams of flying, where your mental energy keeps you aloft. All’s well so long as you keep believing, but as soon as you become conscious of yourself, up in the air, you disbelieve and crash to earth! Haha!

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