Bending back

Lovely practice this morning. Two totally new people, one somewhat new person, and the regular Mysorians. Always interesting having new people — it changes the dynamic, because Volleyball Guy is pretty busy with them.

He asked me to help Sanskrit Scholar out in supta vajrasana, and as we finished up, she said, “Look at the paper over there.” There was a sheet of paper in the middle of the room, and I had a look: an announcement that Richard Freeman will be in Tucson on March 10 and 11. Scrawled across the page were the words, “Road trip!” Oh yeah, I’m in!

Best part of practice today was urdhva dhanurasana and dropbacks. Since Volleyball Guy was busy, I pulled my mat up to the wall and did six urdhva dhanurasanas, trying to push my chest toward the wall to open up my shoulders. It’s a fine example of slacking/overachieving. I am willing to do more than the prescribed three urdhva dhanurasanas, in order to improve my form (overachiever), but I don’t see the point of doing more than six (slacker).

On the overachiever/slacker front: I tried for wrist binds in marichyasana c and d this morning. Got the c binds, with a little fiddling around, and even managed, quite surprisingly, to get the d bind on one side. One thing about upping the ante on the binds is that it reminds me that my second side is always easier than the first. I’d managed to forget about that little imbalance… 😉

So I did my urdhva dhanurasanas, and then stood up to do the hanging back exercise: where you just bend back and hang in space. Did a few of them and then Volleyball Guy came over. He had me hang back again as he stood in front and slightly to the side of me. As I hung there, he put a finger on my sacrum to help me understand where I was in space, and then he used his other hand to push down and back on each shoulder in turn, essentially helping to open my shoulders toward my sacrum. After hanging for a bit, he had me drop back to the floor, then come back up. We did that a few times. It felt controlled and made sense to me in a way that dropbacks never have before — I guess because I had to control the gravity more, versus leaning back into a normal assisted dropback.

In the vinyasa into sarvangasana (first picture on this page), I had the most intense, strong energy in my lower spine. Like everything had been put right and the lumbar area was super strong and the thoracic area light and flexible.

Even as I drove home, I felt really alert and happy. Mmmmmm. Backbends. I think I’m going to really grow to love them.

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