Backbending with Lisa

Great backbending workshop. Lisa is as terrific as I’d been told — very open and with lots of helpful things to say about different aspects of the practice.

My favorite thing, by far, was hanging out in kapotasana, in the middle of the bend, without touching the floor. For the very first time, I was calm enough to look around a bit (Hey, there’s my left foot! Hey, there’s my right!). Volleyball Guy came by and helped me catch my toes before I put my head on the floor. MUCH easier than putting the head down and then walking the hands in.

The most interesting tidbit was the admonition NOT to poke the hips forward at the start of kapotasana (in other words, don’t drive the tailbone toward the front and push the thighs forward), but rather, to push the public bone back, and the upper back, so the curve resides between the hips and the shoulders (rather then running from knees to shoulders). It is reminiscent, actually, of how you set your back before a heavy free-weight squat. Very stable. And then you start dropping back. Much more control this way, and much less lumbar stress. Cool.

Urdhva dhanurasana, for some reason, was particularly light and airy today. A good bit of it was purely mental, I think. Plus, I hadn’t “warmed up” with all of primary and a third of intermediate, so I was pretty full of energy. We’d done a bunch of shoulder stretches earlier, so that may have contributed to the ease I felt in UD. I have to stay positive, and perhaps I can feel more of that tomorrow morning!

All in all, a great workshop. There’s something nice about a bunch of practitioners getting together to research a bit, and I really enjoyed it. Day after day we practice in the same room, but each person is immersed in his or her own practice. There is something distinctly celebratory about working together every so often; the energy in the room was like a little party.


One Response

  1. “MUCH easier than putting the head down and then walking the hands in.”

    Noooo!!!! Never put the head down until the hands are totally walked in. That’s all there is to kapotasana: walking the hands in while your head is still off the floor. Only then, once your hands are touching your toes, heels, whatever, you drop your head into place.


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