Making tools

I can’t help myself; I love props and tools. For yoga, or for any endeavor. My professional background is in learning technology, which is all about enabling learning through the use of tools and technology.

Lately, I find myself scraping for kapotasana adjustments. Sure, I can work my lumbar and thoracic in urdhva dhanurasana and any number of other backbends, but what about my stubborn shoulder/tricep inflexibility? How can I address it more directly? Trust me, I’ve used sandbags, wall rope configurations, the couch and bunches of blocks to try to get at the shoulders, to no avail.

Last night, in (my favorite!) hypnagogic state, I had a little brainstorm. It involves rope, but not my wall ropes. Nope. My old climbing rope.

I cut off a length of rope, wound it through the handle on the floor under my wall ropes, and tied some knots into it.

Then I stepped into the ropes, went over backwards, and grabbed the knots with my hands. Started pullin’ ’em in.

Woohoo! It works. (Kinda. Look at my elbows. So sad.) Anyhow, no warm up, since it’s a Moon Day, but I’m psyched to really try it tomorrow after a proper practice. Begging for kapo adjustments? Perhaps a thing of the past…


15 Responses

  1. Hmmm. Would your arrangement be improved if the rope were run through pulleys and routed up to the ceiling and then down to a comfy harness that would fit around your upper hip area? You’d be able to work your arms and pelvic structure in oppsition to each other, and I think that might work out handily.

    I guess I should try it myself first, eh?

  2. Once your head is down, you’ll be stuck, rope or no rope. I’d actually tend to agree with Carl….make something that will allow you to “hang” and work on walking the hands on some sort of Kapo B from there.

    (disclaimer: I’m totally talking out of my backside here)

  3. You’re amazing.

    Heck, keep the head up to work it.

    Looking forward to more images over time.

  4. Haha! You guys crack me up. Designers, all.

    So far, we’ve got a prototype. Will test it more tomorrow. FWIW, before the picture was snapped, I messed around a bit before putting my head down. So there is some opportunity there.

    Carl, I like your idea. And yes, YOU should test it. We have vaulted ceilings here, so ceiling stuff is tough to set up. Plus, there has to be a limit to the madness The Cop is willing to suffer, and I suspect pulleys and ropes from the ceiling might be it.

  5. Looks like I’ll be eating my dinner in front of an AutoCAD window tonight.

  6. But, for what it’s worth, that drawer pull looks really weak. Install an eyebolt and run the rope through that instead.

  7. Share your sketches when you’re done. The magical kapotasana machine!

    Start thinking a little about eka pada sirsasana and dwi pada, too, okay?

  8. Awesome karen!!! That’s all i have to say on the topic!

  9. Hi Karen
    Ooo, I’m yeallows, in a good way.

    What are those yellow markers on the wall? A way to measure where you land in a dropback practice on the wall?

    I didn’t know oneshotonex was Carl. Ha! Did I hear a design for a ceiling pulley? Bwahaha. It’s a great idea.
    Vanessa is right, though, IMO. You need to hover more before landing. It’s easier to type that into the keyboard than do it. When I get the arms over the head and hover, I tend to lose air out of my lungs, which is downright scary, but it’s the newest adjustment my teacher is doing.


  10. Very inventive! Nice tile too!

  11. quite the mat collection that you have as well!


  12. LOL! Old (retired) Manduka, current Manduka, extra-long Manduka for Cop, travel Manduka. And a folding crash pad. Not Manduka. But only because they don’t make crash pads.

  13. wow, that is so cool! I’m really impressed.

  14. Pretty cool. God, I can’t imagine doing all that DIY, I’m so impressed. I like to hang off the edge of my bed though!! My first impression is, it would help if you arranged the wall ropes to have your hips a lot highter / more over your knees?

  15. Arturo, yes, the lines on the wall are to check dropback progression 😉

    Susananda — yes to your thought about the hips/knees. Still working out the wall ropes part of the project.

    The crash pad is very slippery, which is part of the whole dealio: I need to tuck my knees into the corner where the wall and the mat meet (in order to stabilize the knees), then, with the slippery mat, even when my head is down, the action of moving knot by knot up the rope with my hands allows me to slide my head closer to my feet, and to pull up through the hips (and get the thighs more vertical).

    I’ll get a video of the whole thing in action soon, so you all can see how it works.

    And, apparently, it does work, because my hip flexors have been super activated (i.e., sore as hell) since I started messing around with this.

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