Saturday, July 04, 2015

July challenge......

I have a lot of fun with the July challenge on Instagram created by Kino, Aloyoga and Beachyogagirl. (See links on my Instagram account.) The topic of March is #backtobackbends. Every day thousands of yoginis upload a picture. There is such a variety of people, locations. I can't wait to the next day to upload my pose.

For those who still like to join - here is the challenge.

My personal challenge are not only the asanas, yet to get to know the new technique, my smart phone. My pictures don't have the square format all the time. There are apps that allow to add room around the picture so that the poses are not cut. I'm learning, learning, learning........

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Virabhadrasana A and B

Virabhadrasana A

A list of the critical points:
1. The position of the feet is important. One foot points forward. The other foot points forward, too in a 90° ankle. Imagine 2 parallel lines in hip distance. One foot stands on the one line, the other one on the other line. 
2. The hips are even. This pose stretches the front of the hips. This prepares for deeper back bending asanas. 
3. Legs are engaged and stabilize this pose. Strong legs are important for back bending asanas.
4. There are three 90° ankles. One is between foot and shin bone, another one is below the knee. The third one is between leg and body. 90 % of the students stand too high. 
5. The palms of the hands touch. The fingers are closed. I know that the pose becomes easier when fingers are folded. Yet we search the challenges and not the easy variations, isn't it?
6. Dristi is the thumb. 

Virabhadrasana B

1. It's important to stand deep,
2. The rim of the back feet is parallel. This makes sense because this pose opens the hips.
3. The back is long, no hollow back
4. The arms are supposed to be even. 

Both poses build strength in the legs. This is a challenge.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

This morning I woke up......

This morning I woke up and I felt back pain. It felt awfully. Perhaps my discomfort was low so early. It was 5am when I crawled out of bed. I canceled the Mysore class. I decided to practice at home. I feared that I needed to adjust the practice a bit.Yet as so often also today I made the experience, that it is good to move. After the sun salutations my body felt excellent.

Today Kinos July challenge #backtobackbends starts. So, I modified today's practice and took some pictures for this challenge. Focus is backbending. It's good to do some extra asanas, if they feel 'difficult'.
They call it a heat wave. For me it's warm weather. This supported my moves. Below is pic1 for this July challenge.

If you want to follow the show on Instagram - here is the Link.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Counter poses

There is a counter pose to every asana and I think it's important not to perform it superficially. It's rather good advice to enjoy every bit of it, consciously.

The upward facing dog is the counter pose to all the back bending asanas. When practicing the vinyasas, THIS pose is important. Sometimes it can even be good advice to hold it a bit longer than just for 1 breaths.

I try to find my limit. Before moving on I take a little pause. This little pause lasts as long as I say (silently) the word 'p a u s e'.

The counter pose for the back bending asanas is downward facing dog.
I think that child's pose is sort of counter pose to headstand.

Performing the counter poses can come with discomfort. To practice upward facing dog after supta kurmasana can be difficult. In the beginning one might need more time (as said already) to move into this pose. With time the body becomes more flexible and then also the counter pose becomes easier.

The counter pose to urdhva dhanurasana is paschimottanasana. It's held for 10 breaths, It's not only a transition pose. Adjustments are given. Always. I even think that this counter pose makes sure that no injuries happen. No matter how hard my back bending was after paschimottanasana the body feels good.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Move the leg around the body.

M: "Don't move your body around your leg. Move your leg around your body."

It surely is a little trick to twist the body, so that the shoulder comes forward, so that it's easier to put the leg on this shoulder. Yet all these leg behind head poses aim at opening the hips (and not twisting the body).

Ideally the spine and upper body doesn't move. I had gained already some confidence in these forward bending asanas with the leg behind the body. I see that the work must be done in the hips and that I have to give up my little tricks.

To lift the chest is another advice. Sometimes it's a good start to visualize this movement.

Since yesterday M has split my practice: I practice primary till navasana, then I switch to second series till yoga nidrasana. This is the classic split. I thought it would be easier for me to split and switch, but it has been 2 years now that I haven't practiced that far. I feel challenged. As always it's not only the asanas that have to be mastered, but also the vinyasas.
I love it that something has moved.

After yoga nidrasana it's rather difficult to do urdhva dhanurasana. It will become a bit easier when my body is used to the new practice order. I hope so.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The wheel

I had the feeling that kapotasana was good today. This motivated me to work with my wheel again. What is new on the above pictures is, that my elbows are on the floor. I wanted to put my palms on the floor, yet I needed the wheel to stay in that pose.

This little exercise might be a warm up, but it also stretches front of the body enormously. On the same time it allows to relax.

This wheel is a new tool and I still have to find out where to put the wheel:

To have the feet in the middle of the wheel felt good. In that position I can relax. It stretches the hips. It's surely good advice to engage the leg muscles. Yet the wheel also allows to relax and therefore stretching seems easier. 

Next time I'll try to walk my hands to the feet. :) 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Vinyasa - jumping forward

Since I've read an anatomy book by David Keil I try to to jump from downdog onto my hands (not handstand) and I try to hold this pose for a breath before I float through my arms. I used to exercise this against the wall. But what happens when jumping against the wall can be seen in the picture below. The feet stop the body from falling, yet that means that the legs have another position than required. They are too high. This makes falling more likely.

The first pictures shows exactly the leg position, only that I'm in headstand and not on my hands. Nevertheless this picture helped me a lot. It showed me that I don't have to be so afraid of falling. I studied the position when I was into it. The abdomen are engaged. The knees are very close to the body, so are the feet.

Today I tried exactly this. I tried to bring my upper legs to the body as close as possible. I couldn't hold this pose. There is still some work to do. Yet the vinyasa (forward jumping) was very good today. Often the feet didn't touch the floor when I moved the legs through the arms. This is the way.

My next exercise is to try this pose when on my hands. The wall might help here at first. I only want to feel the pose so that I can remember it when I jump into it.

Oh, today is a moon day. I didn't know it because I haven't checked the moon calender. I was so glad that a yogini was at the shala. We practiced together. It was such an intensive practice. I simply loved it.