Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Urdhva dhanurasana - what I do these days


Today is a moon day and I don't practice.
When I practice Ashtanga yoga I do it in a Mysore class. I know that the difficult asanas need more attention than those one can perform easily. It's not enough just doing or trying it once. As I don't do extra session, everything I do must be done during classes.

When I lie on the floor before the first urdhva dhanurasana, I pull myself together. I don't want to exercise this pose half-heartedly. When this pose comes, I practice already 90 min. Yet one can mobilize so much energy if one wants to.

Here is what I do when I practice urdhva dhanurasana:

1. I start from lying on the floor and lift myself up into the pose. I hold the pose for 5 long breaths. I don't want to cheat here. When I put my head on the top of the floor between the asanas I walk the hands closer to the feet. I want to repeat this 5 times. By now I lift up 4 times.

2. I start from standing position and I drop back. I do this 3 times. I go back sloooooowwwwwly. The body needs time to bend. First my hands are in front of my chest, then in front of my front. Then I stretch my arms. Finally I drop back. Then I move my hands closer.

3. I get help from G. I drop back again on my own and he helps me to come up. 3 times. Sometimes I need some motivation here. I get it. G doesn't omit this part.

G and  M who is in Mysore are excellent teachers because they help but they don't pull me up. They let me work on that pose on my own. This is the only way to learn it. One must try by oneself. To be pulled up is not helpful. This requires expertise and sensitivity.

4. I have my arms crossed in front of my chest and I move backwards. The teacher holds me. This is done 3 times. The third time I stretch the arms again and go into the pose and I try to stand up again.

5. This is the last exercise now: I drop back again. I stay in that pose. The teacher presses against the hips. That way one learns which muscles shall be engaged. After 5 long breaths I almost fly up. No, not alone.

That's it.

I practice this pose 13 times. Indeed 13 times, almost every day.

M and G, both think that it's within my possibilities to come up from urdhva dhanurasana. I feel that it is improving. A lot. To believe that it's possibly is indeed the very first step.

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