Tag Archives: backbends

148 BackBends Challenge from My Bikram Yoga Life

Here’s an excerpt from the awesome blog My Bikram Yoga Life. I absolutely love this idea, so I began my own ‘drop back wall’ at home. Thanks Leigh for the great post and inspiration!

Full post: 148 BackBends.

In the last seven days I have done 148 backbends. Is that a lot of backbends to do in seven days? I don’t know. I just decided to see how many I was doing in a week. I know that backbending is an important part of my practice, and I was doing them at home. However, I was pretty sure I wasn’t doing as many as I could or should. Keeping track of it for a week got me doing more than I think I normally would because I was paying attention. Plus, as a Type A personality, I just like to count things and keep score on myself.

Current location of my sticky tape. Gotta start somewhere!

Backbending got really fun yesterday (for real). I got some sticky tape and put a blob of it on the wall where I was currently landing when I went backwards doing wall walks. Then I put another blob just a bit under the first to give myself something to work towards. This helped in about a 1000 different ways.

First (no, I’m not going to count to 1000), it helped me see how far down the wall I was able to walk.

Second, I could see where I was in relation to the floor. Going backwards down the wall is a bit freaky. All I see is a solid color (yellow if I am at home and blue in the studio), but I often don’t know where I am on the wall. Now I know.

Third, it gives me something to look for. This helps me push myself. Once I’m warmed up, I know the marker I should be able to hit, and now I’ll just keep going until I hit it. Then, I can see my goal just below it, and I can decide if I can try for it or not. Right now, I’ve hit my edge, but I’m hoping to push to my new marker in a day or two. Having something to look for also keeps me focused.

So what does all this backbending look like? Well, I can’t make it down to the floor just yet. For now, I leave you with a picture of my current state of being.

My idea of a good time.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Raja Bhujangasana

Yoga Journal doesn’t call this a pose, but I have always liked the idea that any shape in your body that feels good or challenges you is yoga. My teacher Silvia Mordini always uses the example that making a pizza is a vinyasa.

I snapped this shot of my beautiful friend Michelle, the Graceful Yogi, who ‘graciously’ guest posted when I was away. You can read her inversion tips here, and her forearm stand tips here.

If you’re a vinyasa junkie, you’re probably doing tons of upward facing dogs and cobra poses. These help with spine mobility for sure, but reaching the toes to the head is an even deeper backbend and is just another way to improve poses like your wheels and bows. So give this rarely used pose a try, and remember it’s a life long practice!

shellz-1

Notice how the curve in her spine is in the thoracic and cervical spine, not just the sacrum. Mobility in all parts of the spine is needed to do backbends safely.

1098406_233032456844663_1166599410_n

Cool show of progression in raja bhujangasana

Work every section of your spine.

Work every section of your spine.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Backbends I: Lead with your heart in 2013!

Lead with your heart in 2013!

Open all 7 of those lovely chakras.

I have never been a fan of backbends, wheel I didn’t attempt for years and camel makes me feel pukey. However, in the back of my mind I know that the poses I shy away from are the ones I probably need the most. Also- upon recently discovering I am of the Pitta Dosha variety, backbends were one of the recommended poses for me, but anyone can benefit from leading with their heart. What a good intention to set in 2013; you can never go wrong when you let your heart lead, right?  So here we go- making backbends my new favorite poses of 2013!

Here is BKS Iyengar practicing some backbends in Pune, India. He was 73!

My post about BKS Iyengar here.

I will definitely check in with you about my heart-leading progress this year.

What poses do you need to befriend in 2013?

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,