Friday, May 23, 2014

Dwipada viparita dandasana two-legged: upside down rod pose

When I learnt the headstand, though they taught us also, at Sivananda teacher's training course, how to fall. They said we could/should round our back and roll softly down. Those days (as a bit nowadays) I could not do many things softly (because softness needs sophistication and somehow I seemed to be surrounded by people who were keen to tell me I was not sophisticated it was a trait I have tried, only in vain, to pick up:)
So, there I was flailing and dropping after pushing myself to the limits, as I was wont to do. I would "thud" down into a crash landing, that could only be dubbed as a bad fall. But one of the good things about having a disorganized way of falling was that I had no fear of falling:) That's how I learnt this pose too -- by falling backwards from a supported headstand. That is always one hell of a thing to do --because, ideally this pose must be entered from a wheel, with the hands descending and locking into a headstand elbow hold and then, holding the pose. I like that too, though, frankly you need to be really more flexible to weave that last elbow lock. So, an a novice I preferred to fall back in the headstand and then walk my feet ahead.

There are several things about this way of entering the pose which are outright dangerous:

* You have to have the presence of mind to soften the shoulders to first fall, allow the elbows to lift off a bit before you land them back in.
* In a backbend of this nature and a fall of this stature, you have no clue -- unless you fall -- how much time is needed for the feet to brace themselves for the drop and landing. This can be extremely confusing and disorienting for the body. And often, this confusion and the fear that this unleashes, is what causes an injury. To be relaxed, trusting that wherever or whenever they land, the feet can still brace themselves, can be a real "chillded" out aspect of this pose.
* The pressure on the neck and upper back can be sudden and tremendous.
* You also have to firm up the elbows back to their original taut hold --otherwise the body will slump back to the ground and drag the back down, unceremoniously, with it.

What you need for this pose:
* Lot of falls in the headstand (seriously:)
* Good backbends/eg wheel, bow
* Warm-ups
* Fearless when falling

NUGGET: This is pretty precious pose for the yogis,because where the others kneel down to worship (whichever religion you belong to) a yogi/yogini uses this pose to talk to the higher powers. It is opposite to what the rest of the world does...

I read this in BKS book Light on Yoga, and it so wowed me, this yoga attitude:)

Happy sadhana!!

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