Thursday, May 08, 2014

Levitating yoga and the pain quotient

When you start on a new pose,however advanced your practice is -- it is very intriguing for me btw to see how some of my students assume they are advanced even though after so many years of teaching I still feel humbled by how little I know -- you will find that it can hurt as hell.
Yesterday for instance, I tried a full split in the scorpion and have been having a stiff upper back because, of course, the fear factor in the pose will always leave some track. A new pose will always throw up resistance from the body as pain. Of course, it would be foolish to disregard it -- but you sort of need to become sensitized to where it is a wrong pain and where it may be a beginner's inhibition setting off the pain. This is what I meant when I said advanced -- a state of mind, rather than a state of your poses alone. And whether you plan to go ahead, and step back and respect that this pose may not be ready to reveal itself to you.

So, it was with this pose. In a class you would normally place it where the fish pose is sequenced. I would also, since most students except the really yoga-crazy types. remember the names well enough, call it an advanced fish pose. But it actually belongs to the bound bridge pose/bridge forming pose.

I was just fooling about with the supine back bends, and tried this, after a long time. It needs
  • you to take a lot of load at the neck,
  •  upper back strength,
  • power from the base of your skull (the last part can be tough and absolutely not advised for those with an irregular yoga practice).
  • Entire back has to hold up too.
  • Plus the back of the legs are likely to cramp, if you are not used to such an extreme stretch.
  •  The simple plank (setu asana) can usually sort out the last aspect of this pose.
  • It is a combination of a several poses and their strengths -- the viparita dandasana (upside down rod pose), fish and the setuasana.
  • Releasing the hands requires even more complete dedication and practice and take a while. Keeping the hands beside the body is far easier and ideal, if trying anew.

Happy sadhana!

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