Been feeling, for awhile, that back bends/drop backs and handstands http://grimmly2007.blogspot.com/2008/10/early-handstand-work.html would be suitable for this Blog. Like the Jump back they're elements of the practice that can be looked at and worked on separately from the rest of the practice. Actually, I'm not that sure whether this is the case with the back bend, as you wouldn't want to approach them cold in the way that you can the jump back and the handstand, but hey.
I've been working on them for awhile now and as with the Jump Backs I want to document the transition from getting close to being able to achieve them with some confidence. I've felt all along that the great ashtanga teachers are sometimes too far removed from the struggling student. They can appear godlike. Take Lino Miele for instance, watching his practice in the beginning was almost enough to make me give up there and then, just didn't seem possible for me.
I hope that progress I've made over the past couple of months with the Jump back and Jump through from sliding my toes along the floor to just about clearing it, is encouraging and makes it seem more possible, even likely that anyone can achieve the same.
As with the Jump back I want to bring together some resources, Youtube video's, information, advice, tutorials, Etc.
With all this in mind this is where I am with my back bend.
Felt I was getting close to be able to come up to standing this morning which is why I want to start documenting this now. Going to the shala a few weeks ago and having L lift me up deeper into the back bend made me realise that perhaps it would be possible to achieve the sort of back bends I've seen on youtube (video links to come)in the not so distant future.
I've started stretching more deeply into it and doing five instead of the three I used to do. Coming down after each lift I've started moving my hands a little closer to my legs. I noticed a while ago that after the fifth lift and fifth time moving closer to my legs I was beginning to feel a small shift in my weight towards my legs.
In this second video I've started walking my hands in and started to rock back and forth onto my toes and fingers. I tried this for the first time about two weeks ago but just couldn't get the coordination. Managed it for the first time this week the rocking not the full lift). Still got a way to go but I'm starting to believe it's possible.
The other thing to do, of course, is to work the other way, i.e. Drop backs. Tried drop backs about a month ago. I started off dropping back on to the sofa then onto cushions and finally to the floor. First one was caught on camera and was pretty good (beginners luck?)http://grimmly2007.blogspot.com/2008/08/2-ashtanga-accident-videos-dropping.html
Next time I tried it I landed on my head. http://grimmly2007.blogspot.com/2008/08/2-ashtanga-accident-videos-dropping.html Haven't tried them since as I wanted to work on deepening my back bend first. After the this mornings practice I'm feeling more confident about giving them another go.