4. Belly up (Bandhas)
Being a good Heideggarian I'm bracketing the Bandhas (according to Martin it allows us to focus on what something is without considering whether it exists). With no fuzzy yellow balls in the house the jury is still out. I like that Kino Mcgregor doesn't mention them in her primary series DVD, she just says "lift your belly up". This seems enough, you can get into the whole esoteric, mystical bandha thing if you want but it seems a bit much at times, for my taste at least. Besides I hate the whole Bandha response to the jump back.
Q. I How do I achieve the jump back?
A. Work on your Bandhas
Great, thanks that was helpful!
However bringing in and lifting up your belly (uddiyana Bandha?) does seem be effective as does tightening and lifting the pelvic floor (Moola bhanda?) see my post on avoiding lost action. http://grimmly2007.blogspot.com/2008/07/moolah-bandah-and-lost-action.html Basically I suggest that tightening and lifting these areas helps keep the body tight and contained and easier to lift everything up together rather than first your torso, then your hips, then you legs etc.
So 4 of 6 is lifting up the belly. Handy to look at some of the descriptions of Uddiyana bhanda without getting too hung up on it. The lit. talks about drawing the belly in as if a thread is pulling you belly button out through your back but then you kind of suck it in and up creating a hollow under your ribs. This is great for getting in to some of the really tricky twists and bends in Ashtanga as you end up with so much more space. One of the main benefits for the Jump Back is that it enables you to tilt your hips and crossed legs up, kind of curling your body up into a ball from the bottom rather from the top. Curling all that in and up and lifting helps give you more height to get your legs/feet through and makes everything so much tighter and more controlled.
I found looking at the first couple of stages of nauli helpful without all the tummy twirling bit. here's some links. (actually am kind of into the whole Nauli thing lately and starting to get it).
Refer to stage I of this post http://www.yoga-age.com/asanas/nauli.html don't think you need to take it as extreme as this, to suck it in this far, but it helps to practice this to get the idea. I find that I can't get my Jump Through right if I forget to employ belly up.
NB. If you want to get into the whole bandha thing you can do worse than checking out the ever wise (0v0) whose just posted on the topic http://www.insideowl.com/article/for-v (you might want to read her previous post and comments to get some context). Sure to be lots of very current discussion of the topic in the comments section over the next couple of days.