Due to the recent yoga unrelated knee injury, I've been giving Karandavasana a miss for about three weeks. I gave it a try a couple of times with a loose lotus but just ended up landing on my backside. With the Knee pretty much back to normal I tried it for real yesterday and made it only halfway up. This morning I tried again and managed to get back up but had lost my Chakrasana exit. Not too worried about it, it'll come back. I still end up too squished though, bringing my head too far forward. I might not be mashing my chin into the mat anymore but it's still brushing the towel. I can't blame that on the knee.
Skippety's blog got me thinking this week. In her Conference report from Sharath's world tour she relates his response to a question on bandhas. The whole post is here but I just want to pick up on these couple of lines. (These are quotes of Skippety reporting what Sharath had to say rather than direct quotes from Sharath).
'This is why many can't do Karandavasana - coz you only have arm strength, no bandha strength'.
'His Uddiyana Bandha lock is ridiculous. It actually folds his abdomen in half! At first I thought it was coz he was tucking his chin in, holding his shirt up with his chin, causing the fold in his belly... but he's a skinny guy with no fat/ folds in his skin, so why was there this massive fold in his belly?! Yeah folks, it's called Uddiyana Bandha Power to the MAX!'
In the second quote he's referring to jumping back from Padmasana, but what if you engage Uddiyana 'to the max' on karandavasana. I tried it this morning in the video above but it's HARD. I was pretty confident going into this, quite proud of my cavernous uddiyana when I'm sitting, but inverted is a different matter. I practice it of course in Sirasana but mostly I'm focused on Moola bandha with just a light Uddiyana. That changes from today, from now on developing inverted uddiyana is the order of the day and we'll see if it gives more control in Karandavasana.