from Kalama sutra, translation from the Pali by Bhikkhu Bodhi

This blog included. "So, as I said, Kalamas: 'Don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, "This contemplative is our teacher." When you know for yourselves that, "These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering" — then you should abandon them.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

"Now, Kalamas, don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, 'This contemplative is our teacher.' When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness' — then you should enter & remain in them. Buddha - Kalama Sutta

Friday, 27 February 2009

Dropback: On sticking out my backside, continued

video

On this post earlier in the week
http://grimmly2007.blogspot.com/2009/02/dropping-back-back-in-saddle.html
There was some concern about my sticking my backside out and that this appeared to suggest I was bending from the lower rather than upper back.

Anonymous posted this comment
"Just want to say I love your blog and reading about your journey. However I am concerned about your comment regarding pushing the bum out to create more of a curve in the back. That sounds to me that you are bending ( and crunching ) your lower back too much and potentially stressing it. I was always taught with dropback most of the bend should come from the thoracic spine. Dropping the shoulders ( and scapulae ) is a good idea. I would be more mindful to lengthen rather than bend with your lower back though otherwise you will hurt yourself."

It's a good and important point to make and I was mindfull of it when I dropped back this morning (video above). I too have heard/read that bending from the lower back can be dangerous.

So dropping back this morning I was being very conscious of where I was focusing the bend. It was definitely upper, rather than lower back. The backside thing is misleading. I stick it out (and kind of anchor it.....my butt is an anchor...aweigh Ass : )and then start stretching out and up from there into my upper back bringing my shoulders back and down. Once I feel I've lengthened my back as far as I can, I start to push my hips forward. Rather than bending from the lower back, pushing the hips forward is, as I thought, more of a pivoting action bringing the already formed bend, back and over. I then use gravity to start deepening the backbend further, again mostly upper back as it's activated by bringing my head further back.

* Thanks again for all the comments, suggestions and cautions. I really appreciate them, as I'm sure does anyone else visiting here and working on the same things

Coming up is coming along too. Not focusing on this aspect so much for the the moment. I want to become totally at ease with the dropback first, still, can't resist a little attempt as I'm there.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Jumping through ( The breath ) Follow up

Following up on the discussion on the breath in the Jump Through this week.
http://grimmly2007.blogspot.com/2009/02/jump-through-breath-sequence.html
I think I've solved the problem I was having. After seeing that Kino Jumps through on the inhale and my jump through is in her style, I decided to go with that. I noticed that I tend to over emphasis that swing forward onto my toes, which is part of where the confusion came from. I've trimmed that down as much as possible.
I look up as I begin to inhale come up on the toes for just a moment, bend my knees, jump up, hover for a second and the come down and through. I begin to exhale just as I pass through and lower.
This seems much better, I feel lighter too, getting that extra lift from the inhale. I've tried to tidy up the whole thing in fact, less shuffling about, more minimalist.

video

However, I still credit the Tim Miller approach of jumping through at the end of the exhale with helping me get the Jump back in the first place, found it very helpful in the beginning.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Garbha Pindasana, at last!

Been having trouble with Garbha Pindasana since the beginning. Everything seemed OK but one arm was always too short. Turned out I was putting my arm through behind my left ankle rather than in frount. Why it took me so long to realise this I don't know but still. By the way, anyone having trouble with this pose, this is a great variation as you get to bind pretty well, rock back and forth and come on up to Kukkutasana with ease.


Anyway, finally figured out where I was going wrong, but been having a hell of a time getting my arm through, there's just no space. Maybe it's a guy thing, hairy arms and legs, plus it being winter and not getting that sweaty.


At last it's started warming up and I was sweaty enough today to get my arms through, and they're level! I've got that glum face in hands thing down and everything. But now the problem is controlling the rocking, so much harder like this. Four times trying to video this I ended up falling to the side and getting stuck, really stuck, bound so much tighter now it's hard to get out of it. Stopped finding it hilarious after the second time and not even faintly amused by the fourth.


Finally got the hang of it and so am not as glum as I look. This has to be the second most ridiculous asana after titibhasana.


videoOh and there's a Jump back and through, shot from the frount to justify the post.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Dropping back : Back in the saddle


videoTook a break from dropbacks and attempting to come up again for a couple of weeks. This is my first time back in the saddle. Quite happy with it, felt much easier and the mat much closer than I remember.

Picked up on something Lydia said about dropping your shoulders down your back to give your neck more room to go back. I've also taken my shoulders back to try and bring my chest out and up more, The other thing I'm doing is sticking my backside out, ( This may be a bad idea see comments )all of this creating quite a curve in my back, then I bring my hands down and push my hips forward trying to keep the curve in my back the same. Feel like my backbend is a lot deeper before I even bring my hands up into Namaste, it's as if I have a head start. by the time I'm taking my hands over and trying to exaggerate my breathing I'm seeing a LOT of mat behind me.

First attempt to come up after dropping back felt promising, but I decided not to push it today and try and ease myself back into all this more slowly. I think I noticed something else too but can't put my finger on it, something to do with a feeling, for a moment, that my hips were pointing inwards rather than outwards.....I have no idea what I mean by this but can't help feeling it's something important for coming up.

P.S. It's Pancake day and I've got Sicilian lemons!

Jump Through breath sequence

video
I got onto the subject of the breath sequence Re. the Jump through in the middle of another post last week. http://grimmly2007.blogspot.com/2009/02/marichyasana-series-jump-backs.html
I think it was quite confusing so want pick over it a little here.

Here's what I wrote in that post.

"Need to ask Kino how she works her breath. Normal practice for jump through is, I think to, exhale about two thirds. But I have that swing forward up onto my toes then swing back and then Jump and instead of going all the way through I go high and hang for a moment Kino style, before coming down and through. That really makes the breath confusing.
At the moment I tend to lift up following my inhale and kick back while exhaling. I inhale to upward dog, exhale to downward dog. Then I inhale on my swing forward to my toes and exhale two thirds or so as I go back, start to jump up and hold coming through on the last of the breath."

This surprised Susan who understood that you "inhale all the way forward, whether you lift the hips high or not?"

I checked some of the literature and this is what I found

"...do puraka (inhalation), jump the feet in between the hands
Yoga mala Sri K Pattabhi jois p 43 (2002 North point press version)

"Do not pause in the downward dog. While inhaling, bend the knees and jump forward floating the legs back through the arms."
David Swenson Ashtanga yoga The practice manual p77

"3.Inhaling Press firmly through your hands as you spring up....4. Still inhaling...allow the legs to swing through...5. Still inhaling...A controlled landing will further develop strength.
John scott Ashtanga yoga p73

"IN 15 PANCADASANA Jump - head up"
Lino Miele Ashtanga yoga p41

"Vinyasa Seven inhaling jump through to seated position ....as long as we are airborne in the jump we must continue to inhale as the inhalation has a lifting and carrying effect. once the lift through is complete we initiate the exhale to lower down."
Gregor Maehle Ashtanga yoga practice and philosophy. p64

Which all supports Susan, inhaling all through the jump through appears to be the standard approach.

I think my "exhale two thirds of the breath" comes from Tim miller, one of PKJ's earliest western students, who wrote this in Yoga journal

"Remember to support the movement with your breath. Jumping through at the end of an exhalation, when you are completely empty of breath, is best because the exhalation also facilitates deeper movement into the forward bending position."
http://www.yogajournal.com/practice/765

Be interesting to know where Tim got it from or if it's something he developed himself. I found it really helpful when I started jumping through, and still do. Always find it easier to engage uddiyana more fully on the exhale and creating all that space seems to help curling my legs up. that said there is something counter-intuitive about it....

So Tim's style really helped me starting out, the problems came when I introduced the Kino aspect, swinging up high and holding in the air for a moment before coming down. That's a lot going on on the "end of the exhale".

I love the Kino aspect, love that floaty gravity defying aspect, there's a moment when everything just stops for a moment and I don't want to give it up. So my present breathing method below seems to be a way of employing the Tim Miller approach while keeping all that extra Kino stuff , the key being that extra breath on the swing forward onto my toes.

"At the moment I tend to lift up following my inhale and kick back while exhaling. I inhale to upward dog, exhale to downward dog. Then I inhale on my swing forward to my toes and exhale two thirds or so as I go back, start to jump up and hold coming through on the last of the breath."seems to be a way of "
Grimmly2007 Ashtanga jump back blog

Anyway Kino is coming to the UK soon, so can perhaps ask her then. http://grimmly2007.blogspot.com/2009/01/kino-macgregor-workshop-in-london-april.html

Ahhh have just checked Kino's DVD and at 30:25 in with her first jump back she says INHALE jump through....but then she doesn't have such a pronounced swing forward onto her toes as I do, but rather a quick lift onto her toes as she starts her jump through.

All that said, looking at my Jump back and Jump through in that Marichiyasana post has left me dissatisfied. That angle isn't very flattering all looks much more graceful shot from the side. (or it hides more). Noticed how busy it is, little shuffle forwards and shuffle backs (because I'm too tall for the mat?) Then there's that swing forward to my toes, is that necessary? Want to see if I can minimalise it a little, tidy it up, make it all a little smoother. About to start my practice so might take a video afterwards and post it here later.

Pancake Day flip flops

video

Sunday, 22 February 2009

At last, an office chair that allows full lotus.

As a Woodwind repairer I sit at my work bench all day with a feeling of missed opportunity. Wouldn't it be great to be able to sit in half or full lotus while stripping down a vintage Sax. I've looked all over the net for a chair that would allow it, but the seats tend to be too small and if you want arms then they tend to get in the way.

But now I'm a proud owner of a Steelcase Leap office chair. It's a high end fully adjustable chair that I picked up used but like new on Ebay. Supposed to be great for the back, you can check out it's features here.
http://www.steelcase.com/na/features_leap_products.aspx?f=11852&c=16955

Best of all for my purpose is that the seat slides forward or back. Slid forward you have a good base for your lotus. Add some tilt at the back and there's no need for a Zafu. The arms tilt out giving you lots of room for your knees.

video

Marichyasana series Jump backs

OK I know Jump backs are SO last year and Backbends are where it's at now, but lets get all Retro for a second.

Trying to work on consistency in my Jump back and Jump through.

I guess I tend to pretty much post my best Jump backs so thought it would be good to post a segment of my practice and look at how they differ slightly. The Mari series because it will always be work in progress and it will be good for me to record the same section six months from now.

Good angle for looking at my jump through, still not right. Need to ask Kino how she works her breath. Normal practice for jump through is, I think to, exhale about two thirds. But I have that swing forward up onto my toes then swing back and then Jump and instead of going all the way through I go high and hang for a moment Kino style, before coming down and through. That really makes the breath confusing.

At the moment I tend to lift up following my inhale and kick back while exhaling. I inhale up to up dog, exhale to down dog. Then I inhale on my swing forward to my toes and exhale two thirds or so as I go back, start to jump up and hold coming through on the last of the breath.

Seems to work OK but am, as always, open to suggestions. I've noticed a few visitors from Miami, anyone from Kino's shala who knows how she teaches the breath here or have been to one of her workshops?
video video

Getting warmer now and I want to get second yoga towel, want to try a Yogitoes Skidless. Anyone know where they can be picked up in the UK. Seen them on ebay but postage is expensive from the US. Think I remember reading someone blogging from the UK had one so surely they can be had, but can't find a UK supplier online.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Press to hand.......Ouch! Plus, back in the backbend business

Pretty much over the virus now and have given my back a good couple of weeks off so felt ready to reintroduce my evening "work in progress" session. Basically Standing with lots of Press to handstand work in the Surys and Intermediate up to Kapo or the Eka pada's plus some extra backbend work.

I have ten days off from March 9th to read some Heidegger and imagine I'm in Goa for a ten day Ashtanga intensive or something ( maybe I should try and pick up a poster and make a fake sand dune).

I WILL come up from UD by the end of it.

Between now and then the plan is to start working towards it, lots of dropback preparation. I want to get into those Sweeney drop back to wall exercises again, work on the rocking back and forth in UD and the on the breathing.

Am convinced the best way to come up is just after dropping back.

so tonight went well I thought .....

video video
ouch!
videoBetter

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Capturing Ashtanga Videos and converting to slow motion for study

Moving on from my last post on how to convert a web video to slow motion using Quick time pro, here's a quick tutorial on how to capture videos from the web and convert them to Slow motion so you can analyse whats really going on.

You will need to have downloaded
  1. Find a cool ashtanga movie you want to study on YouTube. I'm going to use one of my own.
  2. When you start to play it on youtube a little real player download tab will pop up on the top left hand corner. click on that to download the video.
  3. Once it's downloaded open Videora ipod converter and convert the video for your ipod which puts it into quicktime. Here's how
  4. Open Videora, click Convert, then click video file. click normal mode when the big box opens.
  5. In the Step 1 box Select the file you downloaded (should be in a file real downloads in your documents file).
  6. In Step 2 select a file to store it perhaps click make new folder and have it on your desktop. then click on the orange box above that says Next.
  7. Change the title if you want or just click Next again.
  8. Dont worry about changing the video settings just click Next again which brings up a box Final step Click start converting.
  9. You can click on view conversion progress if you like. finally close Videora
  10. Open the folder you made to store the video on your desktop and there it is converted to Quicktime. (It will automatically have put it in your itunes movie playlist too, ready for putting on your ipod. )
  11. finally go to my previous post converting videos to Slow motion to turn it into a low motion version.

videoHere's one I made earlier(another Blue Peter joke)

....if you want in on the joke here's how to make Thunderbirds Tracy island from toilet rolls and sticky back plastic. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auiP1YdelEo fast forward to 2;29

Monday, 16 February 2009

How to make a slow motion Jump back movie in QuickTime Pro

video

I've just worked out how to do this, makes upgrading to Quicktime Pro worthwhile.

  1. Take your Quicktime Jump back movie and open in Quicktime Pro (£20 upgrade from regular Quicktime). We'll call the screen that opens Screen X
  2. Click window then Show movie properties from the drop down menu
  3. Click soundtrack and then click delete
  4. Click the Video track and click extract (this will open the video again in a new screen which we will call screen Y)
  5. Click edit, select all, copy. then click on the movie screen and click paste.
  6. Drag the right half triangle on the time bar at the bottom to the end so that the whole time bar is highlighted.
  7. Go to the original movie screen X and click edit, select all, copy and then you can close this screen X as you wont need it anymore, no need to save changes.
  8. Go to back to the other screen Y, click edit then click Add to selection and scale.
  9. This Screen (Y) should now play a slow mo version of your original jump back movie.
  10. Save as Jump back Slow mo

Love this, just done a slow-mo version of my rolling GARBHA PINDASANA, funny.

PS. Anyone recommend anywhere to practice in Manchester UK?

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Practicing when sick and Handstand progress

So I caught a Virus and reluctantly took a couple of days off work. Couldn't practice Friday or Saturday but was determined to at least try to practice this morning. Wanted to try and detox myself with some intense Ujjayi breath and sweat it out.

After two days sitting up in bed reading the Catechism (am a sucker for Theologians, think it's the only Uni department Philosophers are in awe of) and living on Banana custard I was looking forward to a few Surys to realign my back.

Always stiff through the first couple of Sury A's but this morning I was still stiff after 5 A's and 5 B's was thinking perhaps I should come up with something to take on Dragons Den, something to improve posture when sitting up in bed.
Still not over the Virus and could feel it indignant at the lack of respect I was showing. Really dizzy through Standing and especially each time I came up in Prasarita series. Quite cool actually watching your vision blur more and more until it seems like your looking through a keyhole.
Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana was risible, waving about and stumbling all over the place, hasn't been this bad since the morning after I discovered margaritas at Christmas.
By my third Jump back I was beginning to feel like throwing up and cut back to jumping back after each Asana rather than each side.
Something about the Marchi's though, you get so wrapped up in the binding that you forget about everything else. it's where my mind usually begins to quiet and this morning where I forgot I was sick and just got on with the practice.
Managed to get through to finishing , ended up sweating 2 kilos but feel much better for having forced myself through it.

Sitting up in bed I was looking back at some old videos. If you don't go to a shala and just practice at home then taking videos is such a good idea. You get to look at yourself objectively. I remember being convince a short while ago that I'd pressed to handstand only to see the trace of a hop on the video. Plus it's encouraging , sometimes you feel like you're in a rut and not progressing, I mean I've been doing handstands for a year but still can't press to handstand. So it was good to look at these videos together, the first from March 08 the second from last week.
video video
................................................................March 08 / Feb 09.................................................................
The difference I think has come from the work I've been doing lately on back bends which has made my stomach muscles stronger and the press to handstand work I did a couple of months back where I focused on the awareness of my pelvis in space. Still haven't got it the way I'd like it but it's coming.

PS. Can anyone recommend anywhere to practice Ashtanga in Manchester UK. Led or Mysore?

Thursday, 12 February 2009

In case your missing the Back bending

So as I mentioned, I'm trying to take a week or two break from all the intensive back bending I've been doing lately. This break hasn't been made an easier by Lydia posting an excellent back bending tutorial with a 13 minute video.
She begins
"A cause of pain in back bending can be too much forward tilt in your pelvis. (Anterior Tilt). This action limits the hips from extending and lifts the back waist causing too much compression in the lower back and jams the tailbone. Perhaps you've felt it? ....... " http://beingwithyoga.blogspot.com/2009/02/experiment-with-back-bending.html,

Can't wait to try some of this stuff.

It was Lydia who posted those great Press to Handstand videos a short while ago that I went on about here
http://grimmly2007.blogspot.com/2008/12/new-sheriff-in-town-lydia-from-squamish.html

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Wrist protection gloves for handstand practice etc

I keep coming across WAGS http://wristprotectiongloves.com/ and thought they might be a good idea for all the extra handstand work I do. These days I tend to do a regular primary in the morning and then in the evening I run through the Sury's, half of standing, Intermediate up to Kapo or the Eka pada's and more backbend work (though I've put the backbend work on hold for a week or so). During my evening Sury's I tend to throw in loads of handstands.
So I was tempted but not $60.00's + postage tempted, especially with the state of the pound to the dollar at the moment.

However, given the basic idea is to raise and cushion the palm I had a look on ebay and found loads of similar gloves, especially for cycling and/or weight lifting. They tended cost around £5.00 a pair including postage (what $10.00 give or take). Avoid the leather ones and look out for the ones padded at just the palm with a similar Gel to the WAGS. I screwed up and bought ones that had extra padding at the top of the palm. Small snip with the scissors though and the gel pulls right out. Not all the ones on ebay had this extra padding. Mine are made of Neoprene and Amara.

Here's a video of me giving them a go Some handstands, jump backs, float ups and press to handstand.
videoThis was the first time i put them on and they felt a little strange at first at one point I almost topple forward, that's because the cushioning on the palm lifts and tilts you forward a little. Once I got used to them everything felt a little easier and certainly less strain.

That said I wouldn't want to use them in my regular practice, just doesn't feel.......yoga. But if your doing some extra practice they're ideal. Imagine they would be great for those who are doing third series and working on tick tocks (or is it tacks).

Knowing now that the basic idea seems to work, if I found WAGS in the UK then I would probably splash out and get a pair.

Building strength for Jump Back : Lolasana excercises

Received this in my mailbox this afternoon.

"I have a question for you. My jump backs suck and cannot even begin to speculate Lolasana. What do you recommend to even begin to build that strength? I'm looking at your first post and I'm nowhere close to either of those videos. Any thoughts or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you in advance."

And my attempt at a reply
video
"I'll have a think about strength building and and try to post something.

You say you can't even speculate about Lolasana but I think it's key. It's that middle point we pass through in both Jump back and Jump through. The good thing is it seems perfect for building strength too.

Get on your knees, hands down by the side just back from the knees, breathe out and then as you breath in, strongly sucking in your belly press down with the hands to lift up using your feet as a kind of pivot point, almost as if your rocking back onto your feet. Go down and then come back up again creating some momentum up and down to help you. I think that employs lots of the elements you need for the jump back and builds strength in the belly, arms, shoulders etc.

You can build up to leaning back less, which is harder on the arms and shoulders. Oh, and work your hands back till you end up mid thigh. Have a go at doing it with the ankles crossed. Try to work it in to your transition.

What are you doing for Jump back and Jump through at the moment. Can you jump back to your knees from downward dog and do one of these lolasana exercises each time, that would be what 23 times or so in all of primary. Jumping back ....cross your legs rock forward onto your knees and then a quick lolasana exercise before stepping back to plank. That's another 23.

Keep it light and simple at first and you can see that 50 of those each morning and you'll start building strength in no time and best of all it fits into the practise.
After a while that rocking up and down can become little hops, bringing your toes off the ground. And later hopping up and trying to hold for a second or two.

Does that help, give it a try and let me know. Will see about making a video of what I mean and post it later today (see above)."

This blog start from around June 08 and videos here from Feb 08 (just realised it's a year)http://grimmly2007.blogspot.com/2008/09/my-jump-back-videos-feb-08-to-present.html
However, I recently found this buried away on the other Mac .
video I think it was taken in Nov 07

Anyone one else got any strength building suggestions?

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Feb jump back

videoFeb 08 Trying to work on that bringing the hips up high (see the screenshots on the right of my blog, Lino, Sharath, Kino, Scott, Swenson) Mine is closer to Sarath, but I like how in Lino and Swenson the hips seem to rise and draw the legs up and through, all graceful like . Not really getting it and Jump through is still work in progress sometimes I seem to get it just right and it all comes together. other days....not. Here I start losing control coming down and it speeds up and I go flying through, not what I was after.

Been thinking about the jump back lately and how, while there is the obsession to get the Asanas so perfect. All these adjustments, it's done THIS way not that way, toe has to be turned in an extra half a mm. And how the further up the series you go it gets almost Iyengarish in an attempt to nail the pose. Yet the Jump back/jump through..... well your left pretty much to your own devices it seems. And yet yoga mala stresses its importance along with the breath and the bandhas. And lets face it, it's pretty much the defining face of Ashtanga to anyone looking in. You'll be held back for not Dropping back or coming up from UD but not for an untidy vinyasa. Seems strangely inconsistent....what is going on here?

I suspect it's something to do with holding someone back. You can hold someone back for an Asana which might take months but if you held them back for Jump back it could take years. imagine being stuck at Pachi A for five years because you cant jump back in exactly the right way.

Press to handstand update ( Backbends on hold for a bit, over did it)

videoSo, I've been taking a break from backbends for the last few days. Felt a bit of a twinge , knew I was over doing it but would look at one of the videos I'd taken and think I was really close to coming up and maybe just one more. Anyway nothing serious just a muscle twinge. Took a couple of days off practice altogether then a couple of standing  only and Primary yesterday and today, feeling good but will give it another week or two before I drop back or try coming up again, just to be on the safe side.

However, nice surprise this morning, a Press to handstand seemed to come from nowhere, best yet, seem to be almost throwing myself forward  (thus hips coming over shoulders more). Tried it again, this time trying to let my legs float up (see below) feet came up a little way and then I lost it, but definitely progress. 
video

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Floating up : excuse to test new Free video software

videoWanted to post something to try out this new video editing software called MPEG streamclip Never had a problem posting videos when I was using my Camera Phone, but since I bought the fancy Lumix digital HD camera it's been less straight forward. The problem is that the picture quality is too dammed good and takes forever to post, also there's no editing software on the camera unlike on my old phone.

On windows I was using QuickTime Pro but didn't want to buy it for my Mac as I'm not that impressed. Checked out some forums and came across MPEG streamclip http://www.squared5.com/ (works on windows and Mac OSX and is FREE ) I've just downloaded it, opened it up, dragged this video onto the screen, top and tailed the Vid. and converted it to MPEG 4 Seems much easier and quicker than Quicktime pro. Much quicker to post as well, took about three minutes to show up here while I was writing.


This video is nothing special but kind of interesting. All this Kapotasana and back bending work seems to have strengthened my thighs and "core". I've noticed that my float up to standing in the Sury's is much more controlled, and am able to float up to an inverted dandasana and hold it and either lower for a soft landing (not so soft in this one) or take it up to handstand etc. Still lacks polish but it feels nice to do and just goes to show how work on one asana benefits others. Probably bringing me closer to that elusive press to handstand that I haven't given up on.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Dropping back / Coming up : Screenshot comparison

Two screen shots from the video I posted last night. The one on the left is my attempt to come back up from UD taken at the highest point. The shot on the right is of me dropping back at the point I lose it to gravity. A few days ago the shot on the right would have had to be taken sooner as I tended to lose control as soon as I began to take my arms back. Due to the Sweeney exercise I'm able to keep control a little longer.
The shot on the left represents my best attempt to come up so far. It does seem to help to try coming up after dropping back rather than starting from a UD, feet, legs, hips, chest, arms....all are in the right alignment, plus there's the muscle memory of where you were a few moments before.
Looking at the shot on the left I can see that I've managed to get my hips over my feet but that they are not as high as the shot on the right. The angle between my thighs and my calves is ever so slightly less on the right and I think it's that I need to aim at (look at how much of the corner of the radiator you can see behind me). If I forget about the top half of my body and focus on reducing that angle, of getting my hips a little higher and slightly further forward then it should carry me up.
In fact when I think of some of the dropback assists I've seen, the teacher has their hands on the hips lifting and drawing forward.

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