I focused on backbends quite a bit in March, especially dropbacks. Since then I've pretty much let them tick over on their own, still trying to engage the principles but not getting carried away them.
Susan's post here made me want to have another look at how they're coming along. She too is working on getting her hips forward and trying to make her legs as straight as possible.
I like how she mentions the bandhas too, add those to the pilot check list.
Stand tall, check
Lift out of the hips, check
Elongate spine, check
Nutate pelvis upwards, check
Nutate pelvis downwards, check
Imaging string pulling coccyx up, check
Sway back and forth aimlessly a little, check
Spread sit bones, check
Check feet are straight, check...ish
Push hips as far forward as possible, check
Lift out of pelvis more, check
Press down on big toe, check
Hands to chest, check
Engage mula bandha, check
Stretch and bend back from lower back, check
Stretch and bend back from mid back, check
Stretch and bend back from upper back as if in reverse prayer, check
Push hips forward some more, check
Press down some more on big toe, check
Press down with heels to counter lift, check
Remember to breath.....oops check
Back a bit, more toe, back a bit, more toe, more heel, more toe, more heel, check check check check...
Hands to forehead, check
Hands further over head, check, hang, check
Let arms hang down, check,
Hips forward, bugger
Remember to let out the last of the breath as you drop to the mat, check
This is just my own ever growing checklist or as much of it as I can remember as I stand here trying to recreate it, little bits I've picked up here and there that have become all mixed together. Perhaps the day will come when I just do it and don't tick through any of this. I only go through the full list the first couple of times, after that I'm trying to focus on one of two elements, the grounding of the heels perhaps or saying in my head over and over "hips forward, hips forward".
I tried to throw the bandhas into the mix this morning, had the image of engaging them being a little like throwing the anchor overboard.
If I look at the Susan's picture, on her post, I can see she's still getting her hips further forward. If you draw an outline around her it's more circular, mine is like an egg, still quite a steep curve from the knee to the ribs.
My feet always look turned out in pictures, admittedly they are when I come up but I always check there's a straight line running from my heel through my big toe (See head on pic, right), they do creep a out a little but just try and catch it happening in the video.
Perhaps I should turn my feet inwards a little have the outside of my foot parallel with the mat. I tried it this morning and still dropped back well enough. I'm thinking if I have my feet turned in a little it might give me a more stable base to push my hips further forward, my knees beyond my toes, pasasana like. I have a feeling that I'm pushing my hips forward kind of between my feet rather than over them.
Hmmm, want to try that now but I've just eaten half a grapefruit, slice of toast and a weetabix with a pile of banana and strawberries on it, oh and a huge cappuccino, bad idea.