“One of my goals in life is to do the slowest Primary Series anywhere… rather than the quickest”. Richard Freeman

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Monday, 13 December 2010

I seem to have the hump in downward dog



I received this comment yesterday which for some reason didn't show up. Not sure if it was something wrong with blogger or if it was deleted by the sender because they felt it wasn't appropriate or that they might offend me ( not at all ).




deafsheep has left a new comment on your post "Grimmly, write out 100 times.....":

Hi Grimply I have a question:
Although I am just a beginner, so I might be wrong, but it seems to be something wrong with your down facing dog (or w/e it is called in english this one: http://yogaclub-spb.ru/img/stat/syrja/sn7.jpg). When you do it your back seems to be bending very much in 1/4 of it's height from bottom. As I understand it shouldnt and it should not be bending at all if possible.
Am I getting something wrong?

Thing is I've always felt there was something not quite kosha about my down dog and my paschimottanasana too for that matter. I seem to have a bit of a hump. I'm not sure if it's just my anatomical make up, a result of years of slouching in chairs but there's definitely a bit of a hump.

This morning I'd planned on taking a rest day but thought I'd have a quick look at. To get the side on shot I'm short of space and right up against the wall so ignore the beginning and end of the Sury, all a bit squished. Once I get in downward dog I try to play with it a little so I can get some screenshots to look at later. At first I'm doing it lazily, trying to get the hump as pronounced as possible then a wiggle about in it for a bit to get the bind more in the pelvis (legs are a bit tight as this was the first and only Sury of the morning) then I take the hands a little further forward, Iyengar style...ish. Interestingly the hump seems more pronounced when I bring my drishti to my belly.
Just to stress again the video below is to explore what if anything makes a difference to the hump. I move my hands further forward half way through (kind of Iyengar style) and take my head lower to see if that makes a difference and because that seems to be the style in the picture deafsheep links to above. My usual downward dog is what you see before I move my hands forward and I usually take my drishti to the navel. When I practice Vinyasa Krama I tend to have my feet together.
video

A couple of screen shots. the one at the top of the page is with the hands further
forward. The first one below with the drishti on my belly and the second without. And of course there is a picture of my current pashimottanasana at the top of the blog.















and here is the earliest side on one I can find, think it's from around two years ago.

11 comments:

  1. The drishti in downward dog is the navel, so there should be a hump. In fact, if you ask me, I think you are hyperextending your shoulders and your elbows.

    It's not supposed to be an Iyengar downdog.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Seems that you've stretched out your hamstrings nicely, but perhaps it's the pelvic muscles, that allow the pelvis to come down, that need work, they can take a loooong time, and it probably is because of years of slouching in chairs. I see this a lot, Dharma Mitra had some good suggestions on how to remedy this. By bending the knees a little in paschimotanasana to bring the ribs right onto the thighs thus accessing the deeper muscles. Oooh asana tech talk! ha ha! Also the curve near the shoulders is an ashtanga no no, they like the spine to be straight, but dharma mittra said to try and get the head to the floor to increase flexibility in shoulders. You're probably aware of all this, I just like to type ; )

    ReplyDelete
  3. I tend to agree with V.
    This is Patthabi Jois doing downward dog, I am sure you have seen. What I like about this stlye of downward dog is that the spine is as long as possible (when there's an effort to straighten the lower part, or extend the upper part too much, it feels to me like shortening), and that you can see he's working with bandhas.

    ReplyDelete
  4. My first teacher called that hump brahma granthi and said it is what years of primary resolves.

    "I just like to type..." :-D

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sorry V perhaps I didn't make it clear ( have now added a note ) I move my hamds forward and try it Iyengar style just to see if that gets rid of the hump, I think that's the style in the picture deafsheep sent me. My usual dd is what you see before I move my hands forward and yes I drishti on the belly/navel, as a rule, actually I work my gaze up, first sury I gaze at my toes 2nd one at my knees etc just to work into it, especially these cold mornings.

    So there is an Ashtanga hump,thank you V you've made my day. I thought I was just a freak. And Thank you too KB for the Jois pic, feel much better about it now.

    ReplyDelete
  6. karen your's just came in. So there shoulden't be a hump, you've just ruined my day : ) It seems to be resolving itself in my Paschi, used to be much more pronounced there. I put that down to the long Paschi's in Vinyasa Krama and my work on Spread angle pose.

    Thanks for this エスタ I remeber seeing a dharma mitra video on paschi where he recommended shuffling the buttocks back, found that most helpful. Will try these, thanks for the tech talk.

    Re the shoulders and hyperextending you and V mention. Is that just in the bit where I try it Iyengar style one or do I do that in the rest of the video. On the library computer and can't seem to watch it back.

    ReplyDelete
  7. My hump, my hump, my hump-my hump-my hump-my hump.

    Now I wanna hear that song!

    As for whether or not it should be there, if you went around to different teachers, you'd get a range of opinions. I'd say it's a big che sara sara.

    ReplyDelete
  8. i really can't believe that my hump is considered desirable in some parts of the Ashtangi world, as in " check out grimley's blog, nice hump." for ages I thought my Sury was just poor, then that i was a bit of a freak, an ugly duckling and now I find out I'm a swan, I shall go to the ball.
    Actually I'm with エスタ and Karen on this, I think it probably goes away with time if you work at it and want it too...just thought, does Sharath have a hump, must check.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi it's deafsheep, got my account password now :))
    --------
    Oh well:) Probably Balazs's link resolves it. You probably do it right.
    Thing is I practice (and study with instructor) a Hatha yoga, and my instructor stretches it VERY much that we shouldnt bed our back, and should straighten lower back, like in link I provided.
    But you do Ashtanga yoga, maybe it is different there:)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Evgeniy, I really appreciated your comment, this has been interesting. The Ashtanga, sury with a hump on top does look much more relaxed to me than in the Iyengar style, which perhaps fits with it being a part of the vinyasa in Ashtanga.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Grimmly,

    I find Sadie Nardini´s approach very helpful:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDBx6OUKC2c

    Even though some disapprove of her asana-centered style, she clearly is an anatomy geek and delivers great info :)
    Have fun with your down dogs!

    Greetings from Germany, Lea

    ReplyDelete

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A Reminder

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
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