So backbends are rusty but coming back, touching my heels with my fingertips in Kapo, feel a long way from taking my ankles from the air again but that's OK. Raja Kapotasana though, now that posture bugs me, can't work it out, I can bury my head in my instep in Kapo ( on a good day) but why can't I brush even lightly the hair on my head, think I might grow a tall pink punk Mohican.
Susan mention it's all in the hips rather than the legs, yep, that's what I think too and it helps. I get a nice upward facing dog going and then rather than try to deepen the backbend aim to swing my hips further forward and through my arms, try to bring them back to the mat and then bring my legs towards my head..... it helps but still a way away, I'm missing something.
Never thought of myself as a natural back bender, tend to put what I've achieved in them down to technique so I'm sure there's some 'trick' I'm missing. Last night somebody came int the shop with a buzz on their clarinet, spent ages trying to find it, had to be something, found it eventually just as I'll find the key to Raja kapo but until I do..... slightly frustrating....in a pleasant way, an itch.
Searching for images on the web I came across the above picture of Pattabhi Jois adjusting Graham Northfield. I remember his interview in the Guruji book. Here's a link to his website (click on his name above) where he has several more excellent pictures of being adjusted, wonderful stuff.
Not sure how I feel about adjustments, had a couple when I visited AYL twice a few years back, Marchi D and lifting me higher and further back in Urdhava Dhanurasana, oh and the squish in Paschi of course. They felt good, made me realize Marichi D was possible for me but to be honest I've never missed them. Sure, as in the picture, a teacher could bring my feet to my head in Raja Kapo or the other way around but I tend to feel that if I can't do it myself then I can't do the posture and it's just a case of plugging away at it, thinking it through, until I can. Makes you very self reliant practicing at home but then I've had all the help and suggestions from the web that people have often picked up from the shalas so perhaps I'm not as self reliant as I like to think.
And here's the best of my Raja Kapo's from last night, a bench mark for a two week Raja Kapotasana challenge.
Whining voice in my ear " ...but it's not about the postures" we're all panopticon's now it seems. Well yes it is about the posture, the asana aspect of our practice anyway...obviously, whether it's Paschimottanasana or Kandapindasana. Whether it's first nailing a posture or becoming steady and comfortable in it, that bit, that small aspect of yoga practice is certainly about the posture so we shouldn't feel...bashful about having fun with it.
Sometimes it's the sheer joy of being with a posture
Is it Yoga? Yeah it's a part of it, part of the discipline, a small part. Is it all of it? Of course not.
....and so to practice.