The trouble with going all preachy and holier than thou (see previous post)is that all too soon you have to eat your words somewhat.
I just saw this kukkutasana B video from Jessica Walden and was suitably astonished.
...great Youtube info notes too
"This is a 30 second demonstration of this asana from Advanced A. I bring the awareness to my middle back to find the lift (as opposed to focusing on getting my bottom off the floor), and relax my stomach muscles. I also push into the hands and lift as much as I can out of the shoulders while continuing to lift and round my back to access uddiyana bandha (tucking and lifting the lower belly in towards the spine as if my navel is pushing up to the ceiling). To come out of the asana, I keep pushing up, my bottom lifts and I come into handstand. The handstand is not traditional but is helpful if you are trying to maintain the lift throughout the entire asana. That is why I only practice this version during home practice, not at the Shala. I know, I am a very "Bad Lady".
I've tended to get myself into kukkutasana B variation with a bit of a wiggle, hooking first one knee and then levering up the other, it works but always seems a bit of a dodgy approach, this though is sensational.
And Jessica has living room tutorials, she talks about "shifting the attention to the middle part of the back to see if that helps the lift, your bottom sort of comes along for the ride". I found that interesting because Norman Sjoman was telling me to shift my focus further down my back in headstand, handstands etc., I'd tended to tighten my shoulders, and it does makes a difference, I've been exploring that in karandavasana too.
Here are two of Jessica's tutorials
great work from Jessica's cameraman
And seeing as I mentioned it, I can't resist her karandavasana video if only for the first 20 seconds.
Take a look at Jessica's Youtube channel, some wonderful understated videos, a nice one on bandhas and this one, her 25 laws of Self-practice, because two minutes in I decided I was a little in awe of Jessica Walden.
from the Youtube notes
Published on Aug 30, 2012
Because of a back injury, I started filming my practice in order to work out what my bad habits were....but the kids and dog made my self-practice more than I could have ever hoped. This movie is 15 minutes (!!!) so make some popcorn and relax.
Bit of a google search and it turns out that Jessica is a student of Tim Miller's and is authorised level 2 Ashtanga. She has an article that seems to go with the above video
Here's some bio (my highlight)
and the link to the article
Ashtanga Yoga, Pregnancy, Birth & Motherhood
"The benefits of yoga are endless and for women who want to have children. Yoga can be such an incredible practice for all stages of a woman’s life; before conceiving, during pregnancy, during labor and as a mother with children. There are as many yoga and baby stories as there are babies. I am honored to share my experience as a yoga practitioner during pregnancy, during labor, after giving birth and raising children. Yoga means “union” of body and mind but also the union of every aspect of your life during all stages of life. The practice is a true gift as is motherhood...." Continue reading...
UPDATE: New website offered by Lu Duong with interviews containing interviews with Authorised and Certified Ashtanga teachers, it's along the lines of the Guruji book. First interview is with Jessica.