My argument is that I reached my ankles on my own without adjustments so why receive them (adjustments/assists) now.
Currently I'm barely grabbing my toes (I injured back moving house a couple of months back) but taking ankles and heels from the air have come and gone over the years, it'll come back.... or not. Heels would be nice, gives you something to grab onto and draw yourself in nicely, would settle for heels again.
So I had a quick look on my youtube channel, I seem to remember posting "heels are back" videos and "heels are back again" videos. I thought it might be encouraging to anyone whose recently lost their best kapo and are beginning to doubt if it will ever come back.
This first video I notice I titled Ankles in Kapo from Vinyasa Krama. I remember this video. I tended to to think that you really needed to practice Kapo every day to get a deep kapo (or leg behind head postures say), a benefit of the Ashtanga approach of practicing the same series everyday. Here though I had been practising Vinyasa Karma all those extra backbend postures in the Bow and Mediative series that help to open up the back gradually.
This is one of my arguments against strong assists, if somebody is really struggling with kapo perhaps more preparatory postures might be the way to go rather than taking somebody into the posture groan by groan.
Perhaps both ways achieve the same results.
I thought the next one was interesting, this is the first time I caught my ankles but I noticed how rather than pushing up and walking my hands in, the real work seems to be done at my hips and top of thighs, look how they keep moving forward, must try that again tomorrow.
I remember noticing how Manju's half drop back technique that Kristina also employs really works the top of the thighs, dropping back to the wall or just hang backs do a similar thing, I should work on those again perhaps.
The last one is another on getting ankles back after a period in the kapo wilderness this time I credit Richard Freeman.
I forget why I mentioned Richard, ah, here's why, there's a link to a post that I'd forgotten about
Exploring something Richard Freeman seemed to be saying'ish at AYC. I've tended to bring my sitting bones together then nutate my hips as much as possible, tilting my hips upwards before dropping back. Richard talked about bringing the sitting bones together and the coccyx forward but then also attempting the draw the pubic bone back towards the coccyx, bringing all four points towards each other and drawing up mula bandha ...then bringing the sacrum through, so the whole unit comes forward and up...something like that, either way it made a surprising difference to my kapo today which has tended to be semi committed winter kapo's for the last couple of months.
from this post Richard Freeman AYC backbending workshop transcribed, "It works I tell ya".
Just one more because I loved this project. This from the Rishi series project (supposedly Pattabhi Jois told David Williams that after Advanced series there was the Rishi series where you choose ten postures and stay for 25 or 50 breaths). I tried it out for all the asana in Primary and 2nd series and found it transformational. Lets hear it for long stay's with slow breathing! Something Krishnamacharya advocates in his Original Ashtanga from Yoga Makaranda (1934) back when he was teaching the young Pattabhi Jois.
More on the Rishi Series HERE http://grimmly2007.blogspot.gr/p/ashtanga-rishi-seriesapproach.html
And finally heres a link to my Kapotasana progression post
Kapotasana Progress videos Dec 08 to present (march 2012)
So I don't know, I've enjoyed adjustments I've received from Kristina and Niko, Manju too this summer but I'm still not sure how I feel about them in the abstract, perhaps we just over employ them, don't need them to give or receive them as much as we think we do, perhaps there are other ways, approaches and of course for the home ashtangi we need other options.
I'll be teaching the Vinyasa Krama backbend sequences, Bow and Meditative, on my workshop at StillPoint Yoga London next Sunday (still places) as well as Krishnamacharya's original Ashtanga, pranayama etc. Because the breath is slow and kumbhaka's are employed, Krishnamacharya original Ashtanga is a slower practice, so don't be put off by the 'Ashtanga' label, beginner's very welcome.