Sunday, March 22, 2015

Bakasana Without Fear

In this post I share a video of coming into bakasana on a small block I found by the lake.  Below are some important instructions.

Above, I came up onto my tip toes and bent my knees slightly.  This helped make the backs of my knees firm.

I suppose you might not do this if you did not have confidence that you could move up onto your toes!  We practice this type of action a lot in my classes to develop stability around the ankles and knees.

I had my sitting bones down, top of pelvis back to lengthen lower back.

I was pushing my hips forward as though to move them over my toes and initiated spinal forward flexion to help make my tummy firm.

I was beginning to push my armpits down and forward to bring my shoulder blades around my upper back.

Next, as I lower my hands I try not to send my bottom back.  I keep my knees bent to encourage more spinal forward flexion and maintain my firm tummy.

Then, you can see my spine has essentially not changed shape.  I am still firm in my tummy doing spinal forward flexion.

I am pushing my hands down into the floor, shoulder blades wrapping around my upper back.  You can see that I was doing this from the beginning so really that has not changed either.  I do feel as though I am sending my elbows backwards but my fingers/hands down and forwards.  This helps me be firm and strong around the shoulder joint.

Actually not much has really changed.  I am trying to maintain the actions I initiated in the beginning and bring them towards the ground.

The main thing I have done here is to actively lift my knees up onto my arms.  I am not resting them there.  I am trying to keep them light and lifting.  I do press my upper arms back towards my knees.

Look at my toes.  I am trying to lift up onto the tops of my toes here rather than be on the balls of my feet.  The less weight I have on my toes the better--for the full posture that it!

If you do this well you will know how hard this is.

If you can practice this without sinking into your shoulders and without sinking into your feet or being heavy on your knees then you will be doing excellent work for the full posture.   Maintain the push through the arms and the firmness in your tummy.

What changes here is that my shoulders come far in front of my wrists.

One of the reasons I did this posture on a block was to show how far my shoulders are coming forward.  If you compare the previous picture to this one you can see my head is now in front of the block and my shoulders are just over the edge.

At this point I start to feel lift.

The video below shows lift off!  Instead of leaping into the posture, I balance.  I actively lift my heels to my bottom.

I have written previously about using the wrists but you can see here I have wrapped my finger tips around the block.  I am pressing into them.

This is how we deconstruct posture to help you be strong, safe, and active in postures.  Hope to see you in classes and workshops in Canberra and Colombo, or at our Bali retreat!

Much metta,

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