31 May 2012

Back bending - Coming through the Confusion

Post Rolf and Marci practice. Been working hard on the back bends. Marci pointed out that all the action in my back bending was happening in one place, like a hinge in my lower spine. She said I had an over extended lordic curve and was in danger of damaging my spine if I continued in the way I had been going.

I had read the theory of back bending, but obviously hadn't applied it to my own practice, I couldn't see myself clearly and in some cases couldn't make the connection to certain muscle groups on my own, without the helping hand of a teacher.

The work now is to spread the bend throughout my entire spine, to awaken my inner thigh muscles and keep legs parallel with unclenched buttocks and fully engaged bandhas.

In comes block work.  This was an eye opener.  Marci wanted me to hold a block between my ankles, another between my knees, and then with gluteus muscles fully relaxed, tail bone drawing to my heels and lower abdomen hollowed (uddhiyana bandha engaged) to lift up.  No belly popping, no thrusting. To do this with totally relaxed buttocks took some time to get.  But when I did, my inner thigh muscles started burning like they never had before.  Had one of those 'aha' moments.  This is how it feels to work the inner thighs fully, finally an awakening.

Have been continuing with this and the next stages. I am noticing changes.  Am able to work my legs hard. also my arms are working harder.  I don't feel any pressure in my lower back but some very strange muscle pains on either side of my lower back.

Actually, feel like I have back pain.  I've never had a bad back.  At least not since I was 15, and the doctor told me to get some excercise..  For a few days I worried, practiced gently, what did I do?  I've been practicing correctly, following the instructions.  Confusion and doubt crept in.

Consult my husband, a sportsman, who prods, questions and then bursts out laughing, telling me it's nothing more serious than a bit of muscle pain.

* * * * *    One month later  * * * * * 

All is great.  Still working with blocks and props trying to spread the bend along my spine.  Am using my legs and bandhas much more effectively now.  It feels amazing. Also my back no longer pops and cracks so much.  For a while there I felt the need to crack it a few times a day.  This has gone. Something shifted into place, and perhaps developed some long neglected muscles.  The back pain I had, was indeed some deep muscle pain.  Am enjoying working on this very much.  It is tough for me as my lower spine does bend so easily, to control it with strength is taking some doing.  I am enjoying working hard at practice again though, I can see, and feel change, not just in my body but my whole being. 

30 May 2012

Oh my Blog!

What has happened to my blogging instinct?  Gone, flown away, I guess I forgot to schedule blogging time into my new rout...ahem..rhythm. It's not that I've suddenly got nothing to say, I've never got nothing to say!  I have half-written posts coming out of my ears.  It's just that something else always needs to be done more urgently before I finish writing.   Maybe I don't have anything that important to say after all.  I was contemplating the amount of babble floating around in cyberspace, and wondering if my voice needs to be added to this, but a post by Grimmly reminded me why I started blogging in the first place.  To gather my thoughts and share them with those who may be interested, be a part of a community.

So this is just to break the ice, say hi, show my face in the cyber-shala.

So hello to anyone out there.  How are you?  Enjoying that what is Yoga?

To start with.  Practice.  It's been good.  I am still following Marci's advice.   It seems to be working.  The biggest change has been in Pincha Murayasana.  By stretching up through my inner thighs to the balls of my feet, stabilising my pelvis and working those bandha's in my hands I have finally achieved stability consistent enough to fold into lotus.  Feels great.

However, more than asana I have been working on my concentration and my thoughts.  Trying to not let my mind wander, and when it does, to keep it positive.  Actually, this is keeping me busy throughout the day.  Not letting my mind go down it's habitual negative street.

OK so nothing much but a post to break the ice and lubricate those keyboard tapping fingers and get the blogging juices flowing.