Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Lucky for youze all, my camera's batteries are dead

...because I tried to take a photo of me on my new 55 cm ball, just like
Cranky (who is very mad at me right now, totally unrelated to backbends, and she should consider this link as an olive branch of sorts, or at the very least, a bit of ass kissing), but trust me, it wasn't pretty.

I stood on my shins, put the ball behind my legs, and bent backwards over it. So far so good.

Then I tried to extend my arms back over the ball, armpits open. Except my armpits were having none of it. Whereas Cranky Tova's arms reached gracefully back over the ball, my arms reached diagonally up toward the ceiling.

On the other hand, I felt this amazing, incredible stretch of my front - from my hip flexors up through my rib cage. The bad news is that it stopped there. The armpits won't budge.

Like I said, it wasn't pretty.



laksmi said...

yc, don't be discouraged. this is the beginning. do this every practice and soon, those pits will be moving. this just shows that that is where the work needs to be done (in other words, I am right, I am the queen, and cranky is princess for coming up with an actual use for those fucking balls--and I don't mean carl's inflatable balls). phew. okay. And it's great that you are kissing cranky's ass. that might help. she's a very friendly, nice lady and has deep, deep feelings.

mousebell said...

yc, that sounds fantastic, because you really got a feeling of the front body opening. i think that is really really key to getting into backbends: to move the focus to the front body so you stretch it all as long as possible from the thighs *hip flexors*, the whole belly, separate the ribs, lift and lengthen the sternum all the way up the throat. kind of like the way a snake moves with very precise and thorough articulation. root down through the legs so you're grounded, then hands in prayer at the heart (can be used to remind yourself to lead with the sternum), moola bandha so you stay supported. totally the front body. i find that most backbends demand more front body opening then spinal bending, until the very deep ones like ghanda bherundasana.
as for the shoulders, i agree with laksmi! that said, there is also the consideration that the structure of the joint itself may affect the range of motion (paul grilley ...). i think backbends are a great example of the strength and surrendur working together. good luck, you can do it!!!

laksmi said...

oh, and there's a tell-tale strap in the previous pics. what are you using that for???

laksmi said...

yes, backbending is front stretching. When I started to feel that in my backbends, that was a real eye opener. Also, the replacement cans may be making it difficult, as I said before. When you really start to open that area up, you'll feel it in the pec majors and minors. Also good--Ustrasana. i thought of you yesterday when I was doing it and thought i should recommend it to you because i could really feel it in my chest--it is a good chest, thoracic spine and arm opener. Also, of course, gomukhasana.

Julie said...

If YC is anything like me, Ustrasana is very difficult. I was just trying to explain this to someone yesterday... without any nerve endings in the front of your chest, it is really hard to feel that opening in a pose like Ustrasana... (well in any front stretching pose). I find Ustrasana really hard because I can't "feel" it if that makes sense. I am finally starting to feel the front stretch in upward dog which has been the most helpful... and, quite frankly, the best pose that allows me to feel the opening is Bhekasana with an adjustment.

It's hard to describe though because while I can "feel" it, it is very different than pre-surgery when my nerve endings were present... it's just not something you can elaborate with words. I have found that due to this, the most helpful things are those which force open the back such as the ball.. if that makes sense.

Again, YC and I had similar surgeries but perhaps different internal results :)

karen said...

I've found ustrasana with my thighs against the wall to be quite helpful.

I look forward to the day when backbends feel delightful instead of perplexing.

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Northern Westchester, New York, United States
I live by a duck pond. I used to live by the East River. I don't work. I used to work a lot. Now, not so much. I used to teach a lot of yoga. Now not so much. I still practice a lot of yoga though. A LOT. I love my kids, being outdoors, taking photos, reading magazines, writing and stirring the pot. Enjoy responsibly.


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