Monday, October 08, 2007

OK, so, here I am at the wall. It's really sad.

My armpits are stuck in New York, while the wall is over there in Cuba. And you can't get to Cuba from New York.

This is my backbend after dropping back. Please ignore the sweat. It's really kind of gross, I know:

I want to do the work. I do. I really am not avoiding it. Anymore. I just suck at backbends. But maybe I don't always have to suck at backbends. I will try to take all the advice given. But to me, so much of it doesn't even feel possible. Straighten the legs? How? Push my chest toward the wall? HOW?



laksmi said...

yes, yes, straighten the legs and push the arms to the wall. walk the feet in. AND, you're arms are too far apart. they are not directly under the shoulders

laksmi said...

also, do you begin your dropbacks with hands in the air or hands at heart? Try with hands at heart and work on the thoracic curve. having hands at heart really allows your thoracic spine to open. i'm the queen, you the man.

laksmi said...

definitely the arms are too far apart. the sweat is great, though. don't apologize for sweat.

Maria-Goretti said...

firstly, i want to say I really enjoy ur blog!!
Keep working at the wall... its a pain in the ass...but it pays off, you really get to "train" the arms to lengthen out..
Also, when standing, take the feet back closer to the wall, try dropping back towards the wall, creeping the hands down the wall, so the bend in the back is more arched, and you can get length into the arms.....

cranky housefrau said...

Chixie, my backbend used to suck ass. my shoulders were so tight i could't push up off of my head. your backbend will come along if you do the work. try the ball trick, it is all stretch and no effort.

karen said...

Try using a belt around your arms just above the elbows, to keep them shoulderwidth. And you can put a belt around your legs, too, to kind of channel the energy in the legs.

Julie said...

so I know some of your pain... here's what has helped me (though depending on your last surgery, you might want to ask The Best Doctor In The World how far to take this -- he doesn't much like when I do it so I've backed off after my last surgery -- yours is different though). Do Supta Virasana... have someone do downward dog over you, you have your hands on their ankles, their hands on your quads... have them pull back enough that you begin to stretch and really feel it along the sides of your body.

This has really helped to loosen and open up the scar tissue in the front of the chest so that I can get more open through the chest to get to a better backbend. I know your legs are strong enough for this and I also know, from experience, that you are dealing with quite a load of shit in the front of your body. Remember it is not about your back... it is about your chest...

The ball is also really helpful... when I was recovering I used it a lot to soften the stretch through my chest and feel where I was really tightened up. The other thing I did was lay on a bed with my head next to one of the sides and very very slowly start to "bend backwards" over the bed ... so I'd use my feet to inch up and over... using the flatness of the edge of the bed to push into my shoulders then upper back..then chest. This was super painful for me for awhile after Surgery #2 but it really helped me after Surgery #3.

laksmi said...

it's true that 'back bending' is really 'front stretching'. when you start to actually feel that, then you really know you're getting somewhere.

Arturo said...

Hi Lauren
All the workshops I've been going to emphasize that backbends are really a front stretch, as laksmi says. Keep pulling up through the thoraxic spine as you curve it back. You may have to do the curving in increments. Tailbone down, pelvis out, legs towards the front as they bend, the heart lifts. The way to keep the curvature of the spine it so keep lifting as you curve. To come back, 3/4 of the weight needs to be on the legs, 1/4 on the hands. The large muscles of the back support you as you come up, the pelvis goes forward, the legs bring you up. Frankly I am almost coming up to standing by myself but haven't yet. It may be a mental block but I'm getting there. I don't think it is so much effort as a transfer of balance from the arms to the feet.

laksmi said...

in the beginning period of coming up from drop backs, the transferrence of weight definitely helps you come up. but then one day, you realize you don't need to do that. I don't do the down/up down/up quick succession backbends. I go down and hold for five breaths each time and then come up. It feels more calming to me to do it that way, and I can't describe how it happens, but it's not a weight transference anymore.

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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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