Lately I am obsessed with #backbending again

•Oops I put this in the wrong blog. I’ll be all fatalistic & leave it here.

I find myself needing the physiological effects! They are energizing and uplifting. Besides that I get stiff from all the HIIT and sitting at my computer for hours. I do not want to close up through the thoracic.

Here’s yesterday’s standing arch, and I only did one with the feet apart & arms stretched out straight. I can feel the release happening, and it’s a lot of work to stay in this pose (total time is 1 minute), but it’s supported at the same time. It’s not a psychologically stressful bend.

I’ve just started doing these semi regularly, with shorter HIIT routines. If I did another one, it’d be nice to attempt a very small amount of weight in the hands. I have 3lb dumbbells which will be perfect. They are good for when a slight heft makes a huge difference, I like to use them for some ab work now, holding just one between my feet. When your legs are extended in reverse curls or oblique crunches, for example, you will REALLY feel that weight. Plus you have to concentrate because you don’t want to be dropping it on your face!

standing archHere’s another picture from recent asana. I don’t know exactly when because I don’t want to bother how to reset the date on the Canon. I’ve been using my old, digital again because I have a small, portable tripod I can use it with. I cannot get a good angle with the iPhone without a special tripod and that is not happening.

backbend after tick

That’s really not so bad!

What for today? I’m going to pop by the Farmer’s Market of course. It’s one of my favorite things about living downtown. Also I think my physical practice will be all yoga.

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18 thoughts on “Lately I am obsessed with #backbending again

    1. Boodiba Post author

      Yep I’m pushing the hip flexors forward & squeezing my butt. Contrary to what most teachers say, squeezing my butt helps me extend further and much more comfortably. Next time I practice that way I’ll try it twice (which is the normal way I do things) holding 3lb weights in each hand (which would be new).

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      1. Boodiba Post author

        It is harder than it looks right? The main difficulty for me is holding it a minute. A lot of contortionists use the standing arch as a basic stretching technique, which I later found out. When I learned it (from Venkatesh, in 2006) he taught them in four parts. Parts C and D actually have two, 1m hangs, so there’d be a total of five minutes.

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  1. globie

    I could only hold it for about 20 seconds, but looking at the photo again I think I’m standing too close to the wall.

    So what did V have you do in the other parts.

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    1. Boodiba Post author

      A – standing with feet together and hands on hips / sternum area, standing arch then one forward 90 degree bend – 1m / 1m

      B – same thing only feet are hips width apart

      C – feet together, arms up overhead, palms together – 1m standing arch, 1m uttanasana, 1m standing arch, 1m rest

      D – same as C but feet at hips width and hands in “I’m gonna drop back” position

      You can download a free interval timer app on your phone & set it to 1m working / 10 seconds (or whatever) transitioning intervals. I’ve done that before. My asana practice is very sporadic though.

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  2. Boodiba Post author

    Surgery & rehab! Well I’ve seen full recovery happen. I know two people who tore muscle attachments completely off the bone (shoulders) and they’re both back to being super yogis. I’ll film & post the full set sometime to show how I’m doing them at that point. BTW: Venki didn’t use a wall or weights here. That’s my thing.

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  3. globie

    Be great to see a video.
    I snapped my Humerus completely in half and they detached and reattached the shoulder muscles repairing it, along with a load of metal work. It’s taken two years, 4 surgeries and a lot of work.

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    1. Boodiba Post author

      Holy shit! That sounds very painful in all sorts of ways. I’m glad you are on the road to recovery! I don’t have any personal experience with breaking such a major bone, but as you probably know I have a vested interest in overall fitness and working with bodies to recover from & avoid injury. Plus I just like to share what I’m doing. #HireMeNike #JustDoIt (already)

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  4. globie

    The Physiotherapist loved that I went back to yoga as soon as I could, she said it was a much better measure of my recovery as I knew what I could do before the accident and what I needed to work on. I’ve got back about 90% of the range of motion, but a year now after the last surgery the strength is still lacking. I’m back to full primary and up to Bhekasana again, so I’m getting there.

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    1. Boodiba Post author

      You should see my Bhekasana. It’s so bad it’s the most comical thing… I’m drawn to yoga again… It helps my congenitally uneven thoracic unclench and for overall prana distribution. So right now I’m in a phase of less HIIT and more yoga, even some ashtanga. It’s all good.

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      1. globie

        I have a lopsided Bhekasana thing, I can’t yet turn the left arm and push down on the foot at the same time. Luckily my teacher has a neat trick of being able to somehow use her foot/toes to keep my hand in place leaving her hands free to raise my chest.

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  5. Boodiba Post author

    Oh well there you go. I do a half bheka on each side first, because hip flexors are so tight & I’m so out of practice. I always did that in studios too, because as per NYC style, I wasn’t going to get assisted every time. It was rare as time went on! It feels so good to have someone pull your chest back though… I remember!

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    1. Boodiba Post author

      Right? I took some classes with this contortionist guy in NYC awhile back. I’d go on Sundays. This was back when I was at my last yoga studio. I’d go practice 2nd in the morning and then go to contortion in the afternoon. This guy Jonathan can just stand & lean back & smack the back of his legs. His Ganda B makes any yogi’s I’ve seen look shallow, people like Kino included. He’ll do this kind of stretch with a 20lb bar.

      Obviously it’d be a really bad idea to start off that heavy! I’ve been using weights as a personal assist for many years. For instance, at my last lazy studio I brought in 5lb ankle weights to hold in my hand for Prasarita C. I’d use dumbbells when practicing at home. After a few months of doing that my hands went to the floor, for the first time ever. I’d been practicing for over 10 years at that point.

      Today’s gonna be a HIIT day for me, but the next time I practice I will try to hold the weighted bend for the full minute.

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  6. globie

    Now that’s an idea, after years and years I’m still nowhere near touchdown in Prasarita C.

    Ye 20lbs would be a bit dangerous to start with, I’ve not managed a minute yet, but it’s fun trying and my dropbacks are more controlled.

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    1. Boodiba Post author

      I can still get my hands down now, after the long lapse in practice! Take my advice and use soft weights like ankle weights or something. I was using dumbbells and almost dropped one on the back of my head once.

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