Tag Archives: backbend

Second week of my 40-day yoga challenge

More precisely, the second week is drawing to a close.

I missed yoga classes on Tuesday and today because of other commitments. But I did fit in a restorative practice on those evenings. The biggest revelation for me was seeing the accumulative payoff of regular practice. On Saturday, in Susan Bowen’s 2/3 vinyasa flow class, she had us do wheel pose five times. I was able to get up for each one. Even more surprising, I did not do a preliminary step of going from bridge pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana) ¬†to wheel supporting some weight on my head and then in full wheel (Urdhva Dhanurasana). I did a bridge in which I made sure that my legs were doing all the work of sustaining the pose, my back was arched and then I placed my hands on the mat by my ears and pushed straight up. It was a smooth movement. In the past, the half-way head on the mat modification seemed to jam my neck into my shoulder girdle, making it much harder to push up into full wheel. I could feel the pressure on my spine.

I had seen this trick done by Sadie Nardini probably in a YouTube video. I had been able to do it a couple of times, but then my practice got completely disrupted and I lost the strength to push up. Doing it on Saturday just showed me that I had recovered enough to strength and improve my spinal flexibility to handle this power move into wheel.

Can I have that previous blog entry back

Yesterday, I issued a complaint against Christmas spirits. That same evening, I went to a yoga class and was rewarded with a practice that confirmed that yoga can still deliver even though I am not in top form. I did some nice, deep twists, and also moved into wheel without major obstacles, without giving it a second thought as I pushed myself into the back bend. I found myself saying, “And why was this pose so difficult for me for so long?” There is an answer to that question, but it would take longer than I want to invest tonight.