Trikonasana

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The standing asanas build the foundation of the Asthanga series. They are practiced every day. . On a sticky mat it doesn’t matter if the legs pull apart from each other or if they move together. The sticky mat prevents the feet from sliding. On the grass it’s crucial to engage the leg muscles and to take care that the feet rather pull to each other than apart from each other. This gives stability to the asana. That’s the goal to be grounded and to stand stable.

It’s possible to engage the leg muscles without any inner direction. The legs and feet can move slightly together or apart from each other. One can feel a huge difference even though nothing might be seen.

Even when learning side split. The legs move together when they are in position.

The inner body work is important.

Correct muscle work helps to perform an asana savely. To engage the muscles also supports stretching.

Practicing on soft grass, in fresh air is a joy. I avoided sitting asanas. I didn’t like to spoil my clothes.

Nothing is needed

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Not even a yoga mat is needed to do sun salutations. A green grass and the imagination that it’s possible is enough. The grass was soft and fresh. My heels were green after the tiny practice. I can wash them. If I hadn’t practiced on the grass I would have missed a practice. Ideal conditions seldom exist. But one can make the best out out of any situation. Tomorrow my body is so much better prepared for the asanas than without this tiny practice. Just doing it, is it.

Deepening the understanding of pincha mayurasana

Today I took again a couple of pictures of pincha mayurasana exercises.

  1. Picture: the head is lifted

  2. Picture: the head is in line with the back

  3. Picture: the head is in line with the back and I bend the knees to get closer to the body

No matter what I do, it’s impossible to bring the back parallel to the wall. It’s also possible to get into pincha mayurasana from the above positions, but then one has to swing and this is very difficult. I also think that one has to get controlled into a yoga pose. That’s why it’s a first goal to bring the back parallel to the wall.

My hamstrings are flexible enough. The issues are the shoulders.

To press the feet against the wall might be indeed a good exercise…..

Pincha mayurasana exercise

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I walked the feet as close as possible. One must walk the feet to the elbows so far that the back is parallel to the wall. I’m still far away from this position. Next time I’ll bend my knees.

The above pose is challenging. Every asana done correctly is probably challenging in the beginning. Yesterday I watched a lot of tutorials on Youtube. Finally I came to the conclusion, that videos are inspiring. There are great teacher in that world. More important than watching others doing pinch mayurasana is to exercise. Theory is good, but it must be combined with practice.

Facebook and Instagram are down in Germany and in other areas of this world, too. I’m curious when I can post the above picture. It seems to work again after many many hours. This is a catastrophe these days. I read from desperate people: I cannot post anymore, I cannot post anymore. It’s like I don’t live when others don’t see that I live….. I checked these pages much too often. I wanted to post back bending pictures that the Internet needs to see……. lol.

We all seem to need a lot of appreciation.

We love to follow our tribes. It’s fantastic to feel connected with like-minded people, people who do back bending asanas every day like me…….. haha…….

I checked cyogalife’s picture and realized that her neck is straight. This might make a difference. Today I’ll try this pose with the neck in line with the back.

This asanas a very useful. A lot of work is still to do.

Time to practice.

Wheel every Wednesday

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Another Wednesday has come. Another Instagram challenge #wheeleverywednesday wants to get fed with a picture. It’s already the 4th week of this wheel party.

My plan was to publish from time to time a variation of the classic wheel pose. Today I wanted to stretch one leg to the ceiling. It was heavy like a van and didn’t lift an inch. Creativity is needed. Are there exercises that are doable and prepare my body for this variation, I wondered? I found them.

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First I supported the back with my hands. Elbows and hands, the foot on the floor and the back did the work of the leg in the air.

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Then I lifted the leg without support for the back. It’s more challenging. This pose will build strength that is necessary. Again it’s really different to get the straight leg parallel to the wall. Important is to hold this pose for some time. 15 breaths or more would be good. Trying variation also means that I repeat this asana. Repetition is a method to speed up learning. To repeat the same asana again and again might be boring, but the variation keeps the exercise interesting.

Summer supports my practice. It’s warm here. For me it’s joy. The body becomes so much more flexible, it’s amazing.

Tomorrow is the challenge #Thursdayswesplit. I also joined the #pinchaparty. This is again so much. It would be good to take all the pictures on one day.

Every photo shooting spoils a practice. A pictures shows the direction, it gives feed-back. Once a week this is enough.

Plank pose

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Plank pose is more challenging than it looks, especially if one wants to hold the pose longer. One could aim for a minute and three sets. It’s also recommended to move forward and backward. I can imagine to integrate this asana in my daily practice. It builds strength in the shoulders. My upper arms could be a bit more parallel to the wall, but it’s also OK as it is. My body is straight, which is good. The poses feel differently than they look. Pictures help to adjust the asanas.

It’s easier to keep the body straight when the neck is in line with the body. I prefer looking to the floor than to the wall. These days I also keep my neck in line with the body when I do chaturanga dandasana, which is part of sun salutation. Some people have flexible necks, I don’t have a flexible neck. It’s a very sensitive part of the body. There is pressure on the neck when moving the head backwards. It’s more likely that the back arches when the head moves backwards. This is why I prefer the above version.

Plank pose is supposed to prepare pincha mayurasana. I can imagine this, because it strengthens the shoulders.

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One pose leads to the next. All sorts of asanas have easier versions and more demanding versions.

So glad that I practiced and explored new poses. After 90 minutes I was exhausted. Within 90 minutes one can do a lot. If one focuses on the 80 % relevant activities, if one doesn’t avoid the challenging parts, I’m sure progress comes fast. It’s great if one can enjoy an asana. This is the final goal. An asana is mastered when it feels good.

Pincha mayurasana challenge

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Cyogalife created a new challenge for July: pincha mayurasana. It’s an important asana of second Ashtanga Yoga series. It’s challenging. It can take longer than a year to learn it. But I’m also convinced, that there are always faster ways to learn it if one knows how…..

A Sivananda yoga teacher taught me how to do headstand. Within half an hour I could do headstand. So I checked how they teach pincha mayurasana.

First step is to practice headstand. One must be very familiar with headstand before one tries the next challenging asanas. The order is headstand, then pincha mayurasana, then handstand. To hold any variation of headstand for 2 minutes is a first goal. In addition it’s recommended to practice variations, i.e. folding the legs in Padmasana or moving one leg to the floor, then the other one.

When headstand is a peace of cake, pincha mayurasana is on the schedule.

The way how one moves into an asana often makes the difference. The Sivananda yoga teacher recommend to get into headstand with arms in pincha mayurasana position first. From there one lifts the head and gets into the pose pincha mayurasana. This seams easier to me. They even recommend to do a variation of vrschikasana first. That is one shall bend the knees and lift the head. The back is performing a back bending asana. In the correct form of pincha mayurasana the back is straight. With an arched back it’s easier to balance. As one can see in the picture, to have a straight back is one of my challenges. I need stronger abdomen.

I just tried exercise #1 from the #pinchaparty challenge. It’s too dangerous for me. So my first task is to hold the headstands longer and to do a headstand variations with arm positions like in pincha mayurasana.

Time to practice!