108 Postural Practice Pointers – 21 – Backbends disturb the length and quality of the exhale……

Postural Practice Pointer 21 – Backbends disturb the exhale

Backbends disturb the length and quality of the exhale,
in that they impact the Apāna and push the Mūla downwards.
Thus we need to consider an appropriate Pratikriyā Āsana
to compensate for this disturbance to the Apāna Sthāna.
Hence Pratikriyā such as Apānāsana to restore the Apāna.

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108 Postural Practice Pointers – 20 – Bhāvana for moving within Forward Bends

Postural Practice Pointer 20 – Bhāvana for moving within Forward Bends

Keep the arms up as you go down
Thus moving from from Apāna Sthāna to Prāṇa Sthāna.
Lift the arms first as you come up.
Thus moving from from Prāṇa Sthāna to Apāna Sthāna.

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108 Postural Practice Pointers – 19 – In Dvipāda Pīṭham a key Bhāvana is on the feet……

Postural Practice Pointer 19 – In Dvipāda Pīṭham a key Bhāvana is on the feet.

With regard to Dvi Pāda Pīṭham, a key Bhāvana is on the feet.
A common approach is people not working from their feet.
Instead they are primarily using their buttocks to push up.
Desikachar taught that we both lift and lower from the feet
Thus Two Foot Support is controlled by using both feet.

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108 Postural Practice Pointers – 18 – Always weight on the feet not on the hands.

Postural Practice Pointer 18 – Always weight on the feet not on the hands.

With regard to Āsana where the hands are placed on the ground,
the weight should not be on them.
So always weight on the feet not on the hands.

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108 Postural Practice Pointers – 17 – Bhāvana for moving into Sālamba Bhujaṅgāsana

Postural Practice Pointer 17 – Bhāvana for moving into Sālamba Bhujaṅgāsana

1. Keeping the chin in Jālandhara Bandha till the effect is felt
in the lower back will support extending the upper back.
2. Keeping the abdomen firm as you inhale will help to concentrate
the breath into the Prāṇa Sthāna, as well as minimising the
effect of the downward pressure on the Apāna Sthāna.

(See also Postural Practice Pointer 9)
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108 Postural Practice Pointers – 16 – A little movement in a lot of places……

Postural Practice Pointers 16 – A little movement in a lot of places

One principle taught to me by Desikachar,
related to our relationship with our spine from a Yoga perspective,
whether on a physical, energetic or psychic level.
It is the notion that we are looking for a little movement in a lot of places,
rather than a lot of movement in a few places.

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108 Postural Practice Pointers – 15 – Forward Bending and Prāṇa to Apāna Breathing

Postural Practice Pointer 15 – Forward bending and Prāṇa to Apāna Breathing

When moving away from the lower limbs during forward bend Āsana,
move firstly by as if arching from the arms and upper back,
before ultimately arching from the lower back.
In terms of a Bhāvana during the movement,
the focus is on inhaling from Prāṇa Sthāna towards Apāna Sthāna.
Thus breathing as if from the upper chest towards the lower abdomen.

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108 Postural Practice Pointers – 14 – Forward Bending and Apāna to Prāṇa Breathing

Postural Practice Pointer 14 – Forward bending and Apāna to Prāṇa Breathing

When bending towards the lower limbs during forward bend Āsana,
move firstly by as if rounding from the lower back,
before ultimately rounding from the upper back.
In terms of a Bhāvana during the movement,
the focus is on exhaling from Apāna Sthāna towards Prāṇa Sthāna.
Thus breathing as if from the lower abdomen towards the upper chest.

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108 Postural Practice Pointers – 13 – The Lakṣana of Parśva Trikoṇāsana

Postural Practice Pointer 13 – The Lakṣana of Parśva Trikoṇāsana

The Lakṣana of Parśva Trikoṇāsana, or side triangle pose,
is as a movement OF the spine to the side over one leg,
rather than as a bending or arcing IN the spine towards the side.
Thus the aim is for the spine to stay straight relative to the leg,
with the intention of extending it from crown to coccyx.

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108 Postural Practice Pointers – 12 – The Viniyoga of Daṇḍāsana

Postural Practice Pointer 12 – The Viniyoga of Daṇḍāsana

“The starting point determines the journey.”

  • Legs are together unless some anatomical reason why this is not possible
  • The sides of the feet are maintained together, stretch the back of the heels
  • A key point here is having active hips, releasing the knees can activate the hips
  • Someone who is stiff in spine and legs will certainly need to release the knees
  • Release the knees as much as is required to extend the spine towards vertical
  • Someone who is flexible may also need to release the knees so as to activate hips
  • The mortar (hips/pelvis) must be strong for the pestle (spine) to work strongly
  • Shoulder blades are back, feel the channel between the shoulder blades
  • Back of the neck drawn up to help lift chest up
  • Hands or fingers on the ground back by hips but not weight bearing

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108 Postural Practice Pointers – 11 – Vinyāsa for Jaṭhara Parivṛtti

Postural Practice Pointer 11 – Vinyāsa for Jaṭhara Parivṛtti

This is a suggestion for a Vinyāsa for approaching and leaving Jaṭhara Parivṛtti.
When lowering from the upward raised legs position use one long exhale,
but through two distinct stages of movement.
The first part of the exhale is to lower the knees over the chest.
The second part of the exhale is used to rotate the trunk into the twist.
The exit is the exact counterpart with one inhale and two stages of movement.
The first part of the inhale brings the knees over the chest.
The second part of the inhale extends the legs upwards.
A suggestion for Bhāvana is to gradually increase the stay.
For example stay one breath each side the first time
and then increase the stay next time to two breaths each side
and finally stay three breaths each side.
As to breathing a suggested ratio of 1.0.1.0. during both movement and stay.

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108 Postural Practice Pointers – 10 – Forward Bends are Back Stretches

Postural Practice Pointer 10 – Forward bends are Paścimatāna Āsana or Back Stretches

Forward Bends are back stretching Āsana in terms of Bhāvana.
Thus in Paścimatāna Āsana one of the foci is on avoiding pushing
from the lower back as you bend forward.
Thus move forward from the abdominal area by drawing it back,
to encourage the lower back to respond by lengthening.
If we push from the lower back in forward bends,
such as Paścimatānāsana, it can tighten this area,
thus inhibiting the focus on the quality of the Apāna Lakṣaṇa,
as well as transferring stress to the sacrum, hips and hamstrings.

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108 Postural Practice Pointers – 9 – Back Bends are Front Stretches

Postural Practice Pointer 9 – Back bends are Pūrvatāna Āsana or Front Stretches

Prone Backbends as front stretches are wall to wall Āsana
in terms of Bhāvana, rather than floor to ceiling.
Thus in Sālamba Bhujaṅgāsana the focus is on
the sternum stretching forwards and
the big toes stretching backwards.

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108 Postural Practice Pointers – 7 – Breath and Abdominal Movement

Postural Practice Pointer 7 – Breath and Abdominal Movement

Actively contract the abdomen when exhaling to emphasise Apāna Sthāna.
Actively constrict the abdomen when inhaling to emphasise Prāṇa Sthāna.

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108 Postural Practice Pointers – 6 – Making the Breath longer than the Stillness

Postural Pointer 6 – Staying in Stillness
Making the Breath longer than the Stillness.

Making the Breath longer than the Stillness
means the body needs to be completely still before
the Recaka or Exhale is started and especially before it is stopped.
Equally the the body needs to be completely still before
the Pūraka or inhale is started and especially before it is stopped.
This is harder than it sounds given the propensity to want to tweak or adjust the body
at the beginning and especially when at the end of a movement.
Thus making the breath longer than the Movement
also means making the breath longer than the Stillness.

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108 Postural Practice Pointers – 5 – Utkaṭāsana and sequence of movement

Postural Pointer 5 – Utkaṭāsana and sequence of movement respecting Prāṇa and Apāna

All these stages of descent are on one long exhalation.
– Lower the backside to the heels whilst keeping the back upright and the arms raised.
– Then stretch the back rounding it towards thighs whilst keeping the arms raised.
– Finally lower the arms to the ground.

All these stages of ascent are on one long inhalation.
– Raise the arms as far as we can keeping hips on the heels.
– Then straighten the back into an upright position.
– Finally lifting the backside off the heels and coming up.

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108 Postural Practice Pointers – 4 – Dynamic Movement and the Breath

Postural Pointer 4 – Dynamic Movement and the Refinement of the Breath

A longer term refinement of working with the breath in Āsana such as Paścimatānāsana,
is to begin the breath before leaving your departure point,
and finish the breath after reaching your arrival point.
In other words keeping the breath longer than the movement at all times.

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108 Postural Practice Pointers – 3 – Forward Bending and the Abdomen

Postural Pointer 3 – Forward Bending and the Role of the Abdomen

When moving into Paścimatāna Āsana such as Uttānāsana.
Better to pull back from the abdomen.
Rather than pushing forward from the lower back.

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108 Postural Practice Pointers – 1 – Jaṭhara Parivṛtti and Movement

jathara_parivrtti

Postural Practice Pointer 1 – Jaṭhara Parivṛtti and Movement

When coming up focus on on the lower leg lifting up the upper leg,
rather than the upper leg hauling up the lower leg.

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