Backbend Preps to Help Open the Front Body

Though your back may be flexible enough, your hip flexors may not be so willing. Consequently, some will feel low back pain in postures such as wheel. Inside, find four exercises to bring more extension – and relief!

Recruit the Glutes – by Doug Keller

Do we mean isometrically “tighten” or “grip” etc.? Of course that would be counterproductive and rather ridiculous to stand or walk around squeezing your butt, or even gripping your butt in a backbend. I prefer to say the glutes should be firm like a grape but not wrinkled like a raisin, for starters, to discourage overdoing. (‘Yogis’ just love to overdo everything!) And again, the point is to recruit (a specific technical term with a clear meaning) rather than ‘tighten.’

What I’m Actually Doing in Asana

Dear Peg, As you know, I’ve been working on my backbends more than usual.  In other words, I’m putting a lot more effort towards them and can feel the actual opening now.  So I’ve been hearing everyone talk about a release/crying after backbends and I thought, ‘What the hell is everyone talking about?  I’ve never even been close to such …

Size Matters

I don’t know if you know this about Ashtanga – but backbends are a pretty big damn deal. When I started, no one cared that I could stand on my hands.  No one wanted to see me float or jump or balance on my arms.  No, they wanted to see my backbend. Only, I didn’t have a backbend.  I had …

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With a little help from my friends

The wonderful thing about my friends is they never give up trying to be there for me. Unfortunately, I seldom make it very easy on them … The other morning, my friend (who was also teaching) came to assist my backbends as we typically do in the Ashtanga Mysore room. “You want to catch?” she asks. I look up and …

and here come the crazies

I’m pretty sure Ashtanga’s intermediate series should come with a warning label … Consider this – after a short succession of well-meaning backbends, you’ll quickly find yourself face to face with the wicked queen of all heart-openers, Kapotasana.  Which was utterly terrifying for me.  (Truth be told, it’s still not pleasant). And the fun has only just begun. Because then …

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The Quicksand of Second Series

I had a friend over for lunch today.  She and I have not just been friends for some time, but we’ve practiced yoga together for just as long. So, while I held her hostage with sweet potato and zucchini savories – I made her watch my newest YouTube creation:  The Backbends of Ashtanga’s Intermediate Series.  I’d put it together to …