Thursday, November 11, 2010

...and landing

I left us hanging in JUST DROPPING IN, so I think I should come down now as the blood's kind of pooled in my head.

My first word of caution to any who practice this form of yoga is to gradually extend the time you hang from the pelvic swing. Think about it, the ligaments and tendons (which are less elastic than muscles) have a totally different orientation to gravity's pull in this inversion. One's head, which weighs in at approximately 8 lbs., provides great traction; adding to the stress placed upon the spine and joints. In terms of structural engineering alone, hanging upside-down demands respect.

Come down with control and come up to full standing position gradually.

I do this by bringing my feet onto the floor in front of me and going into downward dog. This allows the body and circulation to adjust to the change in position. Like decompressing after a deep dive, you don't want to stand up too quickly. The cool thing is that downward dog takes a whole new lightness afterwards and it is, dare I say it of one of the most oft repeated and dreaded of yoga poses, a delicious experience.

the dreaded DOWNWARD DOG
actually feels lighter after the inversion
enjoy the sense of length attained from the traction
A standing forward bend further takes advantage of the new, easy, length of my spine.

I stand with my heel supported in the rope for a while to align before bending forwards. I press my foot into the wall, anchor the other into the floor while internally rotating the thighs and extend out the crown of my head towards the wall. By shooting my arms outwards into the ropes I am able to use my core to maintain the position through the completion of a circuit of energy created between feet, arms and head rather than by the application of force or pulling. I do the right leg first, moving through the breath to deepen the pose while counting the breaths. I  then follow with the left for an equal amount of breaths.

radiate the energy from the centre of the body outward to the extremities
like a star shining
The use of even inhaled and exhaled breaths is a natural and organic way for me to work. Working with a timer takes me out of the pose makes me think, oh God how much longer do I have to do this keeping me focused on the end rather than on the process.
surrender to the forward bend
radiating outward the whole time
Taking further advantage of the easy length of the spine, I then do a twist to the right followed by a brief forward bend over the extended leg and repeat on the left side. To rotate, first one must lengthen the spine and create space between the vertebrae. Pressing into the wall and floor through the feet, internally rotating the thighs — which feels like scissoring them — provides stability to the pelvis and allows for internal movement through the pelvic and abdominal cavities. Draw the belly towards the point on the back of the body where the back of the hand contacts it; extend the hand beyond the fingers of the outstretched hand while opening up the delto-pectoral groove. Mula and uddiyana bandha can be applied throughout.
stand tall and collected
spiralling around the central axis
A spiralling of energy can be imagined, if not felt, winding around the spine. This action actually originates at the feet and continues through the torso and gently through the neck (be careful not to let the gaze of eyes place too much emphasis on the turning of the neck by drawing the ribs towards the centre line and elevating the upper sternum and outwards under the collar bones) all the way beyond the top of the head. I always like to maintain the twist for a few more breaths with the head turned to gaze forward before I release the twist; I feel so Regal as I perform this complementary action.

One last forward bend and...

There, I feel much better now!

My next challenge is not a yoga one but a tekkie one; to do a You Tube video of this so you can see it in action. Actually that means my next challenge is a consumer one; to get a camcorder/camera as my camera went on the fritz towards the end of our trip out west.

This is kind of a cliff hanger, isn't it? The video is the least of my problems; it's the shopping that I dread. Hanging upside down, learning tekkie stuff I can handle. Shopping, ugh — that's a real challenge for me.

Keep posted to the same bat channel.

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