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Day 22 - Rajalaxmi Drop Backs

I was woken up very early by our neighbours – the building has bathroom windows that open out close to each other and it’s amazing how the sound travels from one apartment into another this way. This meant I only got 5 hours sleep, but on the plus side it meant I got an early start on my practice. I thought I’d keep working on the dropping back from tadasana to urdhva dhanurasana – it’s only going to come by consistent practice. My spine is pretty flexible, but I think maybe it’s a lack of flexibility in the lower leg and knee that’s the problem. When you see people independently dropping back, they usually bend the legs a lot and bring the knees a long way forward to balance the weight of the arms going back and to bring them much closer to the ground. I commented to Jenny that maybe Utkatasana would be a good preparation for me.

So of course, that’s exactly what Rajalaxmi taught this evening in class! We worked on utkatasana (“Sitting bones down and lift the soft parts up”) stepping back one leg to go directly into Virabadrasana 1. We used the wall for drop back preparation and then had a go independently in the centre of the room, which she asked me to demonstrate. Gulp. I got a round of applause for dropping back, but it wasn’t deserved as I had her support, which is not so difficult. Then we worked on Sirsasana drop backs (This fear I had already dealt with during my Pune 2016 visit). It was a fun class and I felt much better on the walk home than I did on the walk there.

This afternoon I headed back into a much quieter Laxmi Road, to sort out the blouse fandango. It was as I suspected, the blouse piece was attached and I needed to go to a tailor to get it made up. Jenny bought yet another pressure cooker (I’ve been to Pune with her 3 times and she’s bought one every time!) I took the sari to Rima and got good news and bad news. The good news was, that she could make me a blouse by tomorrow. The bad news was, there was no way the sari would fit a ten year old. She’s given me the name of another shop which sells children’s saris (Shalgar) so it’s back for a third trip to Laxmi Road tomorrow. I’m thinking longingly of a sun lounger at the Marriott …..

Rajalaxmi – Drop Backs

  • AMSwastikasana

  • AMVirasasana – Hold the outer edges of the mat and push the weight back so that the buttocks press the heels.

  • AMSvanasana – Synchronise outer and inner thigh, front thigh ascend up and find out how the energy is moving. Knee / Patella as if it’s a square shape – the four corners moving backwards equally. Open the eyes on the back of the knee by pushing calf down.

  • Uttanasana – Bring the sitting bones upward, roll forward with the sides of the waist, ribcage descend down.

  • Tadasana – Feel the entire heel plate on the floor and from there extend the front of foot forward. Hinge part moves back. Do not take the body weight on the thighs, body weight on the heels. Urdhva Hastasana  - Palms face forward, then palms face each other and extend each arm to an equal height. Look up and adjust to make the palms equal. Socket belongs to trunk. Utkatasana Sitting bones down, soft parts lift up.

  • Utkatasana repeat and keeping the front leg bent at a right angle, step the left foot back so that you are in Virabhadrasana 1 Don’t let the body twist when you take the leg back and go on lifting up the soft parts. Both sides x 2

  • Rope wall or grille – repeat Utkatasana into Vira 1 holding onto the ropes to bend the knees more fully, whilst maintain the abdominal lift upward.

  • Sirsasana Inner elbow presses towards outer elbow, but outer elbow has to refuse that energy and find out what happens in the armpit. Take the legs back so that heells and sitting bones are in line. Split the legs, right leg forward and left leg back (do not turn) Keep arches of feet open. Take back leg further backward and front leg not so far down. Repeat left leg forward, right leg back. Virasana in sirsasana Take the sitting bones forward and move the knees back. Guruji said we had to keep weight on the outer elbow and become tall on the inner up into the armpit.

  • AMSvanasana

  • AMVrksasana – if you can, going up with 2 legs and everybody coming down 2 legs together – sitting bones forward to bring legs down.

  • Standing back arch feet apart – Outer edge descend, inner leg descend, keep knees straight.

  • Wall face back standing back arch – As we worked with Abhi in the women’s class. Feet about a foot away from the wall. Lift the pubic bone up the wall. Waiting group same in the centre of the room.