top of page

16th October - Rajalaxmi Backbends

A quiet day after yesterday's over exertions, was mainly only fit for restorative practice. I was relieved to find that Rajalaxmi was in slightly disorganised form, as it meant the class wasn't too intense, with plenty of moments for respite. It's an intermediate 1 class for those just moving on from beginners and the vast majority are local students, that are always entertaining to share class with. They particularly "enjoyed" the virasana with toes up on the bolster and a strong opening of the front ankle to the floor and Rajalaxmi did her favourite trick of announcing the "last one" at least about 4 times so that there was plenty of groaning.

Tomorrow women's class will be a shared one at the intensive venue. Thursday the institute is closed for a day's holiday, so we are taking the opportunity to spend a couple of night up in the hills at Panchagani, car is picking us up tomorrow after class and returning us in time for pranayama on Friday evening.

Thanks to Deb for notes.

16th October – Rajalaxmi Backbends

  • Swastikasana Invocation and Guru Chant

  • Take slanting plank with heel of the hands on high part and fingers extending for AMSvanasana

  • Now slanting plank so that mounds of toes are on high part and the backs of the legs extending to get the heels down AMSvanasana

  • Uttanasana

  • Sirsasana straight pose 4-5 mins

  • Ardha Sirsasana with wall measure dandasana distance and then walk up wall with feet, legs parallel to floor, eyes facing wall, trunk vertical. Do NOT drop your lumbar inwards – chest forwards, abdomen backwards and move your side ribs towards your armpits and take dorsal in. Eka Pada Sirsasana one leg extended to wall and one leg extended straight upward x 2 each side.

  • Demo of correct placement of wrists / elbows in sirsasana we saw how one student was taking his elbows too wide and the top wrist was dropping outward away from the skull. She explained that base of pose should be on sticky mat, not blanket so that you can get traction for the skin – elbows from outside in and the 2 forearm bones must sit one on top of the other.

  • Repeat Eka Pada Ardha Sirsasana change interlock, with correct placement of elbows and forearms / wrists.

  • Ardha Adho Mukha Vrksasana heels of hands on slanting plank same method walking up the wall. Move elbows away from the wall.

  • Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana Hands like for AMVrksasana Coming onto tiptoe of the down leg, to really swing the up leg higher. Be tall, get the height!

  • AMVrksasana To go up, spine must be long. Once up, move spine into the body away from wall. Two legs to come down.

  • Standing back arch keep legs straight, get the abdominal stretch, move mid buttock and buttock crease into you, coil spine in and look up, sliding hands down back thighs. Centre of room

  • Rope wall back arch lower rope around top of mid buttock (not tailbone) hold upper ropes, bend elbows and coil spine in to arch back, use pull of ropes to lift back ribs up and roll chest up and over.

  • Take bolster and sit in virasana with toes up on bolster and fronts of the ankles extending and opening onto the floor. Shin is long, sit down between heels.

  • Now take knees up onto bolster for ustrasana with the front ankles and shins well grounded on the floor now that you have opened that area up. Go into pose stage by stage 1) Clasp your hands behind making a bony fist and use that to push tailbone and sacrum forwards. 2) Extends arms down to backs of thighs, then backs of knees 3) Hands to heels. Elbows in, chest up to take hands down.

  • Lie on front body with knees on bolster. Bhekasana one leg, then repeat and learn to turn hands to face same direction as if you were doing urdhva mukha svanasana. Both hands and turning for those that could.

  • Dhanurasana Ankle to palm, heels wider. Kept repeating until she said stop (4 - 6 times)

  • Parsva Dhanurasana keep heels away from buttocks. Kept repeating until she said stop (3-4 times each side).

  • Start on all fours, hands on front edge of bolster, bolster horizontally across mat. Swing the body forward to UMSvanasana x 8 you have to come forward with your tailbone - thighs or pubic rests on the bolster. Chest UP! Sternum UP! Navel UP! Do not let the knees drop on the floor. Come onto metatarsal, toes extending back and press the tops of the feet to lift the kneecaps up. Front ankle lifts UP! Only part touching is metatarsal. Here we looked at picture of