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24th October - Geetaji Backbends

Here is a (fuzzy) photo of our lovely singing ladies in the park. They seem to be there each evening at dusk, usually holding hands and singing together, smiling warmly at anyone who catches their eye. I was too hot and weary to get to Rajalaxmi's Tuesday evening class, so we took a pot of tea to the park instead and then headed home for a much needed restorative practice.

It was a relief to be back in the practice hall at RIMYI this morning and we wondered whether we would have Abhi or Geetaji and whether backbend week would have finished - it feels like we have been doing backbends forever! As it turned out, Geeta taught the class and Abhi and Raya attended, though they were given their own programme of advanced asana for much of the time. Geeta continues to be in good form and was relatively relaxed today, though of course we were still whipped into shape with her penetrating observation and caustic humour.

After lunch and notes (which are unusually brief - it was a comparatively straightforward class) we headed once more to Laxmi Road and then onto Dimpex. Getting organised for buying the things we are taking back as we are now into our last week here.

24th October – Geetaji Backbends


AMSvanasasna join feet Eka Pada AMSvanasansa jump high to Uttanasana feet together

AMVrksasana x 2 Kick up with other leg second time

Pinca Mayurasasna Belt no brick

Ardha AMVrksasana Dandasana distance from the wall

Ardha AMVrksasana eka pada

Sirsasana Legs to virasana and parsva virasana x 3 each side - suck buttocks in take knees back, going further and further towards falling, but don’t fall! Find the courage, go to the edge of what is possible, but don’t fall. Buttocks action. Dorsal action.

Urdhva Dhanurasana x 3 or 4

Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana x 6 – 8 Each time from urdhva dhanurasana, lowering down to DPVD. Shoulder blade action to make the upper arm tall.

  1. She called us down to look at demo of Raya – from Urdhva Dhanurasana head has to move inside as you place it down, to keep the coiling action of the dorsal.

  2. We had moved to wall with elbows and we looked again at Raya to see that if we placed elbows at the wall and then head into palms there was only a very surface action in the pose. It only touches the anamaya kosa. Here we had to coil the head in to place it on the floor. Then we had to lift the head completely off the floor and make the height come in the dorsal. Keeping the head fully up we walked the elbows to the wall, maintaining the height and curvature. Finally we placed the head into the hands maintaining, so that the rib cage was stretched open and the chest opening to and up the wall. This touches the pranamaya kosa, the breath body, the internal systems of the body. This is yoga asana (not bhoga asana). Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana should open the heart, it is very beneficial for the heart (though the heart patient does supported on the DPVD bench as we don’t want them to die).

  3. Repeating at the wall with elbows touching, lifting heels, buttock suction etc and pumping the chest forward and backwards, opening from inside out.

We looked at a student whose elbows were widening in her DPVD and saw that she had the same problem in sirsasana. Elbows in has to be maintained for the shoulder blades and spine to lift properly.

Marichyasana 3 x 4 each side Working intensely. Navel and pubic band has to turn. Turn the abdominal band only focus there. Do not clasp the hands behind, because then that movement gets stopped. Far corner of the abdomen has to turn so that you feel the digestive organs, that back corner of the intestine has to make that turn – and if you get that, it moves away from the anus on that side, it opens on that side, can you feel that? The lower abdomen is the muladhara area and that should not become dry, just above is the water element so that has to soften the area – if you have constipation it doesn’t work. Energy has to travel to the areas which are closed. So many nadis, blood vessels, capilliaries radiate from the navel region – hundreds which divide into thousands and tens of thousands – surgery in this area very complicated because of this. We looked at Raya in ganda berundhasana how the abdominal area got lengthened and opened.

Halasana Shoulders have to be kept well inside, so base of skull is on edge of mats.

Sarvangasana Bend the knees and suck the buttocks and dorsal in, point the toes towards the shoulders as if you were going to drop back that way. Knees should move backward and abdominal flesh should touch the pants at the front. Go to your maximum - I wasn’t 100% clear whether she intended us to actually drop back (some dropped back, some didn’t).

Savasasna She left the hall as we were preparing for savasana so we did on our own.

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