Abhi - February 5th 2020 - Hip Rotation
The day started with pranayama at sunrise on the terrace as the birds and the city clattered to life all around me. The air is a little on the chilly side first thing, as it is 'winter' here and Joney had his woolly hat on as he sat on the wall selling his wares. Morning class for me today with Abhijata and it was, as usual, brilliant. We started with a lecture for the newcomers - don't answer the door to strangers, don't feed the stray dogs etc Then we moved into different ways of performing tadasana; supine, prone, lying on the side body and then repeating tadasana to see how it had improved. We explored links between different poses - ardha uttanasana and urdhva prasarita padasana and how one informs the other. Supta Padangusthasana 2 and ardha chandrasana. Here she felt that we had become sleepy and disengaged, so she launched into the most random jumping sequence I've ever done! Morning brains all around struggling to comprehend what the named pose was and how were going to get from where we were, to where we needed to be, all at lightening speed. I love this type of work as it exactly suits my brain and I usually find it razor sharp, but even I struggled to wrap my head around such a diverse and unpredictable sequence quickly enough. Great fun (see below).
I spent the afternoon writing up notes in the sunshine and at 6 I assisted in my first medical class. I have taken Stephanie Quirk's course and assisted my teacher Lynda in therapy class for many years, so I was approved to help, but here much is different and I was more than a little daunted. I lived to tell the tale (though I'm not sure I would have been brave enough if the formidable Geetaji had still presided over proceedings). Hope you enjoy the class sequence, we all did!
Abhijata - February 5th 2020 - Hip work
While we received the welcome lecture, Padmasana and Baddha Konasana.
Invocation in Padmasana. Inhale along the length of the anterior spine as if the inhalation is unfolding you there.
Upavista Konasana – Tiredness is not the only effect of jet lag, also the body shrinks, the muscles lose their length, so begin by extending the backs of the legs and opening there so that patella can find its proper place. Lift up and open and extend the legs away from (was it from the back outer corners of the thighs?)
Supta tadasana properly adjust the trapezius to draw under. Join the feet and extend the inner edges of the feet away from you. Inner edge of the thigh press down, centre band of the thigh press down, outer edge of the thigh press down. Seek out the contact of the floor with every part of the thigh and extend the inner legs away.
Prone tadasana (a little like chaturanga dandasana except pubis, abdomen, torso is down on the floor) Tuck toes under, press the tips of the toes into the floor and press the legs upward. Kneecap fully into the leg and lift your back thighs, lift your back thighs LIFT. Inner edge, centre and outer edge LIFT.
Prone tadasana, now on the metatarsels. Press the tops of the feet down to lift the frontal thighs up into the leg and lift and spread the back thigh.
Tadasana on the side body – Anantasana without raising the leg. The buttocks should not drop back, move them, suck them into you and at the same time abdomen should move towards the ribs, navel should move towards the ribs. Don’t push the head forward, remain open in the chest, shoulder blades into the body and grip the legs together.
Tadasana – improved?
Urdhva Prasarita Padasana frontal groins downwards – what happened?? – when we moved the frontal groins downward we could feel more of the sacrum release to the floor. Therapy teachers this is important action when you are treating back problem – frontal groins have to move downward to bring that release in the back.
Now take belt and observe difference between placing belt on toe mounds, arch and heel. We all like it when a teacher brings us a new point, something new for us to learn and observe, but we need to become that teacher! We need to observe in our own bodies. My observation was belt around toes brought about a refinement of the muscles, they felt longer and leaner and gripped the bone better. Belt around heels brought a more bony connection, I could feel connection between heel bone and thigh bone which dropped down more. Belt around the arch was somewhere between the two. I do not know if that was what she intended for us to observe.
Ardha Uttanasana (menstruation only to the ledge) extending arms forward half way. Now can you find that groin lift? (now it’s a lift, in the case of Urdhva Prasarita Padasana it was a descent, in both cases the groins are drawing away from the knees) What happened? The lumbar / sacrum filled out.
Supta Padangusthasana 1
Vira 3 – Arms extending back as there was not enough space to extend them forwards. Groins action, inner leg extension.
Supta Padangusthasana 2 on right side – Looped belt around the right foot. When the leg goes to the side, today only at 90 degrees NOT coming high up towards the shoulder. Now as you take the leg to the side, the outer edge of the thigh muscle has to draw back into the hip socket. Can you get that drawing? When you draw the muscle in, can you also feel how that draws the bone itself deeper in? And the heel of the down leg extend away, press the top thigh downward. Bend the right leg slightly, now rolling the knee down, fix the back thigh towards the hips socket, pull it in there and maintaining that connection carefully straighten the leg. Now bend the left leg slightly and with the left leg bent move the abdomen towards the ribs and maintain this action as you extend the heel away to straighten the leg. Now both legs slightly bent. Can you make both adjustments simultaneously? A few times do. Make that feeling clearer and clearer. Now jump up for
Ardha Chandrasana standing on right leg. Bend right leg and rolling the knee back make same action as supta padangusthasana 2 to straighten the leg. Straighten only with that back thigh sucking deep upward, several times repeating and refining. Now the leg that is up, is the leg that was down in supta padang 2 right? So what was the action there? Slightly bend the knee and draw the abdomen towards the chest and then stretch the heel away. Repeat each action several times, got it??
Here despite our assertions that we had indeed ‘got it’ she was not happy “Why do you look so tired?? Huh??” FULL ARM BALANCE, GO!! 2nd leg kick up GO!! Now take the feet off the wall and for a moment balance. Sequence was AMVrksasana – Uttanasana -Urdhva Namaskarasana - Urdhva Prasarita Padasana - Paschimottonasana – Urdhva Hasta Dandasana – Paschimottonasana – Navasana – Paschimottonasana – Uttanasana -Urdhva Namaskarasana – Paschima Namaskarasana and look up – urdhva dandasana (that’s headstand going up with 2 legs and holding half way for those that are uninitiated) – Ardha Sirsasana (that’s half headstand, feet on the floor, back well lifted, spine concave) – Sirsasana - Urdhva Dandasana – Urdhva Hasta Da