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Rajalaxmi - February 18th - Backbends

The sliced banana and grapes suggested by our birdwatching guide worked! So the birds are coming onto the terrace, and a few have tentatively sipped the water, but still too timid to take a bath.

During our first week here we took arm balances in class and the position of the knees on the upper arms, damaged the sensor I had put into my arm for blood sugar reading just the night before. The sensors should last two weeks each, so losing that one has left me short for my month long stay. They are not available locally, so I got my partner to send me one tracked delivery. The tracking worked fine in the UK, I can see it left for Dehli on 8th Feb, but not a dicky bird since it's arrival in India. My current one runs out tomorrow. I went to the post office today - an amazingly rustic and run down building (see pic) - to try and chase it up and spoke to an exceptionally unfriendly, unhelpful person there (come back tomorrow between 9 and 11.30am) so I'm not holding out much hope. If anyone has any idea what to do to remedy the situation, I'm all ears!

More backbends with Rajalaxmi this evening, sequence below

Rajalaxmi – 18th February 2020 – Backbends

Thankyou to Ewa for sharing her notes X

Swastikasana invocation – Don’t overdo, don’t underdo. Fold palms at centre of the chest and move your dorsal towards the folded palms.

Parsva Swastikasana – Turn to the right side, Take your right hand and wrap it around the side chest to turn the rib cage to the right, manually sweep your ribs around. Then use your right hand to sweep the left side of the abdomen to the right side, hand has to make this action so that body underneath then knows what it must do. Lean slightly forward towards the right knee, to move the left back rib IN to the body and sit straight maintaining that contact into the body to turn. Your back rib has to move INTO you. Repeat on left side

AMSwastikasana both crosses – Everyone can extend the back of the body, but can you also extend the front of the body? Move the bottom ribs forward AWAY from the abdomen, armpits long.

AMVirasana – Extend forwards and then draw your top thighs back into the sockets and find out how that makes that back thighs spread. Widen the clavicles to spread the sternum chest.

AMSvanasana – Extend the sides of the trunk and frontal thighs move BACK. Lift the heels and maintain the height as you extend the calf muscles to take the heels down. Walk back into

Uttanasana – feet apart – Concave back – move the sternum forwards, but especially move the bottom rib away from the abdomen – bottom ribs get caught there – can you move them away? Thighs push back and extend chest, sternum and ribs forward and with this extension go down. Fold the elbows and lift the body slightly up to extend the sides of the trunk – push the elbows away from you and then with that length, go down.

Prasarita Paddottonasna – Take the legs apart, be on the outer foot and put hands where the legs meet the pelvis (not hands on the waist) and lift pubic bone up. Keeping hands there, extend forwards half way (held for about 10 secs) then take palms to the floor. Extend downwards and tuck the head slightly inside so you are not on the crown but a little further back. Bring the feet together for

Uttanasana – Move the ribs away from the abdomen and open the back thighs from inside out.

Virasana Parvatasana – Watch your forearms and feel what happened there? Feel how the skin of the forearm presses the bone, feel that firmness there, elbow joint firm. It’s an entwining action of muscle to bone.

Sirsasana – Now interlock your fingers for sirsasana and have that same feeling there. Maintain that and go up for sirsasana. Legs apart and move the middle buttock into you and take the legs further backwards. Don’t push the abdomen / rib cage forward to take the legs back. Tailbone into you and keep that action, join the legs together. Repeat legs apart, tailbone forward, legs back as if you were going to drop back to dwi pada viparita dandasana, abdomen back and extend the legs upward to join the legs together, shoulders lifted.

AMVrksasana – Those that can’t kick up (it was an intermediate 1 class) be in the centre, palms down and lift one legs at a time. Walk in and shift your weigh to the palms, but as you walk in resist your shoulders back – they shouldn’t come forward at all – spine IN and move your shoulders INTO you.

Pinca Mayurasana – move your back ribs INTO you

Standing paschima namaskarasna bend forwards a little into uttanasana to soften the groins palms folded behind and see that t is easier to bring palms action. Do not push your elbows back to join the palms – this is the wrong action – it is forearm action, take the shoulders back and move the forearms towards each other, to bring the palms together.

Standing gomukhasana.

Rope 1 – We looked at a student and Rajalaxmi showed how the way she was holding was just pulling the rope – we had to rotate / roll the wrists towards the fingers and feel how this made the pull come on the shoulders.

Thighs supported on the platform / stool UMSvanasana (She called it UMS I thought it was more like bhujangasana, we didn’t use our hands to press at all). We tied a belt in one big loop and put the loop around the back of the body, under the armpits and over the head and then reached our hands behind to draw the shoulders / trapezius down with the pull of the rope, at the same time as lifting the heels, pushing the thighs back, pressing the tailbone forward and coiling the upper back spine in.

Rope 2 – Facing the wall, legs apart, hold the upper ropes, bent elbows to coil the back ribs in and then slide the hands further down the ropes as you arch back, allowing your pelvis to lift up and move away from the wall ( a bit like urdhva dhanusrasana but holding the ropes with bent elbows).

Standing back arch in the centre.

Rope urdhva dhanurasana from tadasana – Rope around mid buttock. When we tried this yesterday, my hands couldn’t quite reach the floor. Today I realised, if I walked my feet out a bit toward the wall, this gave the space for the palms to come to the floor.

Supta Tadasana - Urdhva Dhanurasana x 3 or 4 - in centre, lift the tailbone to go up and BE ON THE LEGS! (those unable to lift up were given a place at the grille and a halasana stool with cross bolsters on to). They arched back over the stool and bolsters and lifted up with hands holding the grill, so they could get the feel of straight arms. 2nd attempt lift the heels and walk in.

Tadasana dropping back to urdhva dhanurasana in centre of room.

Parsva Swastikasana into Parsva AMSwastikasana

Ardha Halasana – stool, bench or chair 6 mins here and then bend the knees and bring them towards the chest, with the toes hooked on the stool for karnapidasana.

Bent leg savasana – Body on the thick mats, buttocks on the floor and legs bent up on stool.

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