The other day, as I stood up from a backbend and had to take a few steps forward to catch my balance, I wondered where the hell my bandhas went. What I should have been asking myself is where the hell my legs went. I read Julie’s post yesterday and thought, “Oh yeah, legs.”
The funny thing is, I just recently preached to someone else how backbending is all in the legs, and how you need to engage your quads like crazy while you drop back and stand up… and yet here I was thrusting my hips forward and launching myself up using only the strength of my core and my lower back. Urgh, Ugh. No wonder my back has been so sore. So this morning, I went back to the basics. Quads, quads, quads. And there I was, floating with my hands 2 inches from the mat on drop backs, then unfolding one vertebrae at a time on my way back up.
Moral of the story? Practice what you preach.
It’s been over a month since A and I have made the trek down to Santa Barbara. She’s been practicing up to Kurmasana all this time, and yesterday she mentioned that she was feeling like her practice was a little too short. Her Kurmasana is great, so I urged her to move on to Supta Kurmasana. “I think you’re ready,” I said. So today was her first go at it. Before practice, I said, “Don’t be bummed if you don’t bind right away. It took me over a year to get it. But you’ll get it.” When she finished Bhujapidasana, I got up to assist her. She got a nice deep Kurmasana, I said, “here we go then,” and within the first two breaths, with just a tiny bit of coaxing on my part, she had a good 4 finger bind. I couldn’t help but chuckle out loud. The feet, I think, will take a bit longer. I helped her bring them together, but I didn’t want to push it too hard, so left them uncrossed. Like me, she has short legs. So a lot of hip flexibility is necessary to get those feet crossed.
After practice, she said, “I’m going to be a bad yogini and gloat, just a little bit.”
Heck, I would, too.