Sunday, 28 February 2010


My back seemed to tighten up in January despite working hard on kapotasana, it seemed to get harder rather than easier.  I'd love to say I was all yogic and calm about this but actually it was a tad frustrating at times.  Kapotasana felt like I was lost at sea falling to clasp anything.  Buying a yoga towel helped a great deal here, now I can creep my hands in.  I've also developed some stamina and when I am at home to make up for the lack of adjustment I do some hanging back and sometimes repeat the pose.

Inspired by Boodhiba's blog I started to time my hang backs which definitely helps me stay there longer and definitely opens up my back.  It also helps me work on deepening my breath which opens the back up even more.  Especially if I focus on ensuring the inhalation is as deep as the exhale, that inhalation really opens up the upper back, which feels intense and wonderful all at the same time.

Backbends sometimes have an emotional element for me and I feel like I have come out the other side of some intense healing recently. Now I am working on opening the upper back and deepening the breath.

For those of you interested on Marc's preparation for Kino's workshop.  He has now practised upto Mari A, which will be his stopping pose in Kino's mysore on Sunday.  So he has a week to memorise which he seems to be doing really quickly.  Our flat is small but I have discovered we can both practice at the same time in the lounge, which we haven't done yet but it is nice to know it's possible.


  1. Up to Mari A will be a great practice for Marc. Are you teaching him any of closing?

    That will be nice to practice together.

  2. hi kevin At the moment just the last 3 positions of closing but may teach him closing tomorrow.

  3. First, I'm loving your blog!

    Second, I've had the same problem with Kapo/backbending - it seems like the more backbending I do, the tighter I get... do you think this is because our back muscles are getting stronger (bigger and tighter)? I don't know what else would explain it!

  4. Hi Christina,

    Thanks for commenting. I think your right, Kapo requires both strength and flexibility. As the back gets stonger it is less flexible. I think I must have been building strength in Jan it seems more open than before now. Need more strength in my legs though! Nice to hear others going through similar things.

  5. Hi Helen, of course I can't speak from experience about kapo, but I was looking over my retreat notes last night & Noah said to us that all things are Spring & Summer our practice tends to grow and move forward, in Autumn it starts to fall away, and in Winter you just try to maintain your practice and avoid injuries. I don't know if this helps but maybe as we head towards Spring (plus you are clearing your emotional attachment in backbends)you will start to find things getting easier.
    I hope Marc isn't going to show me up this weekend, I have a feeling that he will!

  6. So true Mel. It always suprizes me when summer comes round. It's like you have been working at your practice in the winter and then in the summer you start to see the fruit. I love practice in the heat. Even the difference between shala and and home is huge. Still my back seems to be opening up, so don't have to wait that long. Marc says the only way he will show you up is if we are doing aikido, lol!

  7. Well if the changes come in summer, I have that to look forward to!! Can't really say I noticed it last summer as I was really only playing at the practice at that stage - actually that's not true, I was working up to do my 1 day with Sharath in August and I did make progress, it's just after that that everything ground to a halt.
    I just realised this morning we will actually get to practice together this weekend for the first time ever! Call me slow, but it didn't occur to me until just now! I really can't wait...
    Anyway I'm sure Marc will show me up in UHP - not that it's a competition of course :)

  8. Yay, it will be nice to practice together. Glad your going to meet Marc too. UHP was one of the hardest poses for me and still needs work I think. Marc has exceptionally good balance but his hamstrings are really tight so leg can't straighten. There is no way I would balance if I was that tight so hats off to him. As you say it's not a competition and he's not expecting miracles after a weeks practice. He just needs to learn what to do. He's left his mat out so I guess he practised while I was out, has his cheat sheet at the front of his mat. I'm curious about how much he did. I'm excited but tired today, went to a Mysore class in Manchester yesterday and woke up 4:15, today forgot to change alarm and woke up at 4:15 again! Off to nap. X

  9. I wish I was going to Edinburgh now.

    It's true about practice opening up in summer, I need the heat to make it happen,especially at home.

    Have a great weekend you guys.