Thursday, November 26, 2009

Saraswati: Day 4 (YIPPEE DAY!)



Let's just say Christmas came early. Half-early, coz no I didn't get that damn Supta K bind.

BUT!!! Yeah... I did unassisted dropbacks ON MY OWN today!! And to prove it wasn't a fluke, Saraswati made me do it 3 times. Yes, THREE times!

So after 3x UD, I hauled myself to standing, got hands in reverse namaste behind my back and did a mini hangback, like what Grimmly's been doing. It really helps get the initial opening going. Then, I did 3x hangbacks, and a couple of times between that I hung back with hands moving down my hamstrings slowly, reaching the back of my knees. When I felt confident here, I stretched out my arms.

The few times I did this, I could see my hands stretched out to the floor and thought "The distance doesn't seem THAT far" but didn't trust myself to dropback fully. Coz when you're upside-down, your perspective is all off and my spatial awareness ain't the most reliable. When I came back up from here, Saraswati was walking past me and she said "Almost coming. You do once more."

I said "Scared". She replied "No scared".

So I tried again. This time, I wasn't thinking about my Spatchcock Feet, or how I might headbutt the floor again, and I wasn't even thinking about whether I should lift my heels or not, soften the elbows or not... none of the "Should I be doing this"... or "Should I be doing that" distracting stuff. The only thing I was focussed on was - GET THE HANDS TO THE FLOOR. And I had tunnel vision for this sole purpose.

AND IT WORKED!! Solo dropback complete. Mission accomplished. Sometimes it just takes someone else to believe in you.

I almost jumped for joy, but that's kinda hard when you're in a backbend. I might have let out a tiny whoop though. Then Saraswati told me to walk hands in and she helped me come back to standing.

Then she said "Again".

Crikey. (The brain goes "No way, slave driver! I'm happy with ONE!")

But then I tried again, and dropped back the second time. This time, I realized that my previous concern with stiff elbows like concrete (thus breaking my arms) versus jello-elbows (thus landing on my head, breaking my skull) was a non-issue AT ALL. It wasn't a concrete-hard landing, there was a slight cushioning bend in the arms which still held me up, preventing the floor-headbutt. Sweet. Getting the arms outstretched first really helps me here. Maybe you're supposed to be doing this anyway, but I never realized it before. It just feels lots better for me.

After helping to bring me to standing a second time, Saraswati says "Again? Dropback 3 times yourself? ...Now you stand up by yourself."

And off I went and dropped back a 3rd time. YAY! YAY! YAY!

I walked hands in a bit closer and tried to haul myself up again, but my legs were so tired, when I stood up I landed on my knees instead. Saraswati's arms were outstretched, ready to grab where my hips would've been, except because I landed on my knees, she grabbed my boobs! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

I was so over the moon that the rest of my closing sequence was complete and utter RUBBISH. But who cares?! I dropped back! THREE TIMES!! ...But seriously, I fell over sideways in Urdvha Padmasana (huh? That NEVER happens, it's such a solid, stable pose for me. Usually.) and I couldn't even get up to Sirsasana in my first attempt... I fell over sideways too coz I was too busy replaying the dropbacks in my head to concentrate on what I was doing! Hehe.

I was beaming from my ear-to-ear and gave Saraswati a dripping-like-a-man SWEATY bear hug of THANKS on my way out. On my way to the bus stop, I looked down and saw that I was sooooo sweaty, I even had... a sweaty crotch patch. Ugh.

But who cares?! I dropped back! THREE TIMES!! :)

Time to bust-a-groove with Jazz Hands in cool sunshades.

(Photo credit here)


  1. Hurray!!! Congratulations :)

    Sorry for not commenting much, but really been enjoying these posts.. seems like you've got a little good energy vortex going on at your new shala!

  2. How infectious is your enthusiasm?!?

    Congrats - well done indeed!

  3. Congratulations!!!! Wasn't it two weeks ago you wanted to dress like The Stig for dropbacks, crash helmet and everything. Really happy for you.

    Now about coming back up ............ : )

  4. PS love that Saraswati made you do three of the buggers.

  5. THANKS GUYS! Coming from my intermediate cool kid friends of the cyber-shala, I am grateful. :)

    Lew - someone once remarked I use a lot of exclamation marks. I need to consciously cut them back! ...I mean... cut them back.

    Grim... ner-nerner-ner-ner... I've been standing up from backbends already. I did it the other way around - figured out how to stand up first before I could drop back! (exclamation mark) But I'm still stumbling around at the top of the mat after standing up. And I still need to figure out how to put the 2 together with the breath. Coz I'm too winded after a dropback to come up on the next inhale. That's insane. Progression... ah, what a bee-atch! (exclamation mark) (Y'know, the fact that once you've "got" something it no longer means anything coz then you move on to the next thing to "get"). But I love it coz I'm a yogadork! (exclamation mark)

  6. No!! Don't cut back the exclamation marks - it's all part of the charm!

    I'm guessing you'll get the rhythm of the dropback-standup before I do. I still haven't done it without rocking since, I dunno - some time before August. Wanna put money on it?

  7. Congrats on the dropbacks! And I agree with lew, don't cut down on the exclamation marks! haha

    And about getting up; my teacher wants me to try and do it with my hands over my head and at the end lowering them into samastitihi prayer, which makes the whole weight shifting thing totally different. It's one of my next things to 'get' and I'm seriously wondering if it's even possible, . Like with every new thing to 'get', hahaha! I love how the yoga always challenges us!!

  8. Well done, what a wonderful time to do your first solo drop backs. It really helps to have someone there even if they're not doing anything. Supta Kurmasana seems so near too....great to work forward bending and back bending simultaneously. Congrats again. Oh and I love the exclamation marks too!!! helps us share the enthusiasm!

  9. Many many congrats!!! Keep on dropping and standing! Such an amazing high, isn't it?!


  10. Lew!!!!! (5x exclamation marks) I am a crap gambler and wouldn't put money on anything coz I'd lose. And anyways, us Ashtangis don't compete *koff* So save your money for... um Christmas stocking fillers?

    Gledespiken... YIKES! Sorry hun, I'll just stick to my pokey dropbacks for now - don't even know what my arms are doing when I'm standing back up; let alone consciously raising them over head like you!

    Helen!!!!!!!!!! (10x exclamation marks for you.) x

    Thanks Portside! Just discovered your blog, so thank you for commenting. Your blog description reminds me of when I watched... er... Pamela Anderson on her reality show on E! Entertainment (don't judge me, pls!) but wait til you get a load of this... PAMELA ANDERSON dropped back into a backbend, kicked her legs back up into a handstand and came down with control... ALL!! 5-inch killer perspex stilleto heels. (you know the ones, kind of hooker-esque).

    My jaw dropped when I saw that. If she can do it, so can I. I just need to master wearing heels now.

  11. Whoa. Pammy can TOCK???

    It occurs to me the platform heels are cheating, it's like standing on a low table. Tempted to try it!! :)

  12. Yeah man, she was "playing around" in a recording studio and flipped into it. So she was probably not warmed up either. *jaw drop x2*

    Hehe! You must film it and show us when you decide to do it. The dropback would probably be harder coz you'd have to get your hands a lot lower than where your feet would've been. But probably the tock up to handstand *might* be easier coz as you say - there's a bit less ground to cover. 3 inches, or 5 inches... depending on how spikey the heel. :)

  13. I think it's supposed to look like this, but I am nowhere near being able to do it...:

    Impressed with Pamela though, wonder what sort of training she usually does...huh!

  14. Hi! Great news on the drop backs!!!!!! I am a fan of the exclamation marks too...

    Falling to the knees and doing the jog forward seems to be part of the game plan for most people learning to come up from back bends. I think it's awesome.

    This post was so hilarious- I'm catching up!

  15. ooohhh i just read this after posting my tricks which now seem irrelevant! haha. awesome work. keep it up.

    now if only i could get up to standing...

  16. Thanks guys! Liz, sometimes when I come to standing and stumble around at the top of the mat, I just feel like busting into the running man. Since I'm doing a little jig, I might as well go all the way, right? (Too bad I'm in a room full of people!)

  17. Your enthusiasm is so infectious, I can't wait to get to that pose! Of course there's like the rest of the Primary Series to get through before then. I just learnt Utthita Hasta Pandagusthasana today and MAN that pose is challenging!! Congrats on the backbend, judging from your latest post it looks like they really are here to stay :)


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