Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Lola Pendant & More Intense Back Work

When I have time to start designing more jewelry, I'm gonna have to design one with that title... "The Lola Pendant". It will have nothing to do with nubile young nymphs though, and everything to do with the vinyasa-jumpback. HAHAHA! (Sounds like an ugly pendant already!)

Patrick had mentioned Maehle's little tip in the comments from my "take it up the lotus" posts a few days ago, and I've been industriously working at it the past few days.

I've snapped a picture of Maehle's tip on Lolasana for those of you who don't have Gregor Maehle's book. And if you don't have this book, you're missing out! It's a super-duper great reference!

(This is from Page 70 of the book. There's another similar tip at the end of Padmasana which roughly speaks of the same.)

It's kinda making the jumpbacks make more sense to me. I've been doing "take it up" (as Sharath says), and pointing the feet back... then instead of cheating by using one foot to kick off the floor as I jump back (coz who am I really cheating right - Myself!)... the past couple of days I've been swinging on the spot like what Maehle recommends.

I'm hoping by building up that moementum, it'll help me to swing back (yes yes, momentum is still a cheat, but let me use momentum first, then build strength later!) I'm still not fully jumping back and my feet are still grazing the floor slightly as I'm swinging and I'm still slightly kicking off in order to get that final jumpback... BUT!! It's feeling quite different for me already.

For a split-millisecond yesterday, I had a flash of that point where everything connected and the stars were aligned and I actually got enough lift to shoot the legs back to chaturanga. It was only a split-millisecond... and in that time, I also had time to think : "OH MY GAWD. It takes THAT much MORE bandha control to achieve THAT?!?"

And er... this morning when I woke up, my abs were sore (I haven't felt sore in a while, mind you)... the muscles on top of my chest (oh dear, here comes my shocking anatomy knowledge)... I think it's the pecs? The muscle on top of your boobs that connects to your armpits (y'know... the ones that makes those weightlifters look like they have man-boobs) Yeah, those ones. They were also slightly sore today.

Hmmmmm... what am I doing that's new? I'm not sure if it's the Backbendus Maximus new poses I was given yesterday (maybe the sore-man-boobs-muscles could've been from Bhekasana)... but I suspect maybe I'm engaging different muscles with this new way of lola-pendant swinging back (coz I'm rounding the back a bit more and dipping a bit lower at the end of the swing, maybe?)

Today, when I came to Baddha Konasana, I had the thought to "Conserve energy! You've got a bastard of back strengtheners coming up!" (Thanks Susan, for pointing out that those are more like back STRENGTHENERS than backBENDS). Er... I remembered to conserve energy a bit late into the primary series coz I was already at all the supine poses which aren't that tough!

I like Salabhasana and Bhekasana, those are pretty easy to nail. What gets me is that LAST Dhanurasana after the Parsva Dhanurasanas. Coz... the sideways Dhanurasanas kinda knock the wind out of me a little... I'm not pushing at my maximum in an effort to "conserve energy", and also just thinking of which muscles to relax, and which to bend into a little more... but after coming up from the left side-backbend I have nothing left to give that last Dhanurasana.

And by this time, my quads are SCREAMING. It's these weak legs of mine. Grr. I had to take a little rest again before the closing sequence.

As I was starting my practice today, Teacher asked "How are you doing from yesterday? OK" I nodded and said "OK. But it was INTENSE." And today was no different.

PS. Liz dedicated a whole blog post to ME?!? Did you see it? I LOVE IT!!! :) :) :)


  1. I love this post and I love that lallasana description - I am totally going to practice that! THANK YOU! and I think I need to purchase Gregor Maehle's book...

  2. It's full of extremely good info - plus, he's a Sanskrit scholar too, so sometimes he goes into myth and stories behind the different asanas. The Primary series book also has a full interpretation of the Yoga Sutras at the back of the book. Comprehensive book beyond just asana. He released a book on Intermediate series end of last year. I'm waiting for my copy to arrive. *rubbing hands together in glee*

  3. You *do* know that Intermediate is the "burn your quads" sequence, right? :)

  4. Haha... I am just seeing the tip of the iceberg now, methinks. Bring on the thunder thighs!


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