Bharadvajasana is a new pose to me. I've never done this pose in the past. I've only seen few friend's in the Mysore room doing it. And today my teachers added this new pose to my practice. Compared to Pasasana and Kapotasana, Bharadvajasana is relatively easy, at least that's the case for me. But, I am sure there are more alignments and refinements that I should work on.
6/16/17: Full Led Primary Class
The Friday after every full moon is a Full Led Primary Class at the studio where I practice. I normally don't attend the Led Class because it ends late at 8:45AM as opposed to 7:45AM when I normally finish my practice. Anyway, I decided to go to the Full Led Primary today. It was refreshing. My teacher was counting the breath, it kept me honest with the pace of the breath. I tended to speed up in my least favorite poses including Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana, Purvottanasana and Navasana.
For a led class, I had to follow the cue, so there was no additional breath or time to prepare myself into poses like Kurmasana and Supta Kurmasana; therefore, I wasn't able to go as deep into these poses as I normally would. My teacher even called out in the class asking us not to go as deep into certain poses as we normally do in the Mysore practice, which made sense.
6/22/17: Back to Kapotasana
After few weeks of "rehabilitating," my back was feeling good again. Instead of pushing and forcing myself into deep back bends, I focused more on lifting the chest up and lengthening the spine to avoid collapsing around lower thoracic and upper lumber spines. My back bends were not as deep as they used to be, but I felt I have improved the upper back flexibility.
I finally got into the full Kapotasana again today. It's been a while since I did the full pose. The focus of opening my front body, abdominal and quads, has been paid off. My teacher assisted me into Kapotasana this morning and it was the deepest back bend I've ever done. Without jamming my lower back, I felt most of the back bend coming from the upper back and the opening of front body. It felt different to what I remembered a back bend should be in a good way. Instead of pushing myself into deep back bend although it didn't feel right, step back and work on the fundamental mechanisms and alignments. And, it worked!
I've been busy and was not able to update my practice journal lately. Finally, I had some time today. Over the last few weeks, I was easy on back bends, mainly Urdhva Dhanurasana and Kapotanasana, to let my middle/low back to heal. Instead of focusing on deepback bends, I put more emphasize on the breath. It helped to keep my middle back and heart lifted while preventing me from collapsing. The breath tended to be shallow (especially the inhale) when doing deep back bends and twisting poses. The deep inhale expending the rib cage really helped open the front chest and avoided dumping the pressure to the spine (area between thoracic and lumbar vertebrae). I started going deeper back bends and doing drop back this week because my back was finally feeling better.
Somehow, my body felt great today (not complaining). It was pretty open this morning. I was able to twist and back bend deeper than what I normally did. I had no clue why, but the body was supposed to be different everyday. For example, today was second time that I could clasp fingers in Pashasana without help. I was able to do Kapotasana A & B without back pain. I could drop back and come up from Urdhva Dhanurasana with ease. I made progress in Bakasana B. The body was acting to my favor.
Besides working on back bends, Bakasana B was another focus in my practice. Instead of jumping from Adho Mukha Svanasana, I walked my feet closer to hands (shorter stand) and hopped to Bakasana. I normally hopped about 5 times in my daily practice. Not until this week was I able to "stick" in Bakasana without toes touching the ground (after several hops). Today, I did it in the second hop. I was quite excited about it.
I have been immersed in the excitement of how open my body was. I hope my body will remember how deep I went into the asanas today. I hope it was not an one time thing. Lots of hopes... Maybe I should just be happy and grateful that I am able to practice yoga.