Backbend Extravaganza

It is Sunday – a restful day. We just completed a full week of backbends. Wow! I have never done so many backbends in one week in my life. It has been hard work but exhilarating and fun as well. In practice, I decided to really take on the Urdhva Dhanurasana drop back, to gain some confidence, rhythm and consistency. I prepared quite deliberately, using the sequences that Geeta and Prashant were teaching that week. Then my friend Tina and I helped each other, until I finally did 5 drop backs completely unassisted, and even managed to stand up from a few of them. The next day I thought I should be sure it wasn’t a fluke, so we did it all again. That night in class, Geeta taught drop backs for almost the whole class! She said if you could drop back independently to stay in the center of the room (versus going to the wall), and I thought, Oh dear, that is the group I am in now! I must have dropped back 15 times. Geeta taught many details, especially about how to get back up, which I cannot do very well or very often. But it was amazing to have the opportunity to use my new found courage in the class.

We had to miss our trip to The Meridian today as I woke up with a bad sore throat. It is hard to avoid some kind of respiratory problem here. It is very polluted and the immune system is taxed with adapting to the food and water. In addition, the practice hall is unavoidably dusty, with the very fibrous blankets they use here. So I took it easy today and hopefully will be feeling better soon.

Nina and I have been doing class notes with Glenys, a friend from the UK. She is a very experienced teacher and always has great insights. Since she has been coming here for so many years, she has great stories about India and the Iyengars. She helped Nina and me work on some poses today, and she is so knowledgeable and so generous. She was my flatmate last time I was here, so it has been nice to re-connect with her on this trip.

Next week will be the pranayama (breathing) week and I am looking forward to that. We will be home in exactly one week. This week we will do a little last minute shopping, and hopefully get our confirmation letters for our next trip to India in August 2010.

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5 Responses to Backbend Extravaganza

  1. Karen Coupland says:

    So cool to be able to do the drop backs! I’d be interested in hearing what the sequences and instructions were for preparation.

    I hope your sore throat gets better soon — I’m sure it will. Have a great last week with the pranayama work, and safe travels back home!


  2. Amy says:

    What an extraordinary opportunity this has been for you and look at what has been accomplished!
    I have thoroughly enjoyed your blog and learning about your adventures.
    A toast of sweet limeade to you for your initiative and bravery.
    Safe journey.
    We will be waiting!

  3. Hello Karen, Linda and I are enjoying your blog. We are here at my house talking yoga and dreaming of ………..well, dropbacks, pincha mayurasana, tadasana and a great w/s Sept. 14 at Mike’s. Linda says her first personal correction from Manuso was in tadasana also.
    See you in Sept.!!
    Marcia and Linda

  4. Cliff says:

    Hi dear Karen,

    I miss you in Cleveland Heights. See you soon.



  5. Rhonda says:

    Greetings Karen,

    Drop-backs are my “big dream” too, as well as
    handstands in the middle of the room…
    I am so happy for you that you are gaining many new insights, from the Iyengars as well as the seasoned
    practicioners there with you. I can’t wait to be able to glean some of it from your sharing with us!
    Please come back and teach us all how to drop back.
    And stand up. Slowly and gracefully. That’s not asking too much, is it? 🙂


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