During my recent workshops I noticed that there is still a lot of confusion about the importance of nutating the sacroiliac joints in various forms of back-bending (but also in forward bending). Here is a modified passage from my 2009 text Ashtanga Yoga The Intermediate Series that sheds light on sacrum nutation during Kapotasana. This is something that any natural backbender will do automatically but even if you do not belong to this group, the actions can be induced by understanding and learning. This will improve your backbend significantly. This passage is shortened as the original has over 5500 words.
In previous posts I have written on the importance of Padmasana (lotus posture) and how the right actions needed for this posture have to be imprinted in Janushirshasana A. Today we are connecting the dots. This new post implements the lessons learned in Janushirshasana while performing Baddha Konasana, which then prepares us for Padmasana.
In several of my books such as Yoga Meditation, I have written about the importance of having a good-quality meditation posture such as Padmasana, Siddhasana or similar. If you cannot sit comfortably chances are that discomfort will stop you from going deeper into spiritual insight. The key to most meditation postures is to be able to rotate the thighbones internally enough so that the knees are protected and the pelvis is sufficiently tilted anteriorly to keep the low-back lordotic, thus preventing low-back pain.
Urdhva Dhanurasana is one of the most rewarding and important postures, yet also one of the most complex. It is deeply rewarding as it assist in releasing emotional tension, physically manifesting as armor around the heart.
The most common shoulder problem I encounter in yogis is one that is often overlooked even by professional musculoskeletal therapists. It is the displacement of the tendon of the long head of the biceps brachii muscle from its bicipital groove. This usually causes pain at the front (anterior) of the shoulder, which sometimes radiates down the front of the arm even to the hand.
As a student of Yoga my greatest teacher remains my own yoga practice. And the most important aspect of my practice is the awareness that I apply to it. For what is awareness but the light of consciousness, our innate intelligence, prana, the vital life force that animates and lovingly sustains us and all of life. It is from this space that I discovered my ‘Map of the Hand’ that brings awareness and life to all the muscles of the shoulder and connects our arms back into our spine.
In Part 1 of this article I will explained the importance of extending ones inversions, headstand and shoulder stand. I showed how for meditation to succeed what yogis call prana or amrita (nectar) needs to be accumulated or preserved. In this weeks article I will delve into the technical details and guidelines for extending one’s time spent in inversions. This process needs to be undertaken slowly and gradually over many years, as sudden increases in the time spent in these postures may backfire.