108 Postural Practice Pointers – 10 – Forward Bends are Back Stretches

 

Postural Practice Pointer 10 – Forward bends are Paścimatāna Āsana or Back Stretches

Forward Bends are back stretching Āsana in terms of Bhāvana.
Thus in Paścimatāna Āsana one of the foci is on avoiding pushing
from the lower back as you bend forward.
Thus move forward from the abdominal area by drawing it back,
to encourage the lower back to respond by lengthening.
If we push from the lower back in forward bends,
such as Paścimatānāsana, it can tighten this area,
thus inhibiting the focus on the quality of the Apāna Lakṣaṇa,
as well as transferring stress to the sacrum, hips and hamstrings.

108 Postural Practice Pointers – 9 – Back Bends are Front Stretches

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Postural Practice Pointer 9 – Back bends are Pūrvatāna Āsana or Front Stretches

Prone Backbends as front stretches are wall to wall Āsana
in terms of Bhāvana, rather than floor to ceiling.
Thus in Sālamba Bhujaṅgāsana the focus is on
the sternum stretching forwards and
the big toes stretching backwards.

108 Postural Practice Pointers – 8 – The Intelligent Leg

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Postural Practice Pointer 8 – The Intelligent Leg

“The intelligent leg is the back leg.”

108 Postural Practice Pointers – 7 – Breath and Abdominal Movement

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Postural Practice Pointer 7 – Breath and Abdominal Movement

Actively contract the abdomen when exhaling to emphasise Apāna Sthāna.
Actively constrict the abdomen when inhaling to emphasise Prāṇa Sthāna.

108 Postural Practice Pointers – 6 – Making the Breath longer than the Stillness

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Postural Pointer 6 – Staying in Stillness
Making the Breath longer than the Stillness.

Making the Breath longer than the Stillness
means the body needs to be completely still before
the Recaka or Exhale is started and especially before it is stopped.
Equally the the body needs to be completely still before
the Pūraka or inhale is started and especially before it is stopped.
This is harder than it sounds given the propensity to want to tweak or adjust the body
at the beginning and especially when at the end of a movement.
Thus making the breath longer than the Movement
also means making the breath longer than the Stillness.

108 Postural Practice Pointers – 5 – Utkaṭāsana and sequence of movement

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Postural Pointer 5 – Utkaṭāsana and sequence of movement respecting Prāṇa and Apāna

All these stages of descent are on one long exhalation.
– Lower the backside to the heels whilst keeping the back upright and the arms raised.
– Then stretch the back rounding it towards thighs whilst keeping the arms raised.
– Finally lower the arms to the ground.

All these stages of ascent are on one long inhalation.
– Raise the arms as far as we can keeping hips on the heels.
– Then straighten the back into an upright position.
– Finally lifting the backside off the heels and coming up.

108 Postural Practice Pointers – 4 – Dynamic Movement and the Breath

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Postural Pointer 4 – Dynamic Movement and the Refinement of the Breath

A longer term refinement of working with the breath in Āsana such as Paścimatānāsana,
is to begin the breath before leaving your departure point,
and finish the breath after reaching your arrival point.
In other words keeping the breath longer than the movement at all times.

108 Postural Practice Pointers – 3 – Forward Bending and the Abdomen

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Postural Pointer 3 – Forward Bending and the Role of the Abdomen

When moving into Paścimatāna Āsana such as Uttānāsana.
Better to pull back from the abdomen.
Rather than pushing forward from the lower back.

108 Postural Practice Pointers – 2 – Jumping and the Bahya Kumbhaka

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Postural Practice Pointer 2 – Jumping and the Bahya Kumbhaka

Jumping should be soundless and always on the Bāhya Kumbhaka or pause after the exhale.

108 Postural Practice Pointers – 1 – Jaṭhara Parivṛtti and Movement

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Postural Practice Pointer 1 – Jaṭhara Parivṛtti and Movement

When coming up focus on on the lower leg lifting up the upper leg,
rather than the upper leg hauling up the lower leg.

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