Lots of twisting in our warm up last night led us into some deep backbends.
My teacher, Dharma, always says, “3 is the bare minimum, 7 is better, and 10 is the best.” I usually shoot for 10 rounds of backbending in my own practice, and somewhere between 7-10 rounds of backbends in my classes.
The backbends are energizing! They lift us up! They help us to concentrate! And they also teach us to surrender. All of the intensity in the backbends brings your stuff to the surface — and then you get to practice letting it go.
We held a backbend pose recently with Dharma — when I was practicing with him in New York, for almost 40 breaths. At first, I kept fighting and pushing and resisting — but, finally, I just let go. I was still breathing, still in the pose, but not resisting — and something opened up for me. It took that really long hold for me to work through all that stuff that was coming up, all the fear and resistance and fighting. Sometimes you just have to hold the poses longer than you want to.
I love working with students on the full bow pose with the mama Kuka straps. Great work last night and this morning everyone! Thank you for your practice. Hard to make the transition to the full bow — but if you use the different length straps it’s not such a big jump. Over time you can get there. Slowly, one step at a time — and all is coming.