Yoga Day 61 – Shoulderstand Prep (Take 2)

Saturday was my first day back after a week.  My ear infection was (is) still awful and really affecting my balance, but I needed some movement to help me feel better and get me into a detailed briefing project this week.  So after missing my usual class and consider my options, I decided on mindful flow.  TRULY lovely.  While I had a difficult time with standing balance (eagle, dancer, at one point even a high lunge), my hip and shoulders felt more open during kneeling or seated postures.  Which is why I decided to work on my shoulderstand at the end, instead of my usual headstand (also my head hurt).

Currently, I am in a form of supported shoulderstand (the block is lower) where I use a block (and sometimes a wall.  My shoulders, neck and back all seem to be moving along.  What I CANNOT do, is get those hips over my waist, as in plow, so that I can lift my legs up, using my shoulders and core, into a full stand.

I found this great Shoulder Stand Prep article that helped a ton.  The writer suggests using some momentum to roll the hips up and I am going to try it.  He suggests:

One of the challenges that some people have when doing salamba sarvangasana is actually getting legs and pelvis off of the floor. If you have this problem then one way of learning to get your hips up is to practice rolling on your back.

While sitting make sure that the floor behind you is clear of any objects or obstacles (chairs, tables, people, pets, children, small sharp objects, vacuum cleaners, water bottles, saws, hammers etc.)

  • Round your spine. Use your internal intercostals to pull your sternum down towards your pelvis and pull the sides of your middle ribs (ribs 7, 8, 9 and 10) back relative to your pelvis.
  • Grab your knees and roll back.
  • Then roll forwards. As you roll forwards pull on your knees to help lift your pelvis. As you roll forwards fling your knees forwards to help lift your chest. (Keep holding your knees.)

As you get used to these two actions,

  • focus on lifting your hips higher to roll back further.
  • Release your knees if you have to when rolling back so that you can use your hands as brakes.
  • When rolling forwards, see if you can roll onto your sitting bones and balance there before rolling back.

Next try rolling without holding on to your knees. Instead, place your hands on the floor beside where your hips where.

  • As you roll back reach your legs back and your pelvis up.
  • Bend your knees and fling your legs forwards to roll forwards.

Next develop your control by trying to roll forwards and backwards slowly, for a count of 10 each way. Try to keep your center of gravity just infront of your foundation as your roll forwards and just behind your foundation as you roll back.

Working with the momentum will also improve my Moon Salutations (if I can ever do them again) as well as a flow from boat to garland and back.

It’s time.  It’s been months and I know my core and back are at least strong enough that I won’t injure myself trying.  Plow and shoulderstand prep tonight!

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