This posture is very simple, but people get a little carried away with it and try to go too quickly. You’ll see children on the playground doing backward rolls all the time and never hurting themselves, but over-eager yoga students tense up and try to make this into more than it is… it’s very simple.
1. Lie on your back
2. Hands under shoulders just like in wheel pose
3. Roll your feet over your head and touch the ground with your flexed toes
(note: if you can’t touch your feet, you’re not ready for this transition posture)
4. On the 3rd trial roll, rock a little faster, push hard into your hands, and go all the way over
1. Do NOT allow your body to roll to one side or other other… it’s all the way over (straight) or nothing
ASHTANGA YOGA: JUMP BACK
Jumping back to chaturanga from a forward bend is a pretty simple movement, but many students make a loud “thump” or really push too hard in the process. The movement consists of 3 main parts.
1. Get your hands all the way flat on the floor.
2. Move your chest forward over your wrists
3. Lift your hips into the air and slide your feet backwards
NOT A HANDSTAND
The feeling as your jump backwards is not at all like a handstand. Students sometimes think they need to be very strong in their upper body to do a soft jump back, but this is not at all true. The movement is simple: transfer the weight from the balls of the feet to the palms of the hands and then allow the legs to move underneath you.
Jumping forward is the same movement, just in reverse. When done properly, your chest and chin will move forward and it can feel a little scary (as though you are going to fall forward). This is the correct feeling. We want to move our weight away from our feet where it lives naturally and into our hands, a new feeling for most of us.
Also, remember that this is not a handstand either. That is a different pose all together To jump forward takes just a little bit of energy.
ASHTANGA YOGA: Jump Through to Sit
When you first learn this, it’s easier to do with bent legs, though eventually you can learn to do with straight legs too. It looks like a very muscle-y posture, but it’s more about balance than anything. When practicing, remember to keep your arms completely straight. This allows you to leverage the strength of your bones and use less muscular energy which is always a good thing.
The actual jump itself is tiny, and eventually, completely unnoticeable as your simply shift your weight from the balls of your feet into the palms of your hands and allow your legs to swing under.
DON’T RUSH THIS
When people first start learning this, they always want to go very very fast. There’s no need for that and it’s not helpful. If you can’t do it slowly, you can’t really do it anyway, so just chill out and move carefully.
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YOGABODY on the PAT Campbell Show
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