During the day, I was fumbling around with astavakrasana, or eight-bend pose, which has quite an interesting story behind the name.
I made practically no progress. J. had a good time watching me roll around the floor. Clearly, I had not done enough research on it. After scoring baby bakasana in the early evening, I watched a series of YouTube videos and just to absorb as much as I could (this has mainly been how I’m learning about poses). As I go through each video, I will pick up one great tip here and another one elsewhere; this helps me create a cohesive picture of what I need to do to get down and dirty into the pose.
The best suggestions or strategies to note:
- Kino McGregor says that the pose is actually easy; it’s just the entry and the exit that’s hard. When setting up and in eka hasta bhujasana (Elephant Trunk pose), let your hanging leg dangle; you should not need strength for this.
- Yogi Jules say to open the heart, or in my scientific term, push out your sternum, as you hinge forward.
- Keep your hands close to your hips. Earlier, I was placing them too far ahead of my body, which was preventing me from picking myself up since my centre of balance was outside of my torso.
- Use blocks to raise your body. This makes it easier to lift up.
- Don’t dump the shoulders forward or you risk injury. Keeping the strong, steady, chaturanga arms, like in parsva bakasana, will help you stay even in this arm balance.
As with most types of bodyweight exercise, you have to be hyperaware of your whole body. Out of all the hideous attempts I made, this was my best effort tonight, despite collapsing into a puddle at the end at around midnight. It doesn’t look like much, but I actually feel that I am ‘over my wall’ and am confident that I will be able to master this.
Success is palpable in the near future!