Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I would bend over backwards...

As WoYoPracMo draws to a close, I thought it would be nice to share what I actually do on my mat most days!

Regular reader will know that I have had recurring trouble with an overstretched (oh, ok, horribly damaged) hamstring, and forward bends, at least seated forward bends, are pretty much out of the question a lot of the time. Combine this with the hunching I have been doing over my knitting in the evenings, and, well, I gotta bend backwards - relieves the stiff shoulders, gets movement into those muscles in the back, doesn't antagonise the hamstring (another post on overstretching to come...)

I am still not a flashy backbender, but my back, and front for that matter, sure have loosened up.

From this (notice the yawning gap between my back thigh and the floor):

Eka pada rajkapotasana variation

To this (photos taken during actual practices, so not quite as pretty as the one above!)

Pigeon variation

Pigeon with strap

Backarch and cat

Just so you know, I don't do the flashy stuff (I think this is flashy stuff, not the basics) every day. Or even every week, sometimes. Just on the days I feel like it, and it feels safe and possible. Seems to work much better for me that way, since the poses are after all tools, not a goal in themselves - just a reminder, since you might get the wrong impression from all these photos!


Anonymous said...

Hi, Nadine! You look gorgeous. I can only dream of doing "Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana". Backbends are a strugle for me most of the times. Another weak point for me is my knee. Last week I overextended my left knee during Trikonasana and Pyramid. The next day I felt a sharp pain walking up the stairs. Now is better but the problem is still there. How can I protect my knees during practice?
Nice topic for discussion.

Sarah said...

Great progress Nadine!!

Oh what are we to do with no more WoYoPracMo?? Not that it matters too much as I am now hooked anyway :)

Sarah xx

Julia said...

Thanks for de-lurking on my blog! I practice yoga and I would be LOST without it. Yoga and knitting keeps me sane!
Great progress! It's amazing how flexible your body can become isn't it? I'm currently working on doing the splits (not sure the specific posture name, but you know what I mean!). I could do them no problem when I was a kid, and my yoga instructor thinks with some practice at home I should be able to do it in six months. I'll keep you posted!

Kirsten said...

One of my teachers calls the fancy stuff "party trick yoga".

shula said...


Just did an intensive with a girl with an overstretched ham string.

Ow. And I though SI hurt.

Everyday Yogini said...

Nadine, what lovely asana you have there! I love seeing pictures of Yogis/Yoginis in their element. What I love most is the feeling of stillness and focus that just emanates from the pictures.


Cupcakes & Yoga said...

YOU ARE FANTASTIC!!! I feel like doing some chest openers right now!! :)

Yogamum said...

Gorgeous photos!!

Don't worry, the WoYo community will go on!

Laura said...

Nadine, did you try the dandasana on a block pose? We need to chat -- one hamstring injury to another!

rand(om) bites said...

You look amazing Nadine and thanks so much for sharing the images. I'm a visual person and when someone is explaining something to me in yoga, it always makes more sense when I can see it.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos!
Please do tell more about overstretched hamstring and what your approach is, etc...been nursing one of those for a very long time now!

Kat said...


Due to injuries I was'nt able to do forward bends for over a year. I feel your pain. In the beginning it really bugged me, but then you learn how to be real creative with your practice. You then begin to realize that yoga is real flexible, but I was the one with the rigid mind.

I thoroughly enjoy the photos. Whenever I see someone do yoga I just sigh "oh what freedom!" It makes me want to run to my mat : )