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Backbending Challenge

At the Institute the first week of the month Standing Asanas are taught. The second week Forward Bends and Twists are taught.  The third week Backbends are taught and the last week Pranayama is taught. This month the schedule was adjusted because of India's Independence Day on Monday. Finally we began backbends on Friday evening.

Most students will quickly provide the pose that especially challenges them, their nemesis. Adho Mukha Vrksasana, Full Arm Balance is  often mentioned. Different arm balances are usually daunting.  Parivrtta, (revolved) standing poses challenge many.  For me, Urdhva Dhanurasana, Upward Bow, has been my challenging pose.  Others talk about how exhilarating Urdvha Dhanurasana is and I can't imagine it.  I can push up into the pose using the wall, but I haven't enjoyed it yet. So it won't be a surprise that my practice of Urdvha Dhanurasana has not been a steady, uninterrupted one. Since August 1 and even back in July in Myrtle Beach I wasn't looking forward to this third week with enthusiasm.

So the Friday class began vigorously with alternating Adho Mukha Svanasana and Adho Mukha Vrksasana.  Sirsasana, then Ustrasana, Camel. Rajlaxmi was subbing for Geeta. She firmly gave detailed instructions and I experienced Ustrasana in a stronger more "supported from the back body" way. Then on to Urdvha Dhanurasana.  Ten repetitions with long holds and I actually did them all (with deep effort) and enjoyed it!

How could this happen? Afterwards I talked about it with Michelle from South Africa who has been here several times.  "That's what happens here.  You have breakthroughs."

So I've pondered this and suggest that it's the synergy of several factors:  excellent teaching with high expectations, the experience of shared effort, and the place itself, the Main Hall of RIMYI where the accumulated memory of thousands of sincere students making deep efforts supported my deep effort.

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