Although this posture is in the Ashtanga Advanced A series I think it is reasonably doable if you have the hamstring length, strength, balance, focus, determination, and natural ability that is required 🙂 Joking apart I think it’s worth having a shot at as the flexibility constraints are really limited to hamstrings and thoracic rotation.
A common question asked by yoga students is ‘where should I feel this’. This is often harder to answer than it might seem.
Firstly bodies are complicated things! The old model of individual muscles moving or restricting a single joint is now largely thought to be too simplistic. The body has come to be seen as a system of inter-connecting or even continuous lines of muscles.
Arm balancing postures and positions such as the Cataranga Dandasana (the push-up) can be very exhilarating. They can energise you by increasing your circulation and they are also good at developing chest, arm and core strength. When done correctly they can really help relieve and prevent back and neck pain and can give direct stimulation to the heart and lungs.
In this article I describe my history with Ashtanga Yoga, how my approach changed over the decades, some of the problems that I encountered, their solution and how this has influenced my teaching. Initially I was only interested in the meditation and philosophy aspects of yoga and practiced and studied those for many years. I came to asana only once I realized that the vitality of my body had peaked.
I had the great pleasure recently to be invited to practice with David at the beautiful Purple Valley in Goa. Of course I took the opportunity to make another interview, which is in editing at the moment. In the meantime here is a little clip to help if your Nakrasana looks more like a slippery snake than a crocodile.
It seems as though I have seen hundreds of variations on how students raise their arms over their head to begin a sun salutation. Although it’s a seemingly simple act, it’s not really. I don’t want to get really nerdy and say how amazing the coordination is at the neuromuscular level, but that is the case. We take for granted that if we are not consciously choosing to create the neuromuscular patterns, the body just does whatever it needs to, to reach the intended goal. As many of you who are teachers have seen, the body isn’t always so good at choosing the best neuromuscular pattern for the long-term.