Because of my not-so-pleasant experience with the Forward Bend practices from weekend #2, I was not as excited to start weekend #3 of In-Depth Yoga Studies & Teacher Training program with Shanon Buffington.
As we started the topic of the weekend (Back Bends and Laterals), we discussed how we felt after the Forward Bend practice from weekend #2. It turned out that there were several of us that felt low in energy and a bit somber in our mood. Shanon explained that although we did some counter-poses, Forward Bends tend to be more grounding and therefore, can bring one’s energy down (which is great if you need to have your energy brought down from being too high). She went on to inform us that if we liked Forward Bends, then Back Bends may not be our favorite practice (since it brings your energy up) and vice versa.
I always enjoy the Friday night lectures because the human anatomy fascinates me. It blows me away how intricately the human body is designed. The spine, for example, has three primary curves: Thoracic, Sacral and Coccyx. This is what we’re born with. As we grow and develop, we get our secondary spinal curves: Cervical and Lumbar. This amazing spine of ours protects the spinal chord and nerves, and it supports about half of our body weight! (Okay, back to weekend #3…)
Although I’ve always been hesitant about doing too many back bends because of my sciatic nerve pain, I was excited to explore how my body and my energy responds to a back bend practice. Saturday’s practice was amazing. We worked on several back bends such as Dhanurasana (Bow Pose), Dwipada Pitham (Two-Legged Table), and Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (One-Legged King Pigeon Pose). We then worked on our apex asana, Urdhva Dhanurasana (Full Wheel Pose). I don’t do this asana often, but when I was in this asana, I felt a sudden sense of… LIBERATION! I felt so liberated and strong! This (and the other back bends) elevated my mood and energy to a point that after class on Saturday, I went home and did an intense workout for an hour and a half!
On Sunday, we discussed our own experiences with the previous day’s asana practice. There were some who were up past 2 AM (one girl was up until 4 AM!) because they had such a surge of energy from the practice! Our Lateral asana practice was pretty uplifting as well (but not equal to back bends).
Weekend #3 ended on such positive spirits on my end, I want to bottle this energy up!