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I love back bend (+ my practice in 2020)

I never knew I would say this. Yes I said I love back bend. I am not good at it and still struggle a lot (I am not joking) but I finally do not fear it. I think self-practice during corona times helped me feel more comfortable with this practice. Around March-April 2020, I set a personal project on back bend. I wanted to overcome my fear and get 'deeper' in back bending asanas. In the beginning I was recording a lot to see my progress and would compare each day. But from June I slowed down my practice because of low energy (without knowing the reason) and weird sternum pain (also without knowing the reason). And the trip to Korea in July made my practice even slower and unsteady. But with yoga studios opening in September, it seemed I was getting back to my daily routine. And the workshop/Mysore practice with Philippa Asher helped me open my eyes and see what my body is capable of. This was sort of a turning point in my back bend practice. With her, I didn't feel any pain and could feel that I was able to go deeper from where I was. The time with her also brought me back the memories of Mysore and it helped me finally get rid of a bit of bitter feelings (haha) on back pain I had during that time and after. After practising with her I found other teachers to guide me but my back bend was not as deep. I think I still feared and was being careful not to overdo it. But I don't have attachment to asanas. I will be super happy if I can bend like worms, have no pain and make 'perfect' asanas. But I don't practise for these 'goals'. Anyways so my back bend went back to its old practice plateau and I accepted it. With lockdown and yoga shals closed, I had to go back to the self-practice routine. When I was getting used to home practice in November, I had to travel to Brussels and went through two sad occasions. The circumstances made my practice super irregular and at the end of December I felt as if I had to start all over again. With stress eating, I gain 3 more kilos(in total I gain about 5kg in 2020) and all the twisting asanas like marichyasana C&D and pasasana became a nightmare. OMG. I never thought I would struggle in marichyasana! My belly fat wouldn't just disappear even though I changed my eating habit. But one positive thing I noticed was that I felt stronger in my legs. I was still having some uncomfortable feelings in back bend mainly due to the habits of sitting all day & long period of irregular practice. But since 1 January 2021, my husband I promised each other that we would practise together after work. My husband does not practice yoga but he does his physiotherapy routine. Still, this togetherness helps me a lot. And I am rediscovering the joy of self paced practice and the power of Mysore yoga. It is still sad not to have a teacher around but through self-practice I learned how I manage my asana practice and be comfortable and confident by myself. I think this is the reason why I can now say I love back bend ;-)

* ⚠️ Warning: there are too many photos below

The times when I used a yoga wheel every day before back bending asanas (end Mar 2020)

When I felt so strong on my back after came back from Mysore (end April 2020) - This was taken after a LED class. I felt so energised I had to try back bend again.

When I felt energised I practised till kapotasna B (except A)

Photos at Bushy Park by my husband


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