yin on a ball?

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Chuck
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2019 4:00 am

yin on a ball?

Post by Chuck »

Bernie, I have two questions.
First I know that you are a fan of using props during our practice, as am I. so I wonder what you think of the following that I have added to my practice.
Donna Farhi's book: Yoga Mind, Body & Spirit has a picture P. 186 of a back bend on a large gym or yoga ball. It seemed to me that it is a very safe back bend since you can't go too far, constrained by the diameter of the ball and you can relax completely and let gravity lengthen the spine. By rolling back far enough you could even allow the upper spine to almost hang and become perpendicular to the floor if desired. I have found that I can marinate nicely on the ball for about 10 minutes, followed nicely with Childs posture for about 2-3 minutes.
Is this appropriate for someone (me) that can't seem to enjoy a minute of a full Cobra (straight arms) posture? Or would Sphinx be a better choice than the ball?

Second: Are counter postures always necessary? I know of course that shavasana at the end of practice certainly is because we have become fragile. But what if after the posture we feel fine, the posture was without much stress, perhaps limited by compression?
Thanks for your consideration.
Chuck
Bernie
Posts: 1218
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 2:25 am
Location: Vancouver

Ball yin

Post by Bernie »

Hi Chuck

Thanks for writing.

Yes, the backbend over a large ball can be a great yin posture...for some people! Notice how Donna's body is in full contact all along the ball. Other people with more limited ranges of motion for spinal extension would not be able to do this. I would call this “track 2 or 3,, which would be great for more flexible students. For students with less range of motion (track 1), who are stopped due to compression of the spinous processes, and who are not in contact with the ball, they would be continuously relying on their compression points to support them rather than the ball. This may not be bad, but they would have to check to make sure it is okay for them. For less mobile students, I would suggest starting with the yin version of the Bridge pose (see here.) However, theory only goes so far...in your case, your reality is more important. If you find that this feels good and helpful for you, with no pain while in the pose, coming out of the pose or in the next day or two, then - great! Keep doing the pose. Enjoy it. For the days you don't have a ball handy, and you don't want to do Cobra, try Bridge.

Regarding counterposes: I have written about them here. The short answer to your question of “are they always necessary?, is “No!, Nothing is always necessary. Again, it comes down to experience and intention. If you are planing to engage in some sports or yang activity afterwards, however, I would strongly suggest counterposes to reduce the creep created during your practice. If, however, you sense no creep has crept in, then you are probably fine to skip the counterposes, as long as you still have a proper shavasana at the end. Again, rely on your own judgement and experience to guide you more than anyone's theory. What is your reality?

Cheers
Bernie
Chuck
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2019 4:00 am

Post by Chuck »

Hi Bernie
Thanks for your comments.
The back bend on the ball feels good in part because the ball diameter is 30 inches and I am only 64 inches tall. So I don't get close to the curve that Dona shows in the pictures. ..... but I have to admit, Childs posture feels really good afterward......
Again Thanks

Chuck
PS: I have all your books...love them all especially “From the Gita to the Grail, I think that Stephen Hawking would have loved it also!
Bernie
Posts: 1218
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 2:25 am
Location: Vancouver

Post by Bernie »

Thanks, Chuck. It is amusing to me to even think that Stephen Hawking would have been aware of From the Gita to the Grail. :lol: I am glad that you enjoyed it: it is the least known of my books.

I hope you continue to have a ball with your yoga!
Cheers
Bernie
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