Friday asana aid: Jumping back

Ah… the jump back.

The beautiful transition in a vinyasa practice that allows one to stick to the breath.

Or, alternately, a clunky, multi-staged scoot that takes two, three or four breaths and a whole lot of frustration.

Despite my flexibility issues, the jump back (and through, for that matter) is one part of the asana practice at which I’m at least semi-proficient. Well, except for the loud banging in our new house.

So, to help myself as much as anyone, here are some jump back tips. Again… my biggest trouble seems to be from standing during the sun salutes; judging from the video selection online, this isn’t usual. Most take on the seated challenge.

Coincidentally, I noticed that David Garrigues posted an old instructional video on Facebook yesterday. So we’ll start there:

Kino MacGregor:

And another from DG:

Michael Gannon:

And then here may be the diamond for me. Mark Darby: “Basically I’m going to lift my naval.” Go on…

Anyone know of separate “from standing” tips out there? (Also, note: There are a lot of Taekwondo videos about jumping back.)

In this morning’s practice, for whatever it’s worth, focusing more intently than normal on Uddiyana Bandha, the experience was strangely centered around ye olde naval, and the feeling was both of heaviness — sort of like a weight was there, inside — and lightness, as I managed to get the lift. Push/pull, prana/apana. You know.

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

6 thoughts on “Friday asana aid: Jumping back”

  1. Hi!

    I really appreciate all the work you do to promote Yoga & the aides to technique. I have always had trouble with the jumping back because I am a buxom woman with short arms. I believe that a lot of Ashtanga Yoga is based on Physics & was developed by men for men. Some very amazing women have been able to become very proficient at the Ashtanga practice, but I don’t think it is practical for most people who are looking to ‘try’ Yoga. I love trying to do the various asanas you post & the various instructions give me a lot of great ideas to help my students!

    Peace & Blessings!

    Date: Fri, 10 May 2013 18:46:29 +0000 To:

  2. Ananda, Mark Darby in his video here, tackles the problem that many people do have. Longer legs, shorter arms. He says you can still float back with bent legs. The benefits are the same. Namaste.

  3. Another approach on this I’ve seen is also to make sure you aren’t scrunching your shoulders up (toward your ears). That can make arms a lot shorter than they really are. Although I think this is more an issue on some other pick ups — but it might help with the jump back.


  4. Thank you for sharing this post with such useful videos. I am working through jump backs and jump throughs also. I’ve only been doing Ashtanga since Oct 1st 2012. Before that it was a lot of yoga but not any Ashtanga…. And a few days ago I was jumping through with straight legs as if with magic, and then I lost it and then it came back in spurts and it’s just one big life lesson but alas, I have faith and I know it will happen :)!

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