Today was more like a workshop-type of practice, doing Second Series to Eka Pada Sirsasana. In Salabasana, Teacher said that the ankle bones should touch and you need to have the legs doing an inward rotation, the same movement that one does with the legs in backbending asanas, which help us to get back up. In my second practice of Kapotasana, she assisted, helping me walk the hands and head inwards towards the feet. She made an observation that I find useful. I'm not yet entirely getting the hands to the feet by myself. When I go to Kapotasana B, I tend to push the arms away so I can straighten them easier. But she says that (in my case) I should not move the arms away, keep them close to the feet and concentrate on straightening them, so that I keep a good arch in the body, which will help me when the thighs bring me back up. If I push the hands away, I lose the arch and it's more difficult to come back.
Later, in Supta Vajrasana, she reminded me that when I am resting on the floor during the last five breaths, I should be putting pressure on the lotus bound feet, to offer counterbalance with which to come back up. In Bakasana B, she had me practice the jumping into it. I landed on the side of the legs, resulting in a bruise below the knee as shown in the sketch below. That's called a chichon in Puerto Rico. I commented to her that maybe the bruise is an indication that I need to land on the knees. She says that she gets bruises also, sometimes in the arms. They are "battle bruises". As I jump into Bakasana B, I should hover over the mat, without letting the toes touch the floor, and I should be gathering the knees towards each other. I noticed that one person who regularly does Third Series was not reaching the toes in Kapotasana. That reminds me of a discussion I had a while back with Ironman that Third Series requires a lot of strengh and the ability to do leg behind the head poses, but Second Series is important for opening the thoracic spine in all the back bending poses. We miss Ironman at the shala. It seems he's taken up swimming.
Seven Petal Lotus shared by email that the book Pelvic Power for Men and Women: Mind/Body Exercises for Strength, Flexibility, Posture, and Balance, by Eric Franklin, has exercises that strengthen the pelvic floor. Doing these exercises have helped her with deep backbending asanas while practicing in Mysore. The passive exercises recommended in this book help the lower back and with problems around the S-I joint. I could not find it at Amazon, Borders or Barnes and Nobles, where it was treated as an out of stock book and offered at $101.65. But I found a copy at pilates.com for $19.95. You have to scroll down when you link to that site to find the book.