Practice: Some Tips on Transitions

Transitions are a big part of the practice that we do. Just like everything else, they require conscious and honest work. Sometimes there is a tendency to use excessive momentum, to overlook them or rush through them, but still, they are key in building strength, steadiness and stamina.

On the last conference, Sharathji demonstrated a few transitions that create a lot of confusion.

Jumping back from Utkatasana

Knees to chest without feet touching the floor (bandha power!) and then releasing legs back on the exhale.

If that is not happening yet, you can work on lifting the hips and the feet as much as you can and hold yourself there on the inhale. This will strengthen the bandhas. Try not to jump back right away, or else you’ll be skipping a big portion of the work that needs to be done.

Jumping from Virabhadrasana

Likewise, one knee goes to the chest while the other leg is stretching backwards to eventually land in chatuari. There is no kicking up, no placing the bent leg on top of the elbow. It is a challenging transition that requires a lot of strength. If you are not there yet, just stretch the legs back to chatuari and hold it.

Jumping back from Marychasana A

Exit the posture by undoing it completely, bend your legs, fold them towards your chest, lift up and jump back. Do not jump back with one knee on the armpit, as the shoulder is out and eventually this will damage the joint.

Jump back

Lift up. That will strengthen your moola bandha. Try to work with your hands behind your feet, not in front of them, and lift up from there. If the feet don’t come up, just bring the hips up. If you can, jump back straight away or come down and jump back. It is OK to break down the movement in different pieces. With time, everything will flow.

Jump through

Jump forward with bent knees instead of straight legs, as this strengthens the bandhas. The straight leg jump through looks nice but it uses inertia and momentum, so there is not much happening really.

To sum up, have these simple tips in mind when practicing and give yourself time. Nothing happens overnight :) You may also want to watch Sharathji’s demonstration Here

Enjoy your Practice x

Carmen