Tuesday, 9 August 2011

A few words on getting your leg behind your head in Vinyasa Karma

Something a little bit different, a  rare talkie.

This a short video showing (most) of the Vinyasa Karma postures leading up to the leg behind head postures in the Asymmetric sequence. Obviously I'm whizzing through them here, just trying to show how they build on each other and gradually work on opening up the hips. Normally you'd be staying in these postures for three to five long, slow, inhalations and exhalations.

Then I try and explain, poorly I'm afraid,  how I personally approach getting my leg behind my head, before carrying on through some of the more advanced LBH vinyasas that come up in other Vinyasa Krama sequences.

The full asymmetric sequences can be found HERE as a practice sheet.


  1. I like the new angle with the posters in the background. You seem like a very warm teacher Tony

  2. are you sporting a huge gurdjieff style mustache now? maybe it is the shadow

  3. Thanks Wyatt. Yeah, beard was getting a little long, M. Said I looked like a walrus, trimmed it back a bit as soon as I saw the vid.

  4. Don't really think of myself as teaching here though Wyatt, was asked about lbh so just trying to share how I go about it in the VK context. Thanks though re the warm bit : ) ihope so when the time comes.

  5. if you aren't teaching then what are you doing?

  6. I don't know, Wyatt, always tended to think of it as 'showing', just showing what I'm working on, approaches I'm trying, what's currently working for me...or not. teaching has that commutation of 'this is the way to do it'. I can teach what Ramaswami taught us perhaps, to an extent, but so much of Vinyasa Krama is personal practice, we have to apply that to our own own practice. That's one of the joys of Vinyasa Krama isn't it, we adapt the practice to ourselves rather than ourselves to the practice as in Ashtanga say.

    I've taught one thing or another for ten years off and on, think I'm resistant to the idea that that's what i'm doing here.

  7. "It has been wisely stated that it is abjectly impossible to actually teach anyone anything. The best one can do is inspire others to learn" (Nora Gedgaudas). Anyway, another great post.
    Personally, when doing Ashtanga, I always try to adapt the practice to my physical state and energy level, and not the other way around. That's how I've been taught--or rather what I've been inspired to do.

  8. Grimmly you've got an inspiring practice! Thanks for the post.

  9. Thanks Shiran, like the quote.
    Your right of course we always end up adapting our ashtanga practice too, dependent on energy as you mention, mood, we explore pace... guess there's less room to manouver ( depending on your teacher ) than vinyasa Krama but then that's also a problem with VK sometimes, too much choice, left with wondering where to begin.

    Thanks Matt.

  10. Yes, the tip about moving the leg and hip back (as in archer)rather then wrenching it right was exactly what I was missing. Eka Pada Sirsasana for the first time tonight(albeit just on my right side, and definitely straining my neck, but...) thanks!

  11. Great news about your eka pada sirsasana James, glad archer etc helped, was a big revelation first time I practiced Asymmetric, series, made so much sense. Sure it'll get easier as you become used to it and put less strain on the neck. Extra work on badha konasana works for me too, not right before but just spending a bit more time on it in regular practice.

  12. Hi Grimmly

    I am currently working getting the leg behind my head and was able to :)
    however i need to hold on to it because it will slide out, not sure if it is because my hip is not open enough
    because i tried to push with my shoulder and still not working and I am affraid to push further ...
    How did you work for the first attempt getting the leg behind your head and getting it to stay?

    1. Difficult to think back that far Lili but i found two posts that might help, one from 2008 the other from 2009

      The first talks about slotting eka pada into primary at the end of the janu's

      the second talks about a vinyasa krama asymmetric series approach pretty much the same as in the video to this post. But both are the same idea of adding more prep postures.



      Kino had an excellent video on this recently where she's reclined