In last Friday’s class at the Gathering Garden, I was explaining how the human body is so adaptable. Just 2 years back I was able to do the Chakrasana – the wheel, where you achieve a full back bend with your feet and hands on the floor and the trunk/spine curved upwards. Without much practice later on, I had lost that ability; though I could do a back bend, the curvature wasn’t complete, only about 40%.
About three weeks ago, I started on the back bend and Shirsasana again. Now, I am able to achieve the back bend completely. With practice every day, you can get the body to listen to you. As I was demonstrating how much flexibility I regained back within these three weeks, I saw a few start doing the back bend right away. Some could and some couldn’t. I had to warn them to take their time to achieve the full goal. I always suggest that one give as much as six months time if they practice yoga on a regular basic. See, there should be no pressure; else it will lead to disastrous results.
When I started Chakrasana, I had in one spurt of energy, flex my back more than I should have. I didn’t notice anything right away. But come middle of the night, I just couldn’t turn on my side. I had pulled a muscle and I had to rush to the emergency room. So, it is easy to injure yourself. However, the fear shouldn’t prevent you from trying. That is the reason, why you need to give yourself a lot of time; be respectful of your limitations and stretch it one baby-step at a time.