Last night, she saw my half assed jump into Bhujapidasana, in which I jump into Titti, then release the feet down to snuggle my knees further up my arms and THEN go for the full pose. She told me to try jumping into Titti and crossing the ankles in one motion, then lower the head down on the exhale. I responded dubiously, with furrowed brow, "Ok, I'll see what I can do..." And then BAM! I did it. One motion. Totally amazed myself. And then I was able to recreate the landing today. In tiny shorts, no less! Entering Bhujapidasana this way does cramp my style on the exit since my legs aren't quite high enough up the arms for a nice Titti to Bakasana transition, but it's a fair trade. I can still do the proper exit. It's just not as pretty, but I can work on jumping my legs higher up over time.
I've also been able to get into Bhekasana by myself the past few days, which is completely astonishing given the inflexibility of my knees. Frankly, I never thought I'd be able to do this pose. I've always practiced it one leg at a time, but lately my shoulders are opening up and my psoas are growing long and strong from all the hang backs. I'm feeling huge shifts all the way around the pelvis since I've been practicing Ashtanga, and more specifically since the drop backs. There's more sensation, more room to move around in there somehow.
And, speaking of drop backs, I recorded mine today. Actually, I recorded the whole backbending sequence: 3 UDs and 5 drops and stands. It's been one week since the last video, but I don't see much difference. The drop backs aren't bad -- the last couple are actually pretty nice, but the standing leaves much to be desired. I just couldn't stay rooted in the feet today. I think I may be walking my hands in too far and trying to stand from too short of a backbend. It's helps to shorten it up a little, but I may be overdoing it. Seems like I'm carrying too much weight in the hands before standing, which is why I end up jogging backwards after the first couple of tries. See for yourself.
Tips? Tricks? Ancient wisdom? What's the deal with the backtracking as I stand? S's sub instructed me yesterday to keep the head back, to really roll up the spine from tailbone to head. I'm not doing so great a job of it here. It makes me a little uncomfortable to keep the head back as I try to come up, but when I practiced with her yesterday, it did seem to slow the whole process and make the stand ups really smooth and nice. I'd really like to cut back on the rocking and start standing with more control.