Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The power of suggestion

Over the past two weeks, I've said to a few students while they were in backbend, "Now, stand up."

The ones I said it to had open upper backs, and their hands were fairly close to their feet.

This was said in a few different classes, at different times.

When I said to stand up, FIVE of them did.

Most did it for the first time ever.

A couple of them hadn't done it since they were children.

Once they were up, they looked around, astonished. Some were even more surprised than I (who took EONS to stand up from backbend due to latent stiffness/fear/mind-stuff).

These magical standing-up-from-backbends happened at the end of half primary series or Dharma Mittra classes at health clubs.

It was wonderful to see what can happen when the students have no mental or physical obstacles or preconceived notions.

Very wonderful indeed.

And I feel grateful to have witnessed it.

I suspect that the young gent who posted the video above knew not that this here blog has been using the "No Sleep Til Mysore" moniker since 2003 - and that my Yoga Chicago-published Mysore Diaries have used the title since 2002 - when I practiced in Mysore next to Beastie Boy Mike D, and used to laugh and correct Three Sisters' Harini when she'd tell him to "mind your head" when he came through the low doorway to her restaurant. "No, Harini - it's CHECK your head!" No one noticed or laughed of course. Thud!


  1. Anonymous5:08 PM

    Is it "correct" to have one's feet pointing out so much when dropping back as in the video?

  2. Good question. No it is not "correct" -- Not if you want a pain-free lower back!

  3. Also... the students who stood up did it with far less effort. There was no rocking and no thinking; they just went, "OK," and did it.

    It completely and utterly blew my mind the first time it happened (when two stood up at the same time).

    And then it kept happening!

  4. And their toes were not turned out!!

  5. I tell ya it's hard not to turn your feet out when coming up from backbend.

  6. Keeping the feet from turning out is "poison in the beginning, nectar in the end."

  7. My feet turn out & it doesn't cause me any pain, beyond psychological.

    But what a nice moment! Fun.

  8. why is" health clubs" in italics?

  9. b/c it's not where one expects the miracles.