In this sequence, we take a look at the mechanics of jumping back to Chaturanga from forward fold. The jumpbacks are usually performed in our vinyasa yoga classes, during Sun Salutation A, and Sun Salutation B - warm-up transitions. That isn't to say that is the only place in our flows that jumpbacks are performed, just the most common.
If you are practicing this movement outside of class, make sure to warm-up properly. The shoulder joint is very strong, and also very delicate at the same time. It is easy to aggravate the smaller, delicate muscles - rotator cuff tears are common.
Learning this transition is not super easy, but that doesn't make it impossible. It's difficult, because it requires the entire body to perform in union. Your awareness needs to be able to focus on the entirety of the movement, and the core needs to be strong enough to support all of the major functions of the transition. It will take some time before your neck, shoulders, arms, triceps, back, hips, and leg muscles have gained the proper strength and coordination to do this transition with steadiness and ease.
I hope that seeing the progression of the movements in this fashion, will help my fellow yogis to see how the mechanics of the jumpback are performed.
Please share on social with all of your fellow yogis, and leave some comments on this blog post, or on the separate videos on YouTube! Check out the images, and short video clips I've put together below:
- Notice how I lean forward a couple inches to engage the bandhas, and begin to bear the load of my body into the hands & shoulders.
- The hop up is very slight, just a couple of inches.
- Notice that when traveling back, my toes never come more than 4-5 inches off the mat.
- When the feet are at their highest point, I begin to bend the elbows, and drop the chest straight down.
- On the way down, I engage the triceps, and use them as a brake to slow my descent.
- Gaze is kept forward, and slightly up; so I never lose sight of how close my face is to the ground.
- The second my toes touch the ground, the structure of my arms should be in the proper alignment for chaturanga.
- At this point, the triceps, shoulders, back, and legs - can all work together to absorb & disperse the impact of my landing.