Basically I have a single backbends question here.
Let us take either a standing dropback or Kapotasana (they're the same for purposes of this question).
I can handle the set-up steps: thighs engage and "think" toward each other, hips forward, ribs up and away, breathe, hands maybe to chin, maybe to forehead, all of these steps repeating, hands reach up and over, elbows together for as long as possible.
As I've said, I can hang back, arms fully extended over my head, in a standing half-bend. It's harder for me to hang over my head in Kapo but I can do it.
The CHALLENGE of these poses (for me, anyway, at this point) is increasing the ACTUAL lumbar bend. Yes, I know, the thing you hear in all backbending is "be careful now, don't take it all in the lumbar" and of course that's true, I tell students that myself.
On Monday night last, I dropped back and landed on my shoulders/back/head on the first one (harmlessly). To set up for the second one I did my hang back and then thought "Ok Patrick, now INCREASE IT in the lumbar" and in a few breaths, I did, and then I dropped back onto my hands.
If you watch any of the digital-shala backbenders do their thing (hi Susan, Tova, Owl, and Karen counts here too), you see this MASSIVE lumbar bend.
So, either for those folks, or for the rest of you, or really for anyone who comes across this, did you go through a phase of "holy crap, that's intense" before it gradually became comfortable?
When I drop back, I get this sponge-squeezing, fantastically intense feeling in the low and mid-back. It's pure muscular sensation (I've cranked the SI before, and I know the difference between muscle feeling and white nerve tweaky sensation).
Dropbacks are actually (again, for me) a bit more intense sensation-wise than Kapotasana (keeping in mind that my Kapo has just recently become a full toe-grab, and that's with assistance). No, that's not right. They're more intense in the LUMBAR than Kapo. Kapo is MILES more intense in my quads than dropbacks are.
Anyway: is greater comfort coming? It came in lengthening the hamstrings, in developing jumpbacks; it came in everything else. Shall I keep trusting the sequence on this?