The dreaded jump through practice! I love teaching this transition because 1) many people haven't heard of it and 2) it brings a whole new level to any yoga practice! Don't forget to sign up for my newsletter & follow me on social media for even more tips & tricks! And, if you really want to nail it, sign up for a private 1-1 session. Let's dive into what we need to work on to achieve this tricky transition:
~Body Awareness ~Hip Mobility ~Mula & Uddiyana Bandha
~Upward Lift in the Body
First and foremost, you need to be aware of your body and it's capabilities. As you can see, I start in downdog. Now, traditionally you're hands and feet are shoulder- and hips-with apart respectively. However, if you have big beautiful hips, you'll need to spread your hands wider. All bodies are different shapes and sizes, AND THEY'RE ALL BEAUTIFUL! I always, always preach how important it is to know and love your body AS IT IS! You are beautiful and perfect AS YOU ARE, even if you're not necessarily where you'd like to be. Learning to support and love your body in it's present state is the first step to progress and growth.
As you can see, you need to get your knees to your chest in one graceful swoop. I like to teach this part step by step. From downward dog, try getting your right foot next to your left hand, your foot should be next to the thumb. Really arch the spine and carve out space for the knee and leg to get up there. Can't get the foot all the way up there, yet? No worries! That's where you're working. Love and meet yourself where you are. Once you can smoothly get the legs up there one at a time, try floating both feet up, crossing at the ankles, keeping the hips high.
Mula & Uddiyana Bandha Engagement
Mula Bandha is located on the pelvic floor while Uddiyana Bandha is located just below the navel. To activate Mula Bandha constrict anal sphincter creating a lifting sensation for the entire pelvic floor. To activate Uddiyana Bandha, bring the lower abdomen (or just your navel for beginners) towards the spine, then up towards the heart-space. The thing is, you should still be able to breath while sucking and lifting! Once you control the bandhas, you control your core. This activation is what keeps the hips high, gives the floating sensation, and the...
...Upward Lift in the Body
This transition is straight up impossible (or very painful... trust me 😅) without an upward lift in the body. Mastering the activation of the two bandhas mentioned above will be the best way to achieve this lift. You should keep this upward lift, especially in the hips, until you're ready to float the hips down, with CONTROL. Before I mastered my bandha practice, my jump throughs ended in me landing on my tailbone, resulting in a bruise, making me look like a granny carrying around my donut to sit on. 😂
In order to get your body through your arms, you need to become the tiniest you possibly can! Exhaling as you jump helps you activate the bandhas, create the upward lift, and carve out space for the legs. Try out some pranayama (yogic breathing) exercises like Kumbhaka (holding breaths), Kapalabhati (forced exhales), and/or Bhastrika (forced inhales and exhales) to work on your breath control.
Yes, this is a more advanced and difficult transition. However, it can be available to everyone with just a few modifications! Let me know where you're at in your jump through practice and if this article was helpful! Post your practice on social media, and make sure to tag me! @BlyssedOutYoga