A year ago, if there was one posture which I would do as quickly and pathetically as possible was my backbend.
And hope that my teacher wasn't watching....
Yesterday I dropped back from standing, on my own, for the first time (According to D!) And it felt gooood! I've been working on dropping back for a relatively short amount of time, so I'm amazed at the progress I've made with back bending. In fact it's probably taken 15 practices (with a teacher) to get to this stage, which again, I find amazing, seeing as my back bending felt so alien, so recently.
So what's made the difference? I'd put it down to these points:
1. Pushing the pubic bone toward the ceiling in preparatory backbends.
2. Straightening the legs in prep backbends to strengthen/"switch on" the quads
3. Pushing the knees forward over the feet on the way up to gain a fuller arch and to create more work (in prep bbs)
4. When dropping back pushing the pelvis as far forward as you can before lifting the sternum and ripping back
5. Curling the tailbone under as much as you can as you drop
6. Lift out from the pelvis and upwards to maintain the arch as opposed to just bending from one point of the back (usually the lumbar region)
7. Imagine you are holding a pea in your navel when dropping back (whilst doing all of the above ;)
8. Lift your heels very slightly, to remove the fear of your feet sliding out from under you
9. Practice with walking your hands down the back of your legs, you'll be amazed at how quickly you will reach your ankles
9. Once you reach your ankles, push into your legs and toes, release hands and drop into place.
10. To come up, push away with an exhale, come up on an inhale, draw your arms down towards your thighs and keep your head back until your body is vertical.
Practice this and, to coin a phrase, "all is coming" ;)