Been practicing along with Richard Freeman's DVD for a couple of weeks now as I have had minimal perseverance past navasana recently and his pace and lovely voice seem to just carry me along for the second half of the series, effortlessly.
Practicing the backbends Freeman style, as he taught at the Confluence, has made a big difference to the sore back I've had of late. I've obviously been hanging out on the hinge too much and not opening the upper back. It's really helped. It's also helped when going into backbend to just come up onto the tip toes for a few breathes, get the bandha right then lower the heels when the bend is felt in the right place, which is the thoracic spine. Feels much better.
Today I felt really stiff. Last night I did full primary with James, a really great practice and some great handstand practice too, which I can't wait to get on to at home. I might almost have it nailed!! So anyway, I got out ol' Ramaswami's Vinyasa book and got down to VK. I started with a few suyra A's, moved on to some 'on the feet' asana, then moved on to some hanumanasana prep from one of the sequences in the back of the book. Got down to just 2 inches from the floor on the left side....4 inches on the right (still have a really tight right hammy).
Finished off with a few postures from the lotus sequence as last night James said I was putting too much work into the ankles (which is why they're buggered at the moment) and not enough into the hips. The 'getting into' the lotus is so important in getting integrity in the posture it's amazing. I've let this slip for a while now and my ankles are paying for it. Pulling the hip right back before closing the leg and then lifting high into the belly, making sure the foot is facing upwards is so important. Funny how you just let things slip for a while once you've got a posture...