Jumping back is one of the most challenging movements often seen in vinyasa flow classes, but it is originally the hallmark of the Ashtanga Yoga method. For many yogis, it's a tedious 10-year journey before they can execute the transition with any success. Beginners often have no idea where to start to build the strength to lift up and jump back. And when I started the practice, no one could break down the movement for me. Everyone who could do it simply said that they “applied mula bandha and lifted up.”
To say it was frustrating would be an understatement. After many years, I had an epiphany while watching my students practice: No amount of magical lift in the center of the pelvis can make up for weak shoulders. If your shoulders aren’t strong enough to give your body a solid foundation then you cannot jump back, no matter how hard you squeeze.
So many people think that their arms are too short or that their thighs are too heavy to jump back. I empathize, because I often share this sentiment. I can say from direct experience that if you put in the work over many years of practice, your body will change and you will be able to do things that now seem impossible. The step-by-step method that follows will teach you how to build strong shoulders and eventually jump back. Whether you put in the work every day to build physical and mental strength is up to you.