Bringing the hands in the back adds an element of vulnerability and helplessness. These positions challenge the body in new ways as they are not often used in daily life. Warm-up each joint, especially the shoulder to allow for maximum range of motion and prevent injuries. Every person has a different flexibility level and these poses will look different from person to person.

The goal of this week is to play with different positions that bind the hands in the back and learn to adapt to different levels of flexibility.

Day 99: Bunny Ears – Tying the wrist behind the head will bend the elbow in the way that it creates two bunny ears above the head. There are several variations, wrists crossing, prayer hands, or tying the forearms together. This tie is also known as pillow tie and Waki Zarashi 脇晒し (exposed armpit).
Day 100: Reverse prayer – The reverse prayer is a beautiful but difficult position. Few will be able to bring their hands very high up the back, most can manage to get their palms together but many won’t be able to bring their hands together in the back. The angle of the elbow will vary a lot from person to person, depending on their flexibility. This tie is called in ushirote kannon shibari 後手観音縛り (Back kannon tie) in Japanese.
Day 101: Box Position – In Week 5 we looked at the box tie, starting with the wrists with wraps around the chest. But there are infinite ways to tie the arms in the back in a box. Try starting anywhere but the wrists and see what happens.
Day 102: Hands Together – Bring the hands together in the back with the forearms in an horizontal position without crossing the wrists. The hands themselves can be in different positions, open, closed fist, holding each other, etc.
Day 103: Downward Prayer – Place the palms against each other in the back with the fingers pointing down.
Day 104: Low Wrists Crossing – Tie the wrists crossing over the butt. Explore if you prefer to pull them up or down.
Day 105: Strappado – Tie the arms straight behind the back. Depending on flexibility, the arms can be apart from each other or elbows can be touching each other. This position can be difficult to maintain for a lot of people, monitor the hands and sure you can untie quickly, don’t hesitate to cut the rope in case of emergency. This tie is also known as armbinder.

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Inspirations and Resources

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Credit: Banner picture, 2B, 7B M: NathanielFlumen R/P: Ebi McKnotty – Hands in front study 1A, 2A 3A 4A, 5A, 6A, 7A M: Miss Soffia R/P: Ebi McKnotty

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