Two-inch thick ugly, plasticky 1×1 1/2 foot foam pads. I have no idea what they’re normally supposed to be used for, but they’re amazing. Take a stack of them (I like to start with 4) and stack them on the floor up next to a wall. Stand facing away from the wall at a distance that will allow you to drop your hands back squarely onto the stack of plasticky foamy things without either hitting the wall or missing your target and landing onto the floor whilst smashing your face on the scratchy foam pads (as I gracefully demonstrated the other day). Bend back, place hands on pads. Stand up. Ta-daa! Magic! When you can do this with relative ease, take one mat away and repeat.
For some reason, I need to start with 3 or 4 pads, but then I can easily go down to 1 after I’ve warmed up a bit. Yet, mysteriously, when I have no pad at all, I tend to crash-land. In fact, I pretty much only crash-land. Those 2 inches are critical for me- – physically or psychologically, I do not know. At any rate, I love the pads, because I can practice dropbacks without assistance, which makes me feel accomplished. And then I practice dropbacks with assistance, because hey, it’s fun, and then I carry on with closing and feel GREAT. Because at this point I’ve done about a million and a half backbends and my nervous system is all jazzed up and and happy. Woo!
I’ll be bouncing off the walls when (if) I get to second series.