Today I’ve got my Yoga Teacher’s hat on because as promised I hope to share a pose or Asana – yoga movement, each week with you so that you will feel enabled to join in the practice of yoga in your own time & space.
If you are at any stage of pregnancy or Life for that matter, male or female – this is a pose or ‘asana’ with deep benefits for your pelvis, spine & wellbeing.
Best of all you can enter & be in this pose for as little time as a few breaths or for as long as it takes the kettle to boil in your kitchen at home or staff room at work! IDEA: why not ask someone to read the following instructions to you while you enter the pose so that you can experience it completely without having to pop back up every few secs to check what’s next!
ENTERING THE POSE – in standing yoga poses think about entering a pose from the ground or feet up & that is how I will always explain them for you. And ideally in a standing Yoga pose or asana such as this, you would have bare feet, but at the very least, your feet are not slipping and you feel safe with your grip on the floor.
- Take the legs about 1 metre or a yard apart, with the feet parallel – if you want to use a chair for support, stand about 2-3 feet away from the seat of the chair, you can always adjust this distance later if you like.
- Press big toes & outside edges of feet into floor (feel the support of your feet grounding to floor)
- Hands to hips, Knees are soft (slightly bent), Chest is open & Back or spine is long
- Begin to Inhale & begin to bend forwards from the hips leading with heart, not the head (remember spine is long all the way to the back of the head)
- When you feel your weight tipping forwards at this moment, ground your heels into the floor, press through the big toes & remember the knees can be soft. Then take the hands from the hips, fold the arms over the seat of the chair & bring your forehead to rest on your hands.
Now broaden your shoulders & deepen the blades into your back so you feel the space you are creating around your neck. Continue to BE in this pose for at least 6 long breaths – inhaling & exhaling through the nostrils – draw the breath to the belly if you can – belly rounds & rises on your inhale, draws back towards your body on the exhale.
- As all the tight muscles in your back & legs begin to release & lengthen you will feel a little more space in your body being created, use this space to go deeper into the pose – maybe taking your hands to a cushion on the floor.
- If you do go deeper & take hands lower, to a cushion or lower table, let the head hang loose from the neck. OR just like the nearby image: bring hands to the floor & rest head on a support.Try not to hold the head up. You are looking for release all along the spine to the head.
COMING OUT OF THE POSE – This aspect of Yoga practice is often overlooked & sometimes even ignored by Yoga text books & teachers, but I feel that to be a responsible Yoga Practitioner & Teacher, respect should be shown to the body to help it realign & stabilise effectively after a Yoga Asana.
- When you are ready to leave the pose, bring attention again to the feet – press big toes, outside edges & heels into the floor & slowly bring hands back to hips.
- Keep grounding through feet & with knees soft or bent a little deeper at this point, engage lower abdominals across the lower belly to support you lifting the upper body into upright again.
- Keep the spine long & chest open as you exit the pose.
- Stand for a couple of moments, eyes open or closed & breathe to the belly. Then slowly heel / toe the feet back together. Give the legs a shake out & smile 🙂 You’ve done the body good.
BENEFITS & EFFECTS: Releases the hamstrings and spinal muscles * Gentle inversion – brings fresh circulation to the head & takes pressure from the heart * Cools the busy mind *Calms emotions.
What did you feel in the body while in the pose? How did you feel in general after leaving the pose? Try it a few times over the next couple of days & report back to me. If you have questions about it do ask them – i’d love for you to share your experience of the asana, Wide leg Forward Bend. (or in Sanskrit it is written as ‘Prasaritta Padottanasana’ – a great sounding name if you ask me ! )
Want to do more yoga? If you can get to my sessions, I run classes in North Co Kerry , West Co Limerick. Check out my updates on facebook and you can message me there or here too.
If you don’t live near me, more’s the pity ;( But do find a Yoga teacher suitable to your needs and make that special time in the week to attend a session. Your body & mind will thank you for it. x
photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/universalpops/10966185834/”>Universal Pops (David)</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>