Thursday, March 13, 2014
Ashtanga yoga - paschimottanasana
Primary series of Ashtanga yoga starts with dandasana. To sit with straight legs and a straight back can already be a challenge. Important is that all poses are active poses. The legs are engaged. Dandasana is the first sitting asana of the middle part of primary series, it's a rather relaxing pose. I mean just to sit......
Then follow the paschimottanasanas.
When I started with Ashtanga yoga 10 years ago it used to be 4 variations:
1. Holding the toes.
2. Holding the sides of the feet.
3. Holding the soles of the feet from above.
4. Holding the wrist.
Each variation helps to go a bit deeper into the pose.
These days one practices 2 variations, no 1 and no 4. I think this is enough.
I always folded my fingers when I practice no 4. See history. I thought holding the wrist is not possible for me. Lately in class I was told to hold the wrist. I did it and voilà it was possible.
Time changes. Try something again and again. After some time something might be possible that seemed impossible. This is my insight.
What to consider when practicing this paschimottanasana:
1. Engage your legs.
2. The movement starts from the hips. This pose enlarges the flexibility of the hips.
3. Engage your bandhas. This helps to get deeper.
4. Stretch forward with the inhaling, go deeper into the pose with exhaling.
5. Don't sacrifice your straight back in order to force your head to your legs.
Headstand can be learned in a session. This pose requires time. Progress can come slowly, but it comes. It's inevitable.
This pose is a classic bath tub pose. Enjoy this little extra exercise when you take a hot bath.
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