Monday, March 10, 2014

Utthita hasta padangusthasana

Utthita hasta padangusthasana: 
There is so much to say about this pose that I have to organize my thoughts first.

1. In India in Gokulam it's a must to get the chin to the shin bone. Saraswati gave me an adjustment here every day. This is the pose and nothing else.

It's a balancing pose, like most standing asanas. Yet it's also a stretching pose. The goal is to get more flexible in the hips. This understanding is important. I explain now why....

2. To every pose is a vinyasa. I inhale (pic 1) and with an exhaling I go into the pose.
I bend my leg again first. This allows me to get much deeper into the pose. A recommended variation is to lift the leg straight. If you are very advanced you can do it. Yet this strengthens rather the hip muscles. My understanding is that I work on flexibility, not on strength here. Utthitha eka padasana requires strength in the hip muscle, yet this comes later.
So these days I benk my leg and then I go into the pose. This allows me to go much deeper into the pose.

3. It's a balancing pose. How to balance?
- Stretch forward first. Create length in the body.
- Engage the bandhas.
- Respect the dristi. Keep calm eyes. Look towards the foot.
- Don't think, not even that you have a good day today. Thinking makes me wobbling. I focus on the breath. I allow only the imagination that I am a column. Nothing else.

This asana doesn't look spectacular, yet it' a challenging pose. Later in the sequence it's done while lying on the floor. The vinyasa count is the same. Only balancing is missing. Then stretching and working on flexibility is rather the focus. And the abdomen are challenged if done correctly. Oh, oh, the abdomen can burn.....

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