Standing Separate Leg Stretching Pose

bikrammarch2016_252Stand straight, feet together, core, legs, arms all engaged.
Move your arms over your
head sideways, palms together.
Step your right foot (a big step!) out to the right, simultaneously moving your arms, so they are parallel with the floor, palms of your hands facing down.
Your heels in one line.
Check that your stomach, legs and arms are all engaged.
Leading with your sternum, slowly hinge your upper body forward to the floor, from your hips.
bikram-yoga_17-8-2012_124Keep your chin forward in the words of our own Helen Currie:
“Keep looking forward until you see your
own personal, beautiful sunrise in the mirror.”
(i.e. Look forward until you can see your bottom appearing in the mirror!)
As soon as they become available, take hold of the outside of your heels, with a full palm grip, four fingers and thumb together.

bikram-yoga_17-8-2012_127If the heels are not yet available, take hold of the (out)sides of the feet. If this is beyond your currently flexibility, start where you can. Maybe hands on the floor in front of you is what you can do today, but always try to move on to the next level every class. If we take ourselves to our personal edge every single class, this is where the changes happen. Go to the edge of where your body will allow you, never pushing in to anything that is painful, but a gentle stretch is what we are after. If this is your challenge today, then work from here and tomorrow the feet and then the heels will be yours!

Pull on your heels, stretching your body down from the lower spine to the floor. Your biceps should be actively engaged. Your arm strength is what you are using to open up and stretch your forehead further down towards the floor. If you are having trouble, try relaxing and releasing the buttocks more. To fully stretch the hamstrings, you must engage the quadriceps and lock the knees. Stretch the sit bones up toward the ceiling, while pulling and stretching the upper body down.

Roll the body weight forward to your toes, making sure your arms, legs, core are all still engaged. Pull, try to touch your forehead on the floor. If this is not possible, try opening your legs further until this is possible.

Your chin is still up, eyes focused forward on a point on your mat and not on the floor behind you.
Keep pulling, keep stretching down.
Eventually your spine will be perfectly straight from the coccyx to the neck, forehead touching the floor between your feet.

Inhale, with legs & core still fully engaged,

slowly reverse out of the posture as you came in.

If your forehead touched the ground, next set try bringing the legs a little closer together. If the forehead didn’t touch, try opening the legs a little further apart.

DANDAYAMANA-BIBHAKTAPADA-PASCHIMOTTANASANA
Standing Separate Leg Stretching Pose

Benefits:

Increases circulation to the brain and adrenal glands.
Centres nervous system.
May be good for depression.
Good for constipation.
Helps reduce abdominal obesity.
Helps with diabetes and hyperacidity.
Releases lower back.
Exercises muscular, adrenal and reproductive systems.

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