‘What the mind can conceive, the body can achieve’, so let’s come at this posture with the positivity and dedication it deserves. Go in thinking “it’s hard, I want to sit down” and this posture will remain your nemesis. Think like a warrior (as variations of this pose are called in other yogas), find the strength and beauty in this posture and it will become one you look forward to! The most important tip we have is BREATHE.
1 – Stand with your feet together, core enaged and lift you arms over your head side ways.
2 – Step your right leg out to the right, simultaneously bringing your arms down parallel to the floor. Your right foot wants to now reside under your right wrist.
3 – Focus forward, if you can at your own eyes in the mirror. Push your hips slightly forward, while leaning your upper body back and your core still fully engaged throughout.
4 – Turn your right foot out to the right until it is straight and both your heels are in one line. A little trick here: if you are not sure you are getting both heels in one line, try one class practising triangle on one of the lines down the BYC room.
5 – On an inhale, bend the right knee and sit down until the thigh (of your bending leg) is parallel to the floor. The knee should never over-shoot the ankle, but should be in one line above it. Weight still evenly distributed through both your feet. Contract the quadriceps of the straight leg, pushing the outside blade of the foot into the ground, to keep you firm and solid.
To keep the bent leg solid, feel as though you are simulationusly moving the inner thigh forwards, while pushing the knee backwards. This should give you a firm and solid foundation. Make sure you are still pulling in your belly button towards your spine and pulling up on your pelvic floor muscles, so your core is activated and keeping your strong.
6 – From this position, hips down, bent leg thigh parallel to the floor, your buttocks should be activated and arms are back, so that your chest is open and your spine is straight.
7 – On an inhale, without moving anything else, move your arms, so the right elbow is in front of the right knee. There should be a triangle of space between your body, right leg and right arm. The key here is not to move your body with your arm, as we do not want to collapse over to the right hand side.
Hip alignment is also integral to this posture. Do not allow your hips to roll all the way around. While they are no longer pointing directly at the mirror, they only want to be very slightly angled.
8 – Look up to the ceiling, so your chin is touching your left shoulder. Do not drop your head back here, the aim in chin to shoulder. Do not move your shoulder up to meet your chin either. The upper body is twisting, so turning the upper body so the chest is opening, but the hips stay straight, only slightly angled. Stretch your arms apart. Both arms are stretching away from each other, shoulder to finger tip, solid. Stretch up as if you are trying to touch the stars and stretch down, aiming for the space on the floor between your big and 2nd toe. Your arms want to be in one line, just stretching in opposite directions. Do not rest any weight on the floor!
9 – Core engaged, left leg quadriceps solid, with the outside blade pushing down into the floor. Right leg thigh muscle still parellel to the floor, pushing your right knee back with the help of your elbow. Buttocks engaged, hips forward, upper body twisted back, but spine straight. Make sure you are not leaning back, this is a twist not a bend.
10 – Inhale breathing and reverse out, stop in the middle and move your right foot back to the centre, arms down by your side. You are a warrior!
Now let’s do the other side!
An excellent cardiovascular workout.
Intensely stretches each side of the body.
Opens and increases flexibility of hip joints.
Reduces saddle bags.
Good for kidneys, thyroid and adrenal glands.
Opens shoulder joint, good for frozen shoulder.
Strengthen and tones legs and buttocks.
Helps regulate hormone levels.
Works all muscular groups simultaneously.
Helps conditions of constipation, colitis, low blood pressure, appendicitis, spondylitis, menstrual disorders.