Pada-Hastasana Tips

Stand straight. Your feet are parallel, roughly hip-width apart and your core is engaged. To engage our core, the best tip we can give you is to feel like you are pulling your belly button in, then simultaneously pulling up on your pelvic floor. To pull up on the pelvic floor, is the same action you would do if you are stopping yourself mid urine flow (there really is no nice way of explaining this, we’ve tried and this is as close as we got!).
Your arms are outstretched, your triceps engaged, elbows locked, with your fingers (& thumb) together, pointing straight towards the front mirror.

Shoulders should be down throughout the posture.

Time to channel your inner Ballerina/ Ballerino!
(For any of you gentlemen unsure about channelling your inner Ballerino, check out Sergei Polunin performance to “Take Me To Church” by Hozier.)
Ok. So, Ballerinas/Ballerinos at the ready, stand up as high as you can on your tip toes. Watch the alignment of your ankles. They should be straight up and not out or in from the alignment of your legs.  Concentrate on pressing your first and second toes into the floor. Work on the height, every class.
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To maintain your balance, focus on one point in front if you and keep your eyes still.
Back straight, stretch your spine up towards the ceiling. Do not hunch those shoulders up. Stomach muscles/core contracted. Sit down, on top of your toes. This means you are trying to come straight down. Keeping your spine straight, weight in the toes. Imagine you are coming down with your back flat against a wall. Keeping your legs and knees equidistant (hip-width apart) throughout the posture.  The entire time you come down, also focus on bringing your heels up! Body down, heels up!

Come down until your knees and hips are in one line, so they are at the same level. Do not come down any further then this.  Your hips should not come down lower than the line of your knees.

Spine is straight throughout. If you find you are leaning forward, check you are engaging your stomach muscles: this should help straighten you out.

Press down through the balls of your feet, keeping you arm engaged and parallel to the ground, knees hip-width apart, spine straight… and come up!

Next: 3rd Part Awkward.

Awkward Pose – part 2

Benefits (for all 3 parts):

Improves overall body strength.
Opens pelvis.
Strengthens and tones leg muscles.
Relieves menstrual cramping.
Reduces fat pockets under buttocks.
Aligns skeletal system.
Good for arthritis conditions.
Good for digestion.
Relieves joint pain.
Releives sciatica.
Improves flexibility in toes and ankles.
Exercises liver, intestines, and pancreas.

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