Pada-Hastasana Tips

Utkatasana – from the Sanskrit words utkata meaning “wild or intense” and asana meaning “posture” or “seat”. So get ready to sit intensely…

 

Stand straight, eyes focussed forward on one point in front of you.

If you can, focus on your own eyes in the mirror.

Step your right foot six inches to the right, this is roughly hip distance apart. Your feet should be straight and parallel to each other, heels invisible behind the toes and 6 inches apart. Your feet and ankles should stay in this alignment throughout the entire posture. If you are unsure of the distance, you can always measure it, using your hands: it’s roughly the same as two fists next to each other. Weight back in the heels. For the more experienced Yogis/inis: try to move into this position without looking away from your point of focus.

Engage your core:

1) Engage your abs from the inside out, by drawing your belly button into your spine. You do not want to hold your breath. Focus on holding the contraction of the abdominal muscles.
2) Press your shoulder blades down and away from your ears
 (this helps engage the core muscles in your back).

3) Think of ‘lifting up’ the pelvic floor to engage these muscles and deepen the contraction of your abdominal muscles.

Bring your arms up to just below shoulder height, so they are parallel to the floor. You still want to be able to see the top of your shoulders in the mirror.
Keep your fingers and thumb together, touching each other, locking out your elbows. Your whole arm should be active and engaged, stretching forward.  Feel like you are trying to touch the mirror. Your arms should be active and engaged throughout this posture. They may well feel tired by the end of this posture, they are working solidly thoughtout the entire 3 parts of Awkward,
so this is a good sign!

Exhale, with core engaged, sit backwards. Your aim is to sit back, so that your thighs are parallel to the the floor. Remember: you want 100% of your weight in your heels. Arms still stretching forward. Your arms are your balance, the further you stick your behind out, the harder your want to stretch your arms forward.

Once you are down, lift your chest up arching your spine.

Make sure your feet are still parallel to each other, they have not moved in towards each other &/or one is not further forward than the other.  Your feet and ankles should stay exactly parallel thoughout the entire posture. Similarly, make sure your knees are equidistant from each other,
the same distance as your feet apart.

Thighs engaged. A little trick is to imagine you are squeezing your inner thigh and knees together, without actually moving anything.

This should help engage all that needs to be.

Keep breathing in and out through your nose, throughout the entire posture. Keep focusing on engaging your core, while simultaneously lifting and arching your spine back. Your chest is up, your chin is up, your back is arched, your legs are bent at the hip and knee and your thighs and core are engaged.

“Lean back, Fall Back, Way Back. You are trying to fall down backwards.”bikrammarch2016_179
Our spines are as individual as we are, so do not compare yourself to anyone else in the room. Day by day, class by class, our strength and flexibility grow and change, as do our postures. Do what you can do, working to your personal edge every class and you will see and feel the changes.

Inhale, and come up.
Keep you arms up and engaged,

 keep your feet 6 inches apart ready for 2nd Part…

Awkward Pose – part 1

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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