(Paschimottasana)

I’m trying to get back into the groove of being more yoga! And I’m tasking myself to study one pose every day. Today:

The Seated Forward Fold

I can touch my toes – always have been able to but what’s down there is always different.


Ensure you can feel your sit bones grounded, engage your legs from your calves to your quad and flex your feet back towards you. Lengthen your spine to the crown, stacking the centre of your belly, chest, throat and crown. Soften face. Inhale and float your hands up to the sky, and exhale, bending from the hips reach foward. Keep you spine straight and try not to hunch your shoulders, breathe should remain constant and easy. Reach for toes, calves, knees or wherever is your edge. Continue to feel the breath travelling in and out of your body and feel yourself fall deeper into the pose on your exhales. Stay here for at least 5 breaths and rise up on an inhale.

Modifications/ Considerations

  •  a strap can be used to help deepen the pose, wrap around the ball of both feet and ease your hands up the strap to go deeper.
  • if knees or back are an issue, keep knees bent or supported.

The good stuff:

  • calms brain and relieves stress
  • stretches spine, shoulders and hamstrings
  • stimulate liver, kidneys, shoulders and uterus
  • improves digestion
  • Helps relieve symptoms of menopause and menstrual discomfort
  • soothes headaches and anxiety and reduces fatigue 
  • therapeutic for high blood pressure, infertility, insomnia and sinusitis 
  • traditional texts say it increases appetite, reduces obesity and cures diseases

The philosophy:

  • Breathe, surrender and release is the process of this pose
  • Do not strive, let your body be
  • Do not judge your body, do not judge yourself, you are exactly where you need to be
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Seated Forward Fold

Aside

Going with the flow

Be a drop, a stream, or a raging river—it doesn’t matter which form you take, as long as you remain in the flow.

I’ve been having trouble with Warrior 1. No matter how I adjust my stance, move my hips, twist my torso and press my feet, I just can not find my way in the pose. I’ve looked online, researched in books and taken to being a creepy Warrior 1 stalker, with stance envy. However, I have yet to find a solution. And so I am at a crossroads, do I give up and exclude the pose in all the sequences I teach and when practicing, do I just drop my knee or do I find my version of Warrior 1? It’s not meant to be a challenging pose, and that’s why my self talk is so mean, ‘everyone is getting this except you!’ I mean who is this jerk, talking to me like that! It’s me and then I feel bad for being mean and then I feel sad! It’s quite the emotional roller coaster when you consider all we are talking about here is a yoga pose! 

The Sutras of Patanjali explain that asana is that pose which is comfortable and steady – and I am neither comfortable or steady. And I don’t know how to fix it! As a particularly independent person, some may say stubborn, I find it difficult to ask for help because I enjoy working things out for myself and not having to rely on anyway. But I suppose if I’m going to start being a little vulnerable, I guess I can start with asking for help with my Warrior 1. Sure, it’s just a yoga pose but it’s also a life lesson – I will remain in the flow and reach out for what I need.

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