Saturday, May 2, 2009

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Sukhasana: Are You Really in Sukhasana

Are you really in Sukhasana (Easy, Cross-Legged Pose)? There are many cross-legged positions in yoga, each with its own purpose, so let's figure out what you need to do.

Here is Swastikasana (heals line up in front of the perineum):

Here is Siddhasana (heals stack on top of each other):

And HERE is Sukhasana (Shins are virtually parallel and feet are underneath the opposite knees):

Each cross-legged pose has a different purpose. Each opens the hip joint a bit differently, of course. I also find I enjoy each for different purposes. I find Sukhasana very stable for doing upper body work such as shoulder rolls and neck stretches. I like the stability for forward folding and twists. (Experiment with this one. Do a forward fold in Siddhasana or Swastikasana. Your sit bones pop up.) I prefer Siddhasana for meditation. I find the groundedness of the thighs beneficial for calming my mind.

What do you discover? Add these ideas to the other Study Points we suggested!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

April Study Points: Sukhasana

Are you really in Sukhasana? Shins need to be parallel with feet hidden under opposite knee.

Sit in the pose for a long time – 5-10 minutes. What comes up?

Compare being on a lift and not. What changes?

How is this pose different from Siddhasana? Compare the two. When would one be more appropriate than the other?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Study Points: Uttanasana

With about 10 days to go on this pose, here are some thoughts for you:

Put a block between your legs to engage your inner thighs. How does that feel?

Do the pose with your back to the wall. How close can you be to the wall and not touch it?

Do the pose standing on two blocks. What changes?

How does Uttanasana compare to Prasarita Padottanasana for you? Physically AND energetically?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Uttanasana: Finding Love

Uttanasana used to be a dreaded pose for me. I still have difficulty putting words around what it was precisely that challenged me most. I felt challenged in my hamstrings (used to be very tight and then, after a pull, 13 years of “extra tightness” and discomfort). But even more than the hamstrings, it was the forward fold. I felt uncomfortable in any forward fold and especially this one. One of my teachers once said as just as an aside to me while I was in Uttanasana, “You will be amazing when you finally use your legs.” That was at least 11 years ago and last year I got it. I have studied for a couple of years how to effectively use my feet and legs to engage them and feel the energy. Once I “got” how to use my legs better, this pose felt great!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

If It's March - It's Uttanasana!

Happy March! With March comes a new pose here at Musasana - Uttanasana. Here is a study point to get you started:

How does the pose change when your legs are straight versus bent?

Have fun playing and let us know what you learn.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What is Virabhadrasana I About?

This pose is about courage. Courage to hold your ground, fact your fears and be confident in what you want and believe in...Phew!

A Virabhadrasana aha!

So, to continue my saga, I was reviewing my Practice Journal and noticed in 2005 not only was this pose on my "dislike" list, it was at the top! So, I found out some interesting things about myself and the pose...Read more here.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Breaking the Rules

It seems like there are many rules to follow when doing Warrior I pose--the back foot down, the hips square (oops, the back foot came up when I squared my hips). The tailbone tucked to protect the lower back while extending and back bending (oops I feel it in my lower back because it is really challenging to tuck the tailbone while extending and doing a back bend when my legs are in this position). So I decided to break the rules for myself and my students this week in class. I told them to focus on grounding the back foot and let the hips go where they are comfortable. Then extend the arms at sides or overhead (or keep them at the waist) and just focus on grounding the back foot and keeping the back leg active and engaged. Extend the spine and bring the chest forward (rather than bending the back). The pose was much more comfortable and enjoyable this way and the yoga police did NOT show up at the door to arrest us for breaking the rules!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Study Point of the Week: Virabhadrasana I

This pose needs the back body fully engaged. What do you need to do to engage it?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I Don't Know Why They Call It ONE

It is not my first choice! Actually, I do know why they call it ONE and it still is not my first choice. Ask me about Virabhadrasana II or Virabhadrasana III. I love both of those versions - strong and open and free! Virabhadrasana I has never felt like my pose in all of the years I have done it. There is something about that back leg, and there is something about that front leg. Oh yes, and there is something about the lower back and the extended arms. It doesn't feel strong and it doesn't feel balanced and it doesn't feel free. Does anyone else agree?

Maybe someday I'll learn to love it - just not today.

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Stronger Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I)

Virabhadrasana I: The Saga of a Pose

There is no other pose in yoga in which my opinion has changed more. When I first started yoga, I loved this pose. I felt strong and noble and courageous. Then, as I played in it more, I began to feel I didn't know anything about the pose. I didn't know where to put my hips, my back heal, my arms. Now, I am back to loving it. I spent much of last summer playing in it, learning about where I wanted my body to be in the pose, and engaging the back body. Now it feels strong and lovely and I enjoy the personal power it brings me! I am looking forward to doing it more this month...