This for me is one of the most difficult postures to reach.
For many years I have been working through many different areas and aspects of my self and my life to over come many struggles within my practice.
This is the overall point to yoga basically. Yoga is to iron out all the creases that have damaged you, worn you out, made you angry, made you sad!
This posture for me is extremely intense physically, mentally an emotionally.
Sometimes I stay within the pose for an hour!! I will sit and be gentle, I'll fold myself forward and let gravity and the cultivate of acceptance and calm within me to try and work through these struggles, anger or grievances that are stored within my hips. Then i'll go further with self assistance to get myself deeper and then retreat to give my body and whatever my mind is apparently working through time to settle into this new found space. Then i'll settle for a while with deep breaths for as long as I can reasonably hold and clearly cope for and only then will I release....
The funny thing is - I have been doing such a routine on my hips for more than two years and yet it seems that every single time I take upon myself the challenge of the posture it's like I am starting all over again.
The process never changes, the resistance still remains, the willingness is also strong and high and I can’t say that I am not persistent….
So with this pose, like no other pose I’ve tried to reach within my practice, is one of the bigger ones for my personal growth.
- A really nice way to start this pose would be with the back against the wall to keep the spine straight or for those with tight hips to sit up on a black or bolster so that the spine can remain straight.
- I have noticed for myself and my students that we get highly irritated by this posture if it is the sitting straight version and not allowing oneself to fold forwards straight away - with this version you notice that even though you wish for the body to release and let go even with your order it proves very difficult ... hence why I practice this and include it in many of my classes especially before allowing myself or them to come into the forward fold.
- Once you do fold forwards try to keep the spine as straight as possible and lead the whole way with the chest
- Try to keep creating length in the spine, as it will want to decline the deeper you go, by reaching out through the crown of the head on each inhale.
- When you fold forwards, and you know you have nice external hip rotation, you can turn the soles of the feet to face the ceiling to give you a little more space to reach more depth and folding deeper in-between the hips with the whole torso.
- You can also use the hands to aid you deeper by interlinking the hands around the edges of the feet or placing your elbow on the inner seams of the legs.
- Spend some time here, warm through with a few twists and hold in your full expression for a number of minutes if you can taking deep long breaths.
This is a really beneficial pose for women and can actually help with period cramps.
It brings fresh blood flow to the area and helps to release the nerve endings and the sacrum. It also improves the condition of the lower extremities as it provides blood flow and good circulation to the legs.
This posture is really good to practice as a Mediative posture. To sit in this position upright with a straight spine or even folding forwards for a long period of time while connecting to the breath is a very powerful thing for both a man and woman.
Using this posture for mediative purpose is its original use however many avoid - The posture can bring frustration and a sense of gentle anger when practiced for long periods of time and tests the individual to see if they can let go of the potential involuntary activation of the body that is hard to overcome in relaxing of the mind.
Practice Totally, Fully & with all of your Being...