Monday, November 14, 2011

Pose of the Day - Eka Pada Koundiyanasana II

At yesterday's Flow2 class at My Yoga Sanctuary, I finally managed to lift off on my left side for the first time in Eka Pada Koundiyanasana II for a couple of breaths.   I have always managed to lift off on my right side and hold for five breaths  but some how, lifting off on the left side has always been a problem.

After class, I found out that two of my fellow practitioners also managed to lift off in the pose and it seems it was our Pose of the Day.

Below is a good description on how to do the pose taken from Acro Core website.

To begin, come into downward dog. Bring the left foot to the outside of the left arm. Drop the left arm underneath the left thigh, trying to get the arm as far underneath the leg as possible. Bend the elbows and begin to lean forward. Squeeze the left thigh into the torso and then bend the left leg to lift the foot off the floor. At this point, the left thigh should be resting on the upper arm.

Extend the spine as much as you can here. Engage the right leg, extending it back strongly and lifting the back of the knee up to the ceiling. The more you can keep a straight line through the hips the better. Keep the chest lifted and the shoulders level. Imagine that you are reaching forward with the sternum. Distribute your weight evenly between both hands and extend forward, trying to find the balance point where the back leg just lifts off the floor.

Once the back leg is lifted, press back through the ball of the right foot, then squeeze the left leg into the torso again and straighten the left leg. As the leg straightens, try and keep the hips level and extend out from your center. Keep the gaze forward and the breath steady and even.

You can hold as long as you like. To come back, swing the left leg back, pressing through the hands as you jump back to plank. Some people find it easier to bend the left leg first and then try jumping (or floating) back. Flow to downward dog, then repeat on the second side.

"The best moments usually occur when a person's body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult or worthwhile." - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

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