Monday, July 04, 2011

One-legged squat: Utkasana, advanced variation

I must confess that I neglect squats a lot. That may be because even the Sivananda sequence does not have it as a main feature. Plus, it calls for more stamina than other poses. Often, u can only lead students up to a certain level, unless u are in an ashram set-up, where over a few weeks, you can crack through all the resistance, lack of practice, slackness etc. So, squats are difficult for a teacher  in a lazy city like Mumbai  to introduce unless students are regular, or do  daily practice with you. Even though I still do squats (Natraj standing version, and some basic ones and dynamic ones, including the advanced drutautkatasana)  still I am not able to hold my students longer in this.. That may be because even though squats per se do not come with contraindications  in the text book, theory part of it, in practice (and especially if done wrong), they can hurt the knees and lower back initially. 

In fact, holding squats for longer is far tougher than doing the headstand!! 

Above u see me do a malasana utkatasana variation  .. Dharma Mittra, from whose book I decided to try it, calls it a version of the Sage Marichay(Marichayasana) pose. 

This one was very exciting, at first attempt, simply because it combines the challenges of three poses: Forward bend  (if you hold your feet) in the dandasana variation; a full squat ( from the druta utkatasana) and of course, the exciting balancing bit (almost a boat!). 

The trick would be to hold it long. But yes, the leg will shake, u will feel this or that... but a squat is a power pose. No wonder a lot of martial arts (kalari, muay thai of which I know a bit) uses squats to power the hips from which the kicks emerge! 

Happy sadhana!!


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