Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Five tips to get a smooth forward bend: paschimottanasana deconstructed

A yoga practice is incomplete without a perfect seated forward bend. And it will,for many of us, remain a work in progress.

Here are five tips from the one still cleaning up this most exciting, soothing and spiritual of all poses. Btw in all classic sequences and ancient yogic texts, this pose is always a fixture.

  • Do the butterfly or titaliasana regularly to open the hips up. It is the tightness at the hips that sets off shooting pain at the knees.
  • When you move into the pose, do not immediately start to exert or push. This will create a reflexive contraction at the joints which will mess up your intention towards more joint flexibility.
  • Always move very lightly and one-mm at a time more deeply, into the pose. This will help you reach the pose faster.
  • VISUALISE. Most people think of effort only from the body. Yoga is a lot of what happens in your own mind. Visualise that you have reached the pose. Imagine that you can feel the texture of your yoga pants with your chin or nose or face .. you'll be pleasantly surprised that you can actually reach low enough to do that.
  • Avoid bouncing : it creates the same reflexive contraction and makes you tighter.
Happy sadhana!

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