Thursday, September 29, 2011

Put Down Roots with Vrksasana

October Pose of the Month: Vrksasana
By Rebecca Merritt

Autumn bring us a new season and with it a new schedule. As the kids go back to school we are reminded once again to rededicate ourselves to the practice of yoga. If you feel like time is rushing by or if there are too many to-dos on your list this month, return to your mat and notice that you can slow time down. Vrksasana or tree pose reminds us that we can be flexible and rooted, even when the wind tries to blow us every which way.

  • Strengthens spine
  • Strengthens thighs, calves, and ankles
  • Stretches inner thighs
  • Stretches chest and shoulders
  • Improves balance
  • Relieves sciatica
  • Reduces flat feet

How to:

1. Begin in Tadasana.

2. Shift your weight slightly onto the left foot, as you bend your right knee.

3. Begin to lift the right knee towards the chest so that you can reach down and clasp your right ankle with your right hand.

4. Draw the sole of your right foot up and against the inner left thigh; if possible. The foot may also rest on the side of the calf if the thigh cannot be reached. (Just be sure to avoid rest is on the side of the knee.)

5. Try to keep the pelvis square over the left foot and in a neutral, parallel position – you can place your hand on your hips to help find this steadying position.

6. Lengthen tailbone toward the floor, press the right foot against the inner thigh as you resist with the left leg.

7. Draw hands together in Anjali Mudra – in prayer at the heart – and with a soft gaze focus on a fixed point in front of you on the floor.

8. Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Step back to Tadasana with an exhalation and repeat for the same length of time on the other side.

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