Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Three Tips: Vasisthasana (Full)

Let me start by apologizing for the terrible photo. I tried taking it with my computer but it only gives me 3 sec to get into the pose. I wouldn't even post the pic except that if you don't know which pose I'm talking about this post is totally worthless to you. It is my intention to learn the timer on our real camera very soon so we won't have this problem anymore.

Full Vasisthasana is a radiant and beautiful pose. One that makes me feel free and strong at the same time. I've been enjoying it lately and so have been teaching it a bit more. It has been a journey to get into the full pose and here are three tips that may help you take yours to the fullest.

1. Shift the Foundation: Take your supporting hand a little forward and out to the side. Align so that your shoulder is NOT over your wrist but your wrist is out away from you. This gives your body a bit of an arc and creates more space to play with taking the pose past the vertical midline.

2. Karate Chop and Lift: Karate chop the outer edge of the supporting foot to the mat in stage one of the pose. This gives major power to the inner thigh of the lower leg. That provides power to really lift both hips HIGH off the floor. In stage one step the top leg forward and CRANK the hips to the sky. In the last John Friend workshop I attended, he had us do this stage 1 even before the full expression of the pose, and it made a huge difference for me. Hips high will make it a lot easier to get the top foot off the ground and keep it there without landing on your bum. Hips high and karate chop foot also make it a lot easier to extend organic energy down the bottom leg to bring the sole of the supporting foot to the floor in the full pose.

3. Be Sensitive: Listen and go with care. Wait for your breath and your body. If you are able to just pop the top leg up there, by all means, go for it. Many of us need to move slower and make moment to moment adjustments to posture, weight distribution, and the 5 UPAs. So give yourself the time to do that. And honor any thoughts that come too. When your freak out comes... pause, breathe, settle.. then go a little further when the time is right.

So try out dancing with it. I'm enjoying this pose this summer. And for a much more beautiful image of Full Vasisthasana, visit Sianna Sherman's Gallery and scroll down to see the pose in full glory.

1 comment:

Eliza Lynn Tobin said...

this used to be my least favorite pose, especially on my right side...I'm getting better at it though, the lifting the hips and also plugging my shoulder in has really helped tremendously. I haven't been able to do the full one yet...I'm going to use your tips and keep working at it! thanks Sarah!