September was a blast. Our practice focused on the hamstrings and hips, freeing up our body; getting rid of those negative emotions and stress; and working towards the monkey pose. As predicted, I have yet to come into the full pose but it was such an incredible journey of being open and free. And noticeably, my right hamstring gained a lot of flexibility and is slowly catching up with its sibling! Working towards balance. Namaste.
This month, it’s all about building confidence. Yes, we are doing the arm balances, particularly bakasana or crow pose. Arm balances are very challenging for me. As a beginner, I struggled with the basic arm balances since my wrists, arms and chest were really weak. I could hardly do the plank pose. Modified versions were heaven sent.
Bakasana, however, is more than just about the strength in the arms. They say that the strength it requires for the arms in bakasana is similar to the strength required in four limbed staff pose or chaturanga dandasana. So theoretically, if you can do chaturanga dandasana, you should be able to do the crow pose. In practice, that’s another story. Bakasana requires more than arm strength. It’s also about the strength of the core and thighs, and the openness of the hips. So yes, we still have to work on those hips! Finally, it’s also about building confidence to lean forward, find your balance, let go, and fly!
Step by step instructions from Ekhart Yoga:
- From Tadasana squat down with the feet a little apart, knees wider then your hips. Place your hands flat in front of you on the floor.
- Firm your hands down, especially the knuckle of the index finger and thumb. Lift the hips high, elbows are bend (90 degrees).
- Place your knees (high) on your upper arms (or squeeze the outer upper arms with your knees). Hug the knees and elbows in, exhale and round strongly through the upper back drawing your side waist up, using your abdominals.
- Than squeezing in and up, bring the weight forward so the elbows end up straight over the wrist.
- Inhale reach the heart forward and let one foot come up, if possible two. Bring the heels and big toes together and lift the heels up over time towards the buttocks.
- Stay for about 5/10 breaths. Come back into a squat when you are ready.
- Increases the strength in the wrists, arms, shouders
- Strengthens the inner thighs, abdominals and core
- Stretches the upper back
- Opens the groin
- Over time this pose will make you feel strong and confident.
- Seated Forward Bend (mygreenjuice.wordpress.com)
- I Remember My First Time (with Bakasana) (moresavasana.wordpress.com)
Photo Credit: Thanks to my lovely high school buddy Jenny and her amazing Lyka!