I taught this pose in some depth last week and I intend to touch on it again over the next few weeks. It looks deceptively simple- like a lot of Yoga poses! We won’t be doing it in every class, so it would be great if you could practice it at home. There are different methods of doing this pose- holding the foot, bent legs etc., but the way I’m discussing it is with two straight legs- the floor foot pressing into a wall or skirting board. The raised foot needs a belt around the ball of the foot- you can use an old tie if you don’t have a Yoga belt.
The floor leg has to be active- we are trying to get rid of the gaps under the leg so as much flesh as possible touches the floor. The lifted leg is what concerns us more- we must not take it as far over our faces as possible for this method. Instead, we need to press the front of the thigh away from us. This is hard to achieve with just the power of the mind! What really helps is getting a looped belt (or tie) around the lifted leg thigh to help you press it back even more. It is easiest to have a friend help you with this- they need to get the loop as low down as possible.
. Then they need to pull the loop back (in the direction of the floor foot). I couldn’t find a picture of someone doing this- but I did it to students in class last week- and we’ll do it again next week too.
What should happen? The front of the pelvis should lengthen dramatically. As this happens the back of the pelvis automatically lengthens too! If you are not sure, carefully lift the head up and have a look- does the front of the pelvis look symmetrical? If not, what small adjustments can you make to improve the symmetry? It is worth doing each leg two or three times and holding it for at least a minute on each leg. The effect of creating space in the abdomen is very beneficial- but even more profound is the space created in the lower back and sacral regions. If you practice this regularly it is a simple way to help all sorts of pelvic, hip and lower back problems.