It’s one thing to say that yoga is for EVERY BODY, but it’s another thing entirely to demonstrate it. I love yoga. Yoga heals me in so many ways.
This body, in its current form, needs adjustments to receive the full benefit of some yoga postures. Standing Head to Knee (Dandayamana-Janushirasana) is one such posture. In the full expression of Standing Head to Knee one’s forehead touches one’s knee. I don’t know when my forehead will touch my knee, and I’m working toward making it there because that’s the only way to GET THERE!!! If I want it, I have to work for it!
The other day in class I whispered to a friend “I hate this pose.” Well SOMEBODY has superhero ears and heard me. I paid for ever uttering that comment!
That moment, however, provided the idea for this blog entry. To do a pose correctly one needs to work from the beginning of the posture. Bikram says “Stand upright with your feet together.” Simple enough. How often though do you pay attention to your feet?
I notice that when I’m doing poses where I stand on one leg I’ll tend to concentrate the energy onto one area of the foot, usually the ball of my foot. When this happens I observe that my body can’t fully relax into the pose. I suppose that sounds strange—to relax into a pose that makes one quiver, but try it! When the energy goes solely to the ball of the foot, the muscles can’t fully engage in the rest of the posture, thus limiting the benefit.
Back to Standing Head to Knee. When I stand on one leg in this pose I do bunch up my energy. All of my focus goes to the ball of my standing leg. I discovered the other day, after my verbal faux pas, that when I made the effort to stand on my whole foot (heel, ball, toes) that I could feel the so much more of my body working—my quads, my calf muscles—my hole leg felt the pose. I sweated more. My heart rate sped up. My whole body and mind and spirit worked the pose.
So I may not look like the images you’ll see in magazines or books, but when I fully engage in the posture as this body can do it NOW, I’m working just as hard. And my life improves exponentially, one breath at a time because I’m in the moment and not trying to be somewhere I’m not meant to be yet.
The next time you enter a pose, be in the moment of where your body is. You’ll feel better and you’ll enjoy life more.
I work at practicing what I preach! It’s not always easy, but it’s always worth it!
Check out my YOUTUBE video for a demonstration of Standing Forehead to Knee. My apologies if the audio is a bit low. I’m working on figuring that out!
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