DAY 15. (read to the end for your challenge today)
PRASARITA PADOTTANASANA (hands-to-feet pose)
The Sanskrit name of this posture is translated as spread (prasarita) foot (pada) stretched (uttan) posture (asana). The pose provides a deep and invigorating stretch for the legs, stimulates the digestive system and helps to clear the mind, as well as focusing your attention on the alignment of your feet, ankles and hips. The key in doing this posture lies in bending from the hip socket rather than the waist. Try to visualize this movement before you do it.
1. Stand with your feet parallel and approximately 135 cm (4 ½ ft) apart. Breathe in, pull up your thighs and kneecaps and raise your arms in the air. Fold forward at your hip joints keeping your knees and thigh muscles strongly lifted. Bring your hands to your feet and clasp the backs of your ankles or use your index and middle fingers to clasp your big toes – whichever is easier. Breathe in and lengthen your torso, keeping your legs straight and you neck in line with your spine. Pull up your abdominal and pelvic floor muscles for support. Open your chest wide. Breathe evenly.
*If you find this posture difficult, are stiff or have a back injury, do it, with your hands on the fronts of your thighs and your knees slightly bent. Keep your spine in a straight line.
2. On an out-breath rotate a little further forward at the hips (even by a few degrees), keeping your spine and legs straight. Direct your breath into the area of the stretch. Lift your elbowa up toward the ceiling and ease your chest down toward the floor. Do not bend your knees.
*If you find this posture easy, do it with your legs a little closer together and aim to gently lower the crown of your head to the floor in between your feet.
Always remember that there is nothing wrong with starting off with an amended version of the pose, for example, as seen below, using a block to help elevate your upper body.
Watch this video for more helpful tips. This shows an advanced version of this pose: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIj5QOhUhhQ
Day 15 challenge:
It’s amazing; we now have learned 5 postures. This one is challenging for us. Settle in, breathe through the posture and come back to let us know how it felt and which version you practiced. Share with us in the comment box below.
All participants’ names will be entered in our 30 days of yoga with hipS-sister draw Oct. 1st.