Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Benefits and Muscles Involved:
-Builds core strength in the torso, abdomen, spine and pelvic floor
-Back muscles get work. Expands your chest, lungs, and shoulders.
-Legs and arms are toned. Stretches your hamstrings and thighs.
-Builds balance and works the brain in a new way that enhances coordination
-Quiets the mind and reduces anxiety
-Calms the nervous system
-Builds concentration and focus, one of the goals of yoga
-Feet and ankles get work
-Clears the head mentally
Don’t do the pose if you have high blood pressure, foot, ankle, knee, leg or hip problems.
If you are pregnant, do the pose in a supported way with the hands and lifted leg on chairs or some other support of the correct height.
Variation: Place the lifted foot on the wall behind you. Make sure your body is parallel to the floor in this pose. Try holding the pose for gradually increasing times starting with 30 seconds on your yoga timer. Work up to longer times like a couple of minutes. Alternatively, you also might want to do the pose as part of a vinyasa (yoga flow) sequence and hold it for a shorter amount of time.
Benefits, Contraindications, and Variation provided by, http://www.yoga.com/
Step by Step
Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose), exhale and fold foward to Uttanasana. From Uttanasana, exhale and step your left foot back into a high lunge position. Your right knee should be more or less at a right angle. Lay the midline of your torso (from the pubis to the sternum) down on the midline of the right thigh (from the knee to the hip crease) and bring your hands to your right knee, right hand to the outer knee, left hand to the inner. Squeeze the knee with your hands, lift your torso slightly, and with an exhalation, turn it slightly to the right.
Now from the lunge position, stretch your arms forward, parallel to the floor and parallel to each other, palms facing each other. Exhale and press the head of the right thighbone back and press the heel actively into the floor. Synchronize the straightening of the front leg and the lifting of the back leg. As you lift the back leg, resist by pressing the tailbone into the pelvis.
Normally students come up into Virabhadrasana III by lunging the torso forward. This tends to shift the body weight onto the ball of the front foot and unbalance the position. Don't allow the torso to swing forward as you move into position; instead, as you straighten the front knee, think of pressing the head of the thighbone back. This centers the femur in the hip joint, grounds the heel into the floor, and stabilizes the position.
The arms, torso, and raised leg should be positioned relatively parallel to the floor. For many students the pelvis tends to tilt. Release the hip [of the raised leg] toward the floor until the two hip points are even and parallel to the floor. Energize the back leg and extend it strongly toward the wall behind you; reach just as actively in the opposite direction with the arms. Bring the head up slightly and look forward, but be sure not to compress the back of your neck.
Stay in this position for 30 seconds to a minute. Release back to the lunge on an exhalation. Bring your hands to the floor on either side of the right foot, and on an exhalation, step your left foot forward to meet your right. Stay in this forward bend for a few breaths, then repeat for the same length of time on the other side.
Steps provided by, http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/941