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Posture of the Month: Awkward Pose - Utkatasana

From "Bikram Yoga: The Guru Behind Hot Yoga Shows the Way to Radiant Health and Personal Fulfillment". Awkward Pose is a powerful strengthening posture that concludes a sort of warm-up section in which you generate internal heat and loosen the muscles. This is a very challenging for a lot of people, so it's good for instilling discipline and integrating control of the mind with the action of the body.

The Posture

  • Start with your feet 6 inches apart or space of both fists together on the floor.
  • Raise your arms parallel to the floor, palms down.
  • Keep 6 inches between your arms, wrists, knees, and feet.

Part 1

  • Keep heels flat on floor.
  • Slowly sit down until your thighs are parallel to the floor like there is an imaginary chair behind you.
  • Lift your chest up and lean upper body backward while stretching your fingertips towards the mirror.
  • Come up as slow as you came into the posture

Part 2

  • Keep your arms in front of your and come up onto your tippy toes and lock your knees by squeezing thigh muscles.
  • Sit back down, still on your toes, with spine straight, back flat, stomach sucked in until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Your back will be straight when you feel like you are tipping backward slightly.
  • Return to standing with your arms still out towards the mirror.

Part 3

  • Raise up on your toes a little bit and bring your knees and thighs tightly together.
  • Suck your stomach in.
  • Sink down until you are sitting on your heels.
  • Keep your spine straight like sliding down a wall.
  • Slowly come up, bring your feel together and lower the arms.

Tips

  • Always remember to breathe.
  • Engage your stomach muscle throughout the whole posture.
  • Keep your weight in the heels (Part 1).
  • Lean the upper body back while really stretching your arms forward to counterbalance.
  • The higher you come up on the toes, the easier it is to balance (Part 2).Keep your back flat and straight like you are leaning against an imaginary wall
  • Focus on keeping your knees apart as they will want to come together (Parts 1&2)
  • Remember to keep your arms parallel to floor and the muscles engaged, elbows locked and five fingers together.

Benefits

  • Tones and shapes your legs.
  • Strengthens the thighs, calves, and hips.
  • Gets rid of chronically cold feet.
  • Makes hip joints flexible.
  • Firms the upper arms.
  • Increases blood circulation in the knees & ankle joints.
  • Relieves rheumatism, arthritis, & gout in the legs.
  • Helps to cure slipped disc & lumbago in lower spine.
  • Promotes intense concentration.

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