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10-min YOGA  SESSION  BASED AROUND UTTIHITA TRIKONASANA-Iyengar style triangle pose (1)
Uttihita Trikonasana Session 1
FIRST EXERCISE OF SESSION (1 minutes)
Stand in TADASANA, i.e. feet parallel and hip-width apart, spine long and vertical, arms and shoulders relaxed. Swing one leg forwards and upwards slightly. Then lower the heel back to the floor (with the leg straight) with toes pointing upwards. Exhaling, rotate the leg along its axis inwards (i.e. so the toes point across in front of you – the actual movement is likely to be quite small) and, inhaling, rotate the leg along its axis to bring the toes back to pointing outwards. Repeat 3 to 6 more times. Lift the foot up and replace on the floor besides the other foot. Repeat to the other side.
SECOND EXERCISE OF SESSION (3 minutes)
Step your feet wide apart – long term you are aiming for about 3.5 feet apart or a leg length apart, but until you are comfortable with such a wide stance simply take your feet as wide as feels comfortable. Start with your feet pointing forwards (feet parallel) and observe that your pelvic girdle is facing forwards. Lift the heel of your right foot off the floor and pivot the right foot on its toes to bring the heel inwards and so turn the right foot to point sideways to the right and then lower the heel back to the floor. Notice the outward turning of the right leg has caused the pelvic girdle to turn somewhat to the right – and for the moment that is fine. Lift the toes of the left foot and rotate the left leg around its axis (pivoting on the heel) to turn the left foot inwards and lower the foot to the floor – long term you are aiming to turn the left foot in by about 30Ί but, until you are able to do this, simply turn the left foot inwards as much as feels comfortable. You may notice that the pelvic girdle has turned a little more to the right, which is fine. Engage your quadriceps femoris muscles by drawing your kneecaps upwards and tone your thighs generally – it is helpful to imagine that the thigh bone (femur) can suck the thigh muscles onto itself. Next we are going to anchor the right leg, and then, keeping the right leg anchored, engage left hip muscles in a way that will draw the pelvic girdle round towards facing forwards. Imagine an inwards spiral elongating down the right leg with the top of the spiral at the top back of right leg (behind your hips); then imagine a movement (very little actual movement occurs) moving down and round the sides, then front of your legs to the pad of your big toe joint: feel this cause the pad of the big toe joint to be pressed down. Maintain the inward leg spiral (i.e. by maintaining the pressing down of the big toe joint pad), while applying the outward spiral for your right leg by:- imagining the top of the spiral at the top of your inside leg; then imagine a movement (very little actual movement occurs) moving down and round the front of your leg to the pad of your little toe joint and feel this cause the pad of the little toe joint to be pressed down. Notice how this encourages an opening expansion up the right side of the trunk. Now, keeping the right leg anchored in this way, apply first an inward spiral to left leg and then the outward spiral as described for the right leg – observe how this draws the pelvic girdle round towards facing forwards and encourages an opening expansion up the left side of the trunk. Ideally your pelvic girdle will now be facing forwards – but don’t worry if it is not as, with practice, it will come closer to facing forwards. Imagine your heels and the outside edges of your feet sinking (or pressing) down into the floor and engage your leg muscles as though trying to draw your feet towards each other against the resistance supplied by the floor. Hold for up to 6 breaths. Release by first releasing the sense of drawing the feet towards each other, then the leg spirals and then turn the feet to face forwards and step feet together. Repeat to the other side.
THIRD EXERCISE OF SESSION (2 minutes)
Lie down on your back with the soles of feet on the floor and knees pointing upwards. Bring the right foot onto the left knee so the right knee points towards your chest. Rest your hands palms face up on the floor near your sides. Exhaling, lower the knees to the right and, inhaling, lift knees back to centre. Repeat several times with the breath, then swap the legs over and repeat to the other side.
FOURTH EXERCISE OF SESSION (4 minutes)
Lie down in a comfortable position and practise a relaxation method of your choice. You could try thinking the word “calm” with each exhalation. Imagine the meaning of the word as you think it. Don't rush sitting up (& standing) after practising relaxation as it causes blood pressure to fall, which can cause dizziness if moving too quickly.