The groins are an often tight and often over looked part of the body. Because we sit in chairs for so many hours of the day the muscles that connect the front of the pelvis to the thighs are locked into a short and tight position. It then can become difficult to extend the hip fully which may put additional pressure on the lower back resulting in a chronically tucked pelvis. This week we will continue our exploration of Svadhisthasana chakra by opening the groins and noticing the effects that this has on the lower back. Enjoy!
Place cupped right hand on lower belly and hold left cupped hand out from the side of the body with the palm facing upwards and the elbow bent.
Benefits: Brings awareness and breath into the second chakra region, lower belly and pelvis. Nourishes reproductive and lower digestive organs, enhances a sense of contentment and serenity.
Cow: Begin on the hands and knees, toes pointed. Inhale lift the sternum forward and drop the pubic bone back between the legs to arch the spine.
Cat: Exhale round the back and drop the head and tail bone towards the floor.
Repeat with your breath 10 times.
Anjaynasana to Runner's Lunge (Pose of Devotion)
Begin on all fours and bring left foot between hands. Inhale sweep arms forward and up overhead pressing pelvis forward. Exhale touch floor on either side of foot as you press pelvis back evenly and extend chest over the straight leg. You may also use blocks under the hands if it is difficult to reach the floor.
Repeat to both sides 5 times with the breath.
Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)
Sit with the soles of the feet together and the knees apart. Sit on the edge of a folded blanket if needed and the knees apart. Hold for 10 breaths.
Variation I: Place block between the feet on the narrow width, press heels into the block as you extend the knees outward (not downward!). Hold for 10 breaths.
Variation II: Place block between the feet on the middle width, press heels into the block as you extend the knees outward (not downward!). Hold for 10 breaths.
Variation III: Place block between the feet on the widest width, press heels into the block as you extend the knees outward (not downward!). Hold for 10 breaths.
Variation IV: Place block under the feet, press heels into the block as you extend the knees outward (not downward!). Hold for 10 breaths.
Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I)
Begin standing in Tadasana. Step right leg back about three feet keeping feet hips width apart. Keep left toes turned forward and right foot turned slightly out. Turn hips gently towards front foot and balance weight on both feet. Inhale arms overhead. Exhale and bend front knee. Draw belly up and release tail bone towards floor.
Hold 5-10 breaths then release and change sides.
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
Begin on all fours with hands slightly forward of shoulders. Turn toes under and lift knees off floor. Keep shoulders wide and palms flat, press thighs and sit bones back, scooping belly in.
Hold 1-3 minutes, release into Child's Pose.
Supported Setu Bandha with Extended Leg
Lie on back with knees bent and feet on floor. Inhale and raise hips off floor, placing block under sacrum.
Variation I: Variation I: Keep right knee bent and extend left leg placing foot either on a wall or the heel on the ground and lengthen the leg. Hold for 10 breaths, then release and change legs.
Variation II: Keep leg extended and draw other knee into the chest. Make sure the sacrum is even on the block. Hold for 10 breaths, then release and change legs.
Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose or Queen's Pose)
Sit in front of two long-fold blankets or a bolster parallel to mat. Place soles of feet together and let knees move apart resting on blocks or bolster. Place looped strap around back of pelvis between thighs and over outside edge of feet to help lengthen low back. Lie back over bolster and place blanket under head. Rest 5-15 minutes, then release
I attend Cheryl's class regularly and feel that my practice has improved immensely over the past few years due to her expert coaching. Her teaching style is clear and compassionate and her previous experience in teaching adults is evident in her organized approach and easy to understand instructions. I also appreciate that Cheryl not only teaches us about how to correctly position ourselves, but also touches on many aspects of yoga philosophy, which in turn has deepened my personal practice and heightened my awareness of the connection between mind and body, breath and relaxation.