Bending Like a Pretzel

Hey everyone!

I was attempting to teach my dad some yoga poses the other night, when this asana (yogi term for “pose”) caught my eye

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Half bound standing lotus (ardha baddha padmottanasana) is a really great stretch for your outer hip, IT band, transverse abs, and legs- not to mention balance. Yoga always interests me because somehow someone knew where my body hurt and now I can find poses that really get in there! Here is how you get into it:

  • Stand with your legs shoulder width apart and your arms out by your sides- mountain pose (tadasana)
  • Shift your weight to your left foot and ground it
  • Slowly bring your right knee up to your chest
  • Rest your right foot on your left hip or thigh so that the sole of your foot is facing upwards and out and allow your knee to drop down as far as it can go to meet the left knee- this brings you into half lotus tree pose (Ardha Padmasana Vrksasana).

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Now, if this is already pretty intense for you, that is totally okay! Half lotus tree pose is already super beneficial for opening those hips and working on balance. If you want to reach half bound standing lotus here are the last steps:

  • Take your right hand around your back to hold your right foot
  • Take your left hand and slowly bend forward to touch the ground. The left hand is for balance so if you need to bend your left knee in order to reach the floor this is fine

Your should look something like this!! Hold for 3-5 breaths and repeat on the other side.

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Remember, yoga is all about listening to your body. If something hurts then don’t push yourself that hard. Practicing will allow you to open up your mind and your body to express full asana. I can only do full pose on my left leg, while my right side is even too tight to get past half lotus tree pose. Just keep working on it! Its not a competition with anyone. Some days I feel as beautiful and graceful as a swan on my mat and other days I feel like a 2×4. Practice and patients is what every instructor will tell you.

Today I did a 2 mile run, some abs, and hopefully a nice hike later if the weather stays nice. Still looking for a job.

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