STRETCHES TO BEGINSQUAT NAMASTE
Benefits: Opens the hips and stretches the lower back.
(Exhale): Jump your feet shoulder width apart and lower down into a squat like position, sticking your buttocks out and keeping the heart lifted.
(Inhale): Let your buttocks sink downwards but keep a firm foundation through the heels of your feet. Push knees away with your elbows and bring your hands together in Namaste, making a solid line across the arms so the elbows can hold the knees apart. Let your feet turn out.
The state of the Asana (Exhale): Let your buttocks sink down and encourage the hips to open. Make sure the heels still have a firm foundation (a tightness in the calves may stop you from sinking really low but go as far as you can before your heels start to lift from the floor). Hold this asana for 5 breaths. Maintain focus and inhale and exhale as much as possible.
(Inhale) Release from the pose, maintaining the connection with the bandhas and return to standing.(Exhale) Return to Samasthitih (Standing posture).
Benefits: Purifies the anal canal, kidneys and lower abdomen.
(Inhale): Stand up straight, inhaling through the nostrils deeply. Jump your feet, keeping them hip distance apart. Synchronous with the jump, place your thumbs around your hips and, feeling your lower core with your fingers, connect with uddiyana bandha and lean back slightly.
(Exhale): Bend your knees slightly as you fold exhaling (bend your knees as much as you have to so you can pick up your big toe with your first two fingers).
(Inhale): Look up to third eye, drawing your scapulas and shoulders back whilst keeping your back and arms straight.
The state of the Asana (Exhale): Place your head in the region between your knees. Pull up on your toes, working your heart towards the ground but ensuring that you lift your shoulders up towards the sky. Draw your navel in and hold this asana for 5 breaths. Maintain focus and inhale and exhale as much as possible.
(Inhale) Look up to third eye, drawing your scapulas and shoulders back with straight arms and back.
(Exhale) Release your knees and return your hands to your hips.
(inhale) Lift your body into a neutral standing position (ensure you are still holding the connection with uddiyana bandha to protect the back)
(Exhale) Return to samasthitih.
This is a step-by-step guide on how to achieve ‘Bhujapidasana’. This pose requires a fair amount of hip, wrist and back flexibility as well as good hamstring strength. Do this pose often to make flexibility improvements on all of the above.
This pose purifies the food channel (oesophagus) and helps the body become light and the shoulders and waist to become strong. This is the first pose in the primary series where your whole body is being supported entirely by your arms and hands.You may require some blocks in the early stages of practising this pose if you are unable to flatten you hands on the floor behind you.
I have added two stretches for you to perform before you attempt Bhujapidasana. These two asanas will help warm up the back and open your hips.
See ‘Padangusthasana’ and ‘Squat namaste’
1 – (Inhale): Jump through to standing from Down Dog. Take your hands through your legs and firmly place your hands down on the ground, transferring some of the weight from your feet to your hands. (If you are using two blocks for your hands, place them roughly shoulder width apart and behind the line of your heels. Let your fingers overhang off the blocks as this eases a bit of pressure off the wrists).
2 – Still inhaling, sit down onto your triceps pressing your inner thighs firmly into your upper arms. Lift your heart as your bum sinks.
3 – Still inhaling, let your buttocks sink even lower, taking all the weight through your hands lift your feet off the floor. Still inhaling, straighten your arms gaining more of a lift and creating more space, then cross your feet.
4 – (Exhale): Engaging the bandhas, bend your elbows and without letting your feet touch the floor, guide your chin towards the earth and lower as much as your bandhas will allow you to without falling forward. Hold this asana for 5 breaths, looking down your nose.
5 – (Inhale): Uncross your feet, let your bum come down and extend your legs out straight. Point your toes and maintain the lift by firmly pressing through the heels of your hands.
6 – Still inhaling, balance your knees on your arms ready for the jump back into the plank position.
IF YOU CAN PERFORM BHUJAPIDASANA THEN NEXT HAVE A GO AT ‘TITIBHASANA B’, WHICH IS EVEN MORE ADVANCED.
(Exhale): Jump your feet slightly more that shoulder width apart. Keep your heels grounded, whilst you bend down reaching your arms between your legs and taking your head between your legs. Still squatting slightly, reach your arms back round over your hips, linking your hands together over your lower back.
The state of the Asana (Inhale): Making the connection with Mula bandha and uddiyana bandha, lift your bum up towards sky and take your head right through your legs. Hold this asana for 5 breaths –maintain focus and inhale and exhale as much as possible.
(Inhale) Lift your body into a neutral standing position
(Exhale) Return to Samasthitih.