You made it to energy week! So, let’s get right down to putting all the hard work from the previous three weeks together.
WEEK FOUR – Energy
Know when to bend and when to hold firm! This week we will put it all together and ask our students to customize the pose to best fit their needs on any given day, allowing those needs to change daily if needed!
There’s so much going on in parsvakonasana, side angle pose, but below are some of the major key muscles overall.
Likely tight (and being asked to release)
- Hips: adductors, flexors, internal rotators – inner thigh muscles, psoas, rectus femoris, TFL
- Shoulders (extended arm variation): shoulder extensors – latissimus dorsi, posterior deltoid, tricep
Likely weak (and needed to make the shape)
- Hips: abductors, extensors, external rotators – glute max, glute medius, hamstrings
- Trunk: abdominal obliques
- Shoulders (extended arm variation): flexors, external rotators – pec major, anterior deltoid, bicep, posterior deltoid, rotator cuff
How might you put the lessons from the past three weeks together into one practice?
From Week One: Foundation
MOVE SLOWLY INTO THE POSE BASE
- Set the pose from the ground up, moving slowly through the process (especially the first time you enter)
From Week Two: Torso Position
SIDE LEAN OR SIDE BEND?
Thread a theme of choosing to hinge from the hip or side bend in the spine through a sequence of postures such as:
- urdhva hastasana (upward hand reach on a tadasana base)
- prasarita padottanasana (wide legged forward bend)
- trikonasana (triangle)
- virabhadrasana II (warrior two)
- parsvakonasana (side angle)
Guide your students to try to feel the action of the torso beginning with a conscious stabilization or movement of the pelvis while in each of these shapes.
From Week Three: Arm Variations
PICK 1 or 2 ARM VARIATIONS TO THREAD THROUGHOUT
- Lifted arm placed over head
- Lifted arm placed toward the sky
- Lifted arm placed in a half bind
- Lower arm placed outside the lower leg
- Lower arm placed inside the lower leg
- Both arms lifted over head or out from the shoulders
- Flowing from peaceful warrior into side angle by placing the lower arm forearm to thigh
That’s it for this month
In December, we take a break from focusing on a single pose and revisit some of our favorite INfrastructure moments here and on social! We’d love to hear about your favorite discoveries, too! Leave a comment below!
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What’s Behind “Try This!”
At Yoga 216, we teach a different asana each month, and a different element or alignment focus each week. This is the basis for our INfrastructure: Asana through Anatomy posts: we’re sharing our teaching method to help you learn more about the ins and outs of how the asana come together in any body, even in students who don’t have an easy time making all the crazy shapes we throw at them!
Each week, we will post a teaching suggestion that helps you grasp through practical application how our anatomy –muscles, bones, and proprioceptors in particular– affects our alignment.
We call it “Try This” since it’s only as useful as it is tested! So, try out the ideas along with us. Test ‘em on yourself, on your colleagues, and on your students, and then let us know what you discover!