Monday 23 January 2012

Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada-Paschimotthanasana - Separate Leg Stretching pose

Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada-Paschimotthanasana -  Separate Leg Stretching pose

This posture is like kryptonite for sciatica! That's because it stretches and strengthens those poor crushed and shriveled sciatic nerves, as well as all the tendons in the legs. It also messages the internal abdominal organs and the small and large intestines, and gives you added flexibility in the pelvis, ankles, hip joints and especially in the last five vertebrae of the spine.

This is the closest we come to inverting in the Bikram sequence, bringing our head below our heart as we move upside down in this stretch.

Start with the feet together. From here take a big step out to the right, approximately four feet. It’s important to set up with a wide stance here to make the pose easier on the hamstrings and lower back. Point both feet forward and stop the feet from sliding out by turning the toes in slightly and engaging the quads and inner thighs.

Keeping the legs straight and arms out to the side, we bend forward from here. Keep lengthening the spine forward, feel the weight in the toes and draw the shoulders away from the ears to encourage a long, straight spine. Grab the heels from behind stepping on all ten fingers. An easier variation if the hammies are not cooperating and the lower back is tight is grabbing the feet from the outside – still with all ten fingers.

By pulling on the heels and keeping the legs and spine straight, work on stretching the forehead to the floor. Keep looking on the floor in between the feet to keep the spine straight, keep the thighs super engaged to stretch the hamstrings safely, and work the core to support the lower spine.

If the forehead touches the floor easily, bring the feel closer together and keep drawing the torso closer towards the legs. If the floor is miles away, try widening the stance a little. Slowly come up with a straight spine – and keep it slow to avoid dizzy spells.

Latissimus Dorsi

Entire spine

Adrenal glands
Digestive organs

Helps to increase flexibility of the spine
Helps to relieve depression and memory loss
Balances the nervous system
Good for digestion, hyperacidity, constipation
Helps reduce abdominal obesity
Helps with diabetes
Releases tension in the lower back
Exercises adrenal
Exercises the reproductive system

Standing Stretching from Sara Curry on Vimeo.

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