Thursday 19 July 2012

Utkatasana – Awkward Pose - For beginners

This pose is as difficult as it is Awkward. Only the very limber can get thighs parallel with the floor on the first attempt, and then one must be careful not to allow the knees to creep together. Remember to keep them 6 inches apart. Keep a frequent check on your arms too – they might rise higher than parallel. Please don’t wiggle your fingers and toes!

We know it seems an impossible at this point that you will ever be able to curve your spine and shoulders backward and sit straight up and down over your hips as though your back were against wall, instead of thrusting your body forward as though about to dive into a pool for an Olympic relay. But you will, you will! And you’ll never again have to wear socks to bed because of cold feet, since this post sends fresh blood and oxygen to knees, ankles, and toes. 

This second part of the Awkward Posture is a killer! Give it all you’ve got. It is the best posture to shape your legs, thighs! There is always a “higher” and a “forwarder.” Work harder and harder each second until your legs are trembling with a strain. Eventually you’ll rise nearly to a ballet point without the aid of toe shoes, and your legs will be the envy!! Also – Don’t lean forward. (But you will; we all do, even when we think we are perfectly straight.) Feel as though you are leaning just slightly backward. The farther forward and upward you roll the insteps and heels, the farther backward you must lean to be anywhere near straight-backed.
The moment of rest will be an unparalleled relief for your quivering thighs. And those arms will be feeling leaden by now.

Some of you might not be able to do a full knee bend at first, but balance is really the task of this one. The best of us still occasionally topple over backward. The tendency  - once you’ve squatted down, gotten your buttocks in contact with your heels, lowered both your arms and your knees a couple of inches, and are leaning backward with your spine – is to let the arms and legs raise once more and to let the torso lean forward again. That is when you fall over. Concentrate on reinforcing the square, pressure always backward and upward with the spine, and you’ll keep your balance. 
The Awkward Pose gives some of Yoga’s fastest results. It is positively inspiring to watch your legs change from day to day, to discover muscles, tendons, and definition that were never there before. We have seen people take twenty pounds off their thighs in a month with this; no exercise in the world is more effective for shaping legs!
The Awkward Pose strengthens and firms all muscles of thighs, calves, and hips, and makes hip joints flexible. It also firms the upper arms. It increases blood circulation in the knees and ankle joints and relieves rheumatism, arthritis, and gout in the legs, and helps to cure slipped disc and lumbago in the lower spine.
Read more about this poses benefits, pictures, video and tips from here
Drawings and info from "Bikram´s Beginning Yoga Class " Book, 1978.

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