STRENGTHEN, LENGTHEN, DEEPEN
Getting better is a balancing act.
4 X 4’S alone will not make you a stronger, better, or happier climber.
To offer you some new balance to your normal routine, follow along with our monthly yoga posture.
Half Pigeon – Eka Pada Rajakapotasana
Half pigeon is a great way to access and open up through the hip area which can help to improve posture, physical alignment, and overall flexibility and agility. Tightness and tension in the hips can lead to pain throughout the body, including the knees and low back, so creating space for the hips to release is important for overall physical health and well being.
*if any posture ever feels painful, back off or stop completely.
Instruction: From Downward Facing Dog:
Begin in Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana). On an inhale, extend your right leg up and back to three-legged dog, keeping the hips level. On an exhale, slowly bend your right knee in towards your chest, drawing the shoulders over your wrists and gently lower your bent right knee down to meet the outside of your right wrist.
Move your right shin parallel to the short edge of your mat (the right foot will move toward the left wrist) until you find an edge that feels appropriate for your body. Be sure to keep your front foot flexed and actively press down into the pinky toe side of the foot to protect the knee joint.
Lower your left leg down onto the mat and extend it straight back behind you, keeping the top of your left foot relaxed down on the mat.
Take your fingertips to the ground beside your hips and bring your hips forward to the front of the room.
*Note the tendency for the right hip to drop here; instead, focus on maintaining an even distribution of weight across both hips. Imagine your hips are headlights, and you want to shine the lights forward for guidance. If the right hip is floating high off the mat, bring a block, small bolster or folded up blanket under it to help bring the hips level.
Inhale here, lengthening the spine, pressing fingertips into the floor or blocks, reaching the crown of your head up toward the ceiling and opening up through the chest.
Feel free to remain with your fingertips at your sides or on blocks; for a deeper sensation, experiment with walking your fingertips in front of the right shin, coming down onto your palms, forearms, or folding forward and resting your forehead on the tops of your hands. Find what feels best in your body in that moment. Remember to breathe and go slowly, honor wherever you are today. The more the right shin is parallel to the front short edge of your mat, the more intense the sensation will be. Play around with the angle of your shin, feel free to draw the right heel in closer to your groin to reduce the intensity. Remember to move slowly, breathe deeply and do what feels good.
Repeat on the other side.
Huge thanks to our wonderful instructor Brittany Griffiths for guiding us through pigeon! Keep an eye out for more ways to expand your body.
Find her on Instagram at @soulstokedyogini