#aprilintentions day 16: Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana (Two Leg Inverted Staff Pose)
Begin by warming up your whole body, before you do this intense backbend. If you feel too much tension in your lower back, keep you knees bent. If this pose is too challenging, do bridge pose or wheel pose :)
I know my arm isn’t supposed to go to the side and I have pictures in which I’m doing it correctly, but I actually found it more beautiful like this - I’ll just call it my variation. Today’s intention is calmness.
This is a pose I’ve always loved because it opens my heart, and makes me feel like a goddess. I have an automatic smile on my face when doing this. :)
1. Kneel on the floor with your knees hip width and thighs perpendicular to the floor. Rotate your thighs inward slightly, narrow your hip points, and firm but don’t harden your buttocks. Imagine that you’re drawing your sitting bones up, into your torso. Keep your outer hips as soft as possible. Press your shins and the tops of your feet firmly into floor.
2. Rest your hands on the back of your pelvis, bases of the palms on the tops of the buttocks, fingers pointing down. Use your hands to spread the back pelvis and lengthen it down through your tail bone. Then lightly firm the tail forward, toward the pubis. Make sure though that your front groins don’t “puff” forward. To prevent this, press your front thighs back, countering the forward action of your tail. Inhale and lift your heart by pressing the shoulder blades against your back ribs.
3. Now lean back against the firmness of the tail bone and shoulder blades. For the time being keep your head up, chin near the sternum, and your hands on the pelvis. Beginners probably won’t be able to drop straight back into this pose, touching the hands to the feet simultaneously while keeping the thighs perpendicular to the floor. If you need to, tilt the thighs back a little from the perpendicular and minimally twist to one side to get one hand on the same-side foot. Then press your thighs back to perpendicular, turn your torso back to neutral, and touch the second hand to its foot. If you’re not able to touch your feet without compressing your lower back, turn your toes under and elevate your heels.
4. See that your lower front ribs aren’t protruding sharply toward the ceiling, which hardens the belly and compresses the lower back. Release the front ribs and lift the front of the pelvis up, toward the ribs. Then lift the lower back ribs away from the pelvis to keep the lower spine as long as possible. Press your palms firmly against your soles (or heels), with the bases of the palms on the heels and the fingers pointing toward the toes. Turn your arms outwardly so the elbow creases face forward, without squeezing the shoulder blades together. You can keep your neck in a relatively neutral position, neither flexed nor extended, or drop your head back. But be careful not to strain your neck and harden your throat.
5. Stay in this pose anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute. To exit, bring your hands onto the front of your pelvis, at the hip points. Inhale and lift the head and torso up by pushing the hip points down, toward the floor. If your head is back, lead with your heart to come up, not by jutting the chin toward the ceiling and leading with your brain. Rest in Child’s Pose for a few breaths.
My intention for today was to center myself on the present, as I tend to use distraction to avoid important things. Yoga practice in the silence, afternoon with my lovely mom, and now we’re going to celebrate my parent’s 41th engagement anniversary. What a beautiful love example :’)
Aprilintentions day 9 - Funky pincha (which was not going to happen!)
This picture is from when I did forarmstand for the first time without the wall. I was so fearful to start with! But it reminds me, that you have to set your intentions, overcome your fears and then just do it! If you fall, get up, and try again!