Our Foundation Friday series delves into the basics of yoga—looking at its postures (asana), breath (pranayama), philosophy, and all the other essentials—giving you the foundations upon which to build a solid practice.
Today's post comes from Jenn Poholka, a Yogalifer who loves to fly!
Eka Pada Koundinyanasana, or Pose Dedicated to the Sage Koundinya, takes control of the breath, core strength, openness in the side body and trust in yourself.
1) Start to draw awareness to your breath. Inhale and exhale through your nose and match the length of your inhales to the length of your exhales. You can even awaken your Ujjayi Breath, still breathing through your nose, but with every exhale you will constrict the back of your throat.
2) It's important to warm up the core with poses like Navasana (boat pose) also laying on your back and doing leg raises and yogi bicycle to fire up your stomach muscles.
3) You can open the side body and strengthen your inner thighs with a lunge twist. From down dog step your right foot forward in between your hands. Shift your shoulders over your hips and joint your palms together at heart centre. With your inhale lengthen your spine, with your exhale hook your left elbow to the outside edge of your right leg. After a few breaths return to down dog and repeat the other side.
Now to get into the pose!
1) From down dog use your inhale to raise your right leg to the sky, with your exhale draw your right knee to your left tricep ( the outer edge of your arm).
2) Inhale to elongate your shoulders over your wrists and ground the inner edge of your hands as well as, the pads of your fingers. Use your exhale to bend your elbows and keep your elbows squeezing towards your side body (like chatarunga)
3) Inhale to shift your weight forward and extend your right leg, with your exhale hug your left thighbone to your hip socket and float your left toes off of the floor.
4) You can also get into the pose from your lunge twist. Just like the warm up, after you hook your left elbow to your leg disconnect your hands and place them shoulder width apart. Feel your spine grow with your inhale and use your exhale to lower your hands on the floor. Be sure to keep your elbows bent (Chatarunga). Root the inner edges of your hands and pads of your fingers and shift your weight forward as you feel your lower belly hug in and up float your left toes off of your mat.
*Believe in yourself and know that a few falls are always a great way to learn. *If you feel scared about falling forward or on your face you can put a pillow in front of you!