more posing

The last pose of the standing series we begin Tree Pose, which differs slightly from the first and second sets. Facing the forward mirror with our feet together we reach down grabbing our right ankle and, placing the ankle where our left thigh meets our abdomen, pull your right knee back so it is inline with your left knee. Remove your left hand, leaving your right ankle near your crotch, and place both hands in a prayer position. If your right foot falls away from your crotch keep your hand on the ankle and only put your right hand in prayer position. Keep your spine straight, neck elongated and eyes staring forward, we hold this pose for 30 seconds before repeating this position with our left foot. If your knees are week you will repeat both positions again the second time around otherwise we will attempt Toe Stand or Padangustasana.

I’ve successfully done toe stand a few times but I have trouble getting my ankle to stay in my crotch without the use of my hand. We start Toe Stand by doing tree pose and, once our foot is resting by itself without the use of our hand, we reach one hand to the ground followed by the other hand and balance in this precarious position for 30 seconds. We stand up the opposite way we went down and repeat the posture on our other leg.

We have finished the last of the standing postures and we now have 2 minutes to lie down in Dead Body pose or Savasna.

The point of Savasna is to free your mind of all thoughts and concentrate solely on breathing. With your palms up, heels touching but toes falling by the wayside, we glaze down, across our chest and fixate on a point on the ceiling. We take four to five seconds to breath in through our nose and take four to five seconds to exhale out through our nose. The exhaled breath is supposed to run across the back of your tongue, like a yawn through your nose. An instructor described Savasna as letting gravity take control of your body and melting into the floor.

We remain on our back and grab our right knee with both hands clasped approximately 3-inches below our knee. Keeping both shoulders on the ground we pull our knee towards our shoulder yet skirting around our ribcage. Our attention is focused down, across our chest. I get a better grasp on my knee during our inhale breath and attempt maximum compression during our exhale breath. We practice this posture for 30 seconds before switching and stretching the other leg. After we have stretched both legs individually we bring both knees to our face, wrap our arms around our kneecaps and grab the opposite arm’s elbow. With our gaze down, across our body we attempt to flatten our spine against the ground while bringing our knees to our face.