Sweet, sweet, Wednesday.
This week I’m going to break down the nitty gritty of Samasthiti or equal standing pose. Like with most yoga poses this may seem like a piece of cake but when done the correct way engaging the muscles including that lovely core and breathing like a powerhouse that you are, you may just break a sweat. From standing.
Coming into Samasthiti, you’ll find yourself at the top of your mat. Bring your toes together while you allow a little space between your heels so that the sides of your feet are parallel. Creating that space between your ankles lets your thighs be neutral having no inward or outward rotation which happens your the ankles are too far apart or touching. Spread those toes out and find your grounding.
Moving up from your toes, your quad muscles are contracted and very much active but be careful not to lock your knees especially if you are standing in this pose for multiple breaths.
Into your belly begin to engage Ujjayi breathing, slightly rolling your tail bone under. This connection of the spine and the pelvic floor creates a lift in the Mula Bandha (area around your perineum). As you feel that lift, focus on engaging your strong core to your spine all while rolling your ribcage inward. Ujjayi breathing is the common breath of yoga asana’s by inhaling through your nose, keeping your mouth closed, and exhaling through your nose. (I will do a breakdown of Ujjayi breathing in a future post) All of these commands are very slight movements and you may question if you’re doing them right. Just go by your feeling, start with one command and gradually work you’re way to achieving them all. Remember, this is YOUR practice.
**You shouldn’t be feeling any back pain in Samasthiti and if you do, tilt your pelvis little by little until you feel no straining. Tucking your tail bone under to engage the mula bandha usually eliminates this issue but pay attention to your body.
Even while standing, the heart should be lifted and alive while the gaze is forward and the chin is a tiny bit dropped.
The shoulders are are not rounded forward nor are they rolled back, they are at a neutral position in line with the ears. The arms are even at your sides.
The most important thing to remember with all poses is how your spine is being affected. With rounding of the shoulders and curving of the spine, compression to the nerves cause damage, pain, and weakness. If you have heart the phrase, “You’re only as old as your spine” you now understand what this means. Keeping a nice, strong posture and straight spine is crucial to keeping every other part of your body strong and healthy. Plus a nice long spine and strong back is one of the most attractive parts of a human.
Keep an eye out for more posts talking all about that spine, natural curves and all.
*Note: Believe it or not the image above is not me. It can be found at http://www.agirenlien.com/postures-yoga.php