It has been so many years, she thought it’d never happen. She practices yoga regularly. Fourteen years that I know about, during the week and on weekends too. She practices with fervor, refinement and a smile. She is the one often found in the gym convincing others to join our class. She finds peace in class and her presence gives our practice more meaning. In the beginning, like most, she couldn’t touch her toes. Sciatica sometimes made it nearly impossible. Now her hamstring flexibility is unquestioned. Still her hips are a bit tight so that sitting crossed legged is difficult and her knees are often stiff and restrictive.
Yet wonder of wonders she sat down on her shins and for the first time last Tuesday felt her hips touch her heels. It was some specific, slow and practical work on the hips that allowed this. Here is what we did:
Sukhasana – looking at the level of the knees in relation to the hips.
Upavista Konasana – working to understand internal and external rotations of the legs.
1/2 Sukhasana & ½ Upavista – both sides
Supta Padangustasana – with top leg bent, the bottom leg straight, the head and chest up
Supine Ankle to Knee, with hamstring stretch.
Supta Padangustasana with strap around knee & thigh to stabilize knee flexion.
1/2 Padmasana variation, still with leg strapped.
Supta Padangustasana – unfold leg to 90 degrees
Surya Namaskar Step Backs
Tree, Mr Peanut, Pigeon, Down Dog Split, Uttanasana, Chair, rep 2nd side.
Virasana -here was the moment when she unexpectedly felt her buttocks touch her heels for the first time. She had never been in that position before. It’s thrilling to do something that we’ve not ever accomplished before.
Days later in Virasana, I added my weight to her thighs. There are no sandbag weights available. I happily sat in the lap of one of my long, most loyal students.