Find self-expression and a sense of strength and power in “Wild Thing”, Camatkarasana. Wild Thing is a fun and challenging posture that builds strength in the back, shoulders, and arms, while simultaneously stretching and opening the chest, shoulders, hips and legs.
To come into the posture: Come into Downward Facing Dog. Take a couple deep breaths, accentuating and smoothing out each inhale and exhale. Press down through the right palm and begin to roll onto the outside edge of the right foot. Option to modify and drop to the right knee. Step the left leg back, so that the body has reversed into the shape of a backbend. Keep a slight bend in the left leg. On an inhale, press the hips up towards the ceiling and extend and open though the left fingertips.
If it feels safe on the neck you can gently release the head towards the ground or option to keep extending through the crown of the head, creating more length along the back of the neck. Keep breathing and broaden through the collarbone area. Allow the shoulder blades to lay flush on the back. Bring awareness to the low-belly, and draw the low-belly in towards the spine, in order to protect the low-back. Stay here and breathe, smoothing and refining the breath to be calm. Notice where you need to activate the body and where you can soften in the pose, finding balance. Breathe and extend into your “fullest” expression.
To come out: simply come out the same way that you came in, with mindfulness and patience. Press into the right palm and extend the left leg up and over to come back into Downward Facing Dog. Repeat on the opposite side. When you have repeated the posture on both sides, come down into Child’s Pose in order to rest the body and in order to come back to a calm breathing pattern. Notice how the body feels after taking the time to be mindful while practicing satya and self-expression in your yoga practice.
Allow yourself time and patience when learning a new challenging posture. We often want to move deep into the posture before our body is prepared. When we approach yoga with patience, mindfulness, and apply a concept called “satya”, meaning truth or honesty, we allow the body time to open in a safe and mindful fashion. Practicing “satya” encourages us to take a modification when we need to in order to best honor our body and refrain from unnecessary injury or harm.
Precautions for this posture include rotator cuff and wrist injuries. Check with your doctor before performing any form of exercise including yoga. Always honor your body. If a posture gives you pain, gently come out.
Christi Iacono, In Rhythms Yoga, Clairemont, S.D.