Monday, September 22, 2014

In Rhythms Yoga: Monday Morning King Arthur's Pose

Come into King Arthur’s Pose for a deep stretch in the quadriceps and hip flexors. Use the Ujjayi Breath as a tool to soften and relax the body when the body feels tight and when the mind is distracted. Seal the lips, breathe through the nose, and create a slight constriction at the back of the throat. Create long and even inhales and exhales. Imagine your breath is like an ocean wave coming in and out, rushing in and going back out to sea. Use this breath during yoga practice and throughout the day in order to calm yourself during moments of challenge, or in order to bring the mind back to the present moment, bringing more focus and clarity.

To move into King Arthur’s Pose: Come to the knees, with the back against the wall as an option. Pad the knees by folding up your yoga mat into quarters or place a blanket under the knees. If the pose is too intense with the leg up the wall, the pose can also be done in the middle of the room grabbing the foot or using a strap. (See photo for demonstration)

Step the right foot forward, bringing the right knee directly over the ankle. Bring the left leg up the wall, vertically. Bring the knee to the base of the wall, facing the ground.  Option to use blocks for support on both sides of the right foot or bring the fingertips to the floor. If you are craving a deeper stretch, bring the palms to the thighs, bringing the torso upright.

Notice the hips and the placement of the pelvis. Notice if the pelvis is moving forward. Work to bring a neutral state to the spine, by reaching the tailbone downwards, towards the ground, in order to
realign the pelvis. Draw the low-belly in towards the spine and reach up and out of the torso.

Option to raise the hands over the head. Spin the pinkies inward and notice the opening in the area of the back, in between the shoulder blades. Draw the shoulders blades down the back. Work to get the arms straight in order to create strong lines while in the pose. If bringing the arms straight is too intense on the shoulders, bring the palms wider into the shape of a “V”.

Find the variation that best suits your body and breathe for 3-5 rounds of Ujjayi Breathing. Find slow and even inhales and exhales. Option to stay longer if the breath is calm and the body is craving a little more. Press the foot in towards the wall for a deeper stretch through the quadriceps.

Take the same variation on the opposite side. Take it slow and easy and notice the breath. This is an intense posture. Find the best variation for your body. Often, when we have gone too far into a pose, we cannot maintain a smooth and steady breath. Allow the breath to be your guide and your teacher. If you lose the breath, simply come back to focusing on each inhale and exhale. Notice if you need to back out of the posture in order to find the Ujjayi Breath.

Check with your doctor before performing any form of exercise including yoga and breathing techniques. Always honor your body. If a posture gives you pain, gently come out.

Christi Iacono, owner of In Rhythms Yoga

Christi Iacono is a certified yoga teacher, at the 500 hour level, and she is the owner of In Rhythms Yoga, in Clairemont. IRY is a small neighborhood studio in Clairemont, S.D., located in the Mount Streets. Christi has experienced many positive physical and mental transformations from her regular yoga practice. She enjoys sharing her experience, passion, and dedication with her students. She believes that yoga is accessible to all. Rather than forcing someone’s body into a pose, Christi carefully works with each individual to find the variation that will best serve their body. Contact for more info.

IRY offers regularly scheduled classes on, Sat., Sun. and Wed. mornings as well as a Tues. evening class. Go to to see the full schedule, instructors and for private lessons.

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