Monday, October 6, 2014

In Rhythms Yoga: Monday Morning Standing Half-Splits

Infuse your day with strength and balance in Standing Half-Splits Pose, Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana. Use the wall in order to help support alignment and balance. Warm-up with a few Sun-Salutations in order to properly warm up the muscles in the legs, including the hamstrings, quadriceps and hip flexors. Access instructions here: Sun Salutations

To move into Standing Half-Splits with the support of the wall: Stand a few feet away from the wall. Come into a forward fold with your back facing the wall. Place the hands shoulder-width distance on the ground or use blocks for support. Spread the fingers wide for a stable foundation. Begin to walk the left leg up the wall. Notice that you may need to adjust the standing leg closer or further away to the wall, depending on your flexibility. Lean the hips and buttocks into the wall in order to walk the extended-leg higher up the wall.

Walk the hands closer towards the feet. Bend the knees to start if the body is tight. Drop the left hip down and lift the right hip up, in order to better “square-off” in the area of the hips. Point the toe of the extended leg if comfortable. Draw the low-belly in towards the spine. Completely relax the head and neck. Draw the shoulder blades flush to the back, lifting the shoulder blades towards the ceiling in order to create more length in the back of the neck.

Use the breath in order to soften throughout the body. Create long and smooth inhales and exhales. Send the breath into tight areas on the exhale. Stay here for 3-5 full rounds of breath (one inhale and one exhale equates as one round of breath.)

Slowly come out of the pose by walking the palms away from the wall. Carefully lower the standing leg, by walking the leg down the wall. Repeat the pose on the other side, practicing mindful and intentional movements. Come into Child’s Pose in order to rest. Relax the breath and notice how you feel. Yoga helps to bring more awareness to the body and mind. Practice

accepting where you are in your physical and mental practice. Over time, with regular practice, you may find that you experience more peace, joy and compassion for yourself and others.

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.

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