Friday, December 9, 2011

Go Wild!

Sometimes we just have to have a little fun, right? We can take things so seriously sometimes. Even yoga. Keep it light. Have fun. Be spontaneous. Just go out and do something crazy and totally different today. Buy a frosty from Wendy's, eat some fruitcake, sprinkle bacon bits on your chocolate ice cream, AND color your toenails pink.....with green polka dots!! (Yes, I'm talking to you, Justin!) It's time to step out of the box.

To symbolize your spontaneity, try this yoga pose at home. The pose in Sanskrit is called Camatkarasana, but we commonly call it Wild Thing or "Flipping The Dog" in yoga class. It is essentially a one-armed twisted backbend! Let's try it.

Start in Downward Facing Dog. Use this pose to set your intention. Take a few deep Ujjayi breaths. Think of something playful and funny. Don't worry about what you HAVE to do today, think about what it would be FUN to do!

Be sure to press your hands firmly and strongly into your yoga mat. Feel the straightening and strength of your arms. Hug them a little closer to your head. This will help with stability. Continue this lengthening sensation while extending your spine in this inverted pose. If it feels difficult to straighten your back, try bending your knees a bit so that you have mobility in your hips. That will allow you to push your hips farther up and back - lengthening your spine. Because you will eventually will be moving into a back bend, you want to have a full extension of your back and spine first.

Next, lift your right leg. Continue the lengthening sensation as you raise your leg. Reach with your toes toward the back wall or ceiling. Now bend the leg that is in the air. Bring your heel down toward your back side. Lift your knee higher so that it is higher than your hips. With your left heel pressing firmly down toward the floor, twist the body open toward the right side of the room. Be sure to keep your hands solid on the ground as you twist open. The next step is to carefully step all the way over until your right foot is on the floor. Once planted, turn your other foot around so all ten toes are facing the back of the room. Keep both feet securely on the floor so you have a strong base. Your right hand will come off the floor when you step over. Extend that hand toward the ceiling. You're now in Camatkarsana. Hold for 5-10 breaths.

To get out of the pose, exhale strongly and flip back over and return to a Three-Legged Downward Facing Dog. If you'd like, complete a sequence by stepping your right foot up to the top of the mat, set your left heel on the floor and lift up into Warrior One. Exhale and place your hands on the floor on either side of your front foot, step the right foot back to plank pose, and lower to Chaturanga Dandasana. Inhale to Upward Facing Dog. Exhale to Downward Facing Dog. You're now ready to repeat Wild Thing on the other side.

This is a fun and dynamic posture. Because it is a backbend, it is also a heart opener. Perhaps view this pose as another way to open your heart, to express yourself in a new and fun way. We can easily get caught in our ruts and routines. Even in yoga! So take a step into the wild side and explore a flavorful new part of yourself. Have fun!


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