The Asana Lab - Lizard Pose

Ahhh what a hip opener! 

Lizard Pose or Utthan Pristhasana works deep into the hip flexor and groin muscles, both strengthening and lengthening them at the same time. There are many, many variations and different ways that you can use props in this asana in order to make yourself feel comfortable but invigorated at the same time. 

We hold a lot of emotion in our hips, and particularly when we are stressed we have a reflex that automatically uses the full plethora of hip flexor muscles to pull your knees up towards your chest. Unfortunately, for those who sit regularly we are more at risk of this reflex taking over because our legs are already in the starting position when stress starts to kick in. 

It's important to remember that there is a difference to good and bad pain, and in particular in Lizard Pose it's really important to listen to your body and feel which one it is, prop your back knee onto a bolster/pillow/blanket or place your elbows on a block/pillow/bolster if necessary to alleviate any 'bad' pain. Take deep breaths and give your muscles the chance to relax before you come out of the pose. 

I recommend, similar to pigeon pose, to hold this one for around 10 deep breaths as a minimum, if not more, the hip flexors are tough muscles and don't like being stretched so the longer you breathe into this pose the more benefits you will see, and quicker. 

Like always, make sure to only do what you feel comfortable with within reason. It's your body and you want to treat it like gold! 

Here are a few variations for you to try at home...

Variation 1: Extra Tight Hips 

 

Variation 2: Tight Hips

 

Variation 3: A little bit stronger... 

For this final variation, if you want to make the stretch stronger you can let you knee fall out to the side. This adds a little bit more punch and stretch into your front hip. 

Let Your Body Heal Itself

After an amazing workshop with Ross Rayburn at Shri Yoga Brisbane on Sunday, my mind was a whirlwind of inspiration. 

And some of the words that Ross spoke were so poignent to me that I immediately began to type.  The one comment that I won't forget easily, but one that is all too easy to forget was one of Ross's final remarks for the day was "Never forget that we all have access for our bodies to heal themselves". 

So here is my take on one of the most important ways to help your body heal itself... 

Read More

A very brief introduction to Meditation

Check out my very short introduction to Meditation as part of the Active Nourish Grateful Challenge. This was the theme for Day 29 (so it’s a couple of days late in being uploaded). 

Hopefully it provides a brief insight and starting point to meditation especially for those who feel that they simply won’t ever be able to still the mind. 

If you want more information about Patanjali’s 8 Limbs of Yoga you can find it online, I reference Limbs 4,5,6,7 – breathing, withdrawal of the senses, concentration and finally meditation (the eight is  enlightenment, so you get where I’m going). 

The Eight Limbs of Yoga is something that was fundamental in my yoga practice and then my teacher training. Asana, or the physical element of yoga, is only one very small part of the ultimate goal, but when combined with some or all of the other limbs it can be an incredible experience for those who practice. 

Breathe in presence, Breathe out Gratitude - Guest Blog

We all hear it. Be more grateful, be more present. But do we truly understand why it is important? Do we have a tool that can directly and almost immediately bring us into the present moment? Or is it just something we think is beneficial for our health and happiness but we don’t know how to integrate.

Do I even need to state that our breath is more important than healthy food, alkaline water, green smoothies and daily exercise. Why? Our breath is our life force, with out it we die within minutes. Our lungs are our life support, and our breath is always there to nourish our body with oxygen, cleanse our body from toxins and with little or no effort at all.

Anytime we feel scattered when making choices and “big” decisions, anxious about the future, stuck in the past, or nervous tension, our breath is here to anchor us. Ground us in the present moment where we can feel, connect and find clarity. Like a life long companion waiting for you to reconnect, with open arms and abundance of energy to share. When living in presence we feel truly “here” in every situation, whether we are walking, hanging the washing up or in conversation. Like we have no where better to be than where we are at this present moment. It gives us time to appreciate what is really going on “now”. Our days don’t feel as rushed just to get to the end. We stop racing to death and start living at our full potential right here, right now.

The problem is, it is too simple. Therefore hard to see the point in just taking a few deeper, slower, longer breaths per day. Human beings breathe 21 600 times per day so by changing 3 of these each day we are changing a massive pattern, which is life changing. The best thing is, correct breathing is free. Now there is something to be grateful for.
Bodhi.

Bodhi’s passion for breath and yoga is contagious, his presence as a teacher is uplifting, joyful and deeply encouraging. A dedicated surfer, psychosomatic therapist, yoga therapist, Energetic healer and lifestyle specialist.