- Stand in the middle of your yoga mat
- Bring your feet together, connect the inner feet completely. Connect the inner heels, ankles, ball and inner big toe. The outer foot must have a grip
- Bend your knees slightly, the knees are turning slightly forward, with the outer knees turning backward (resist from the outer knee to balance the action)
- Without changing the grip on your feet - outer and inner feet pressing evenly and gripping the floor, ball of big toes and inner ankles together, but not pressing - and with resistance in the outer thighs and knees - opening the back of the knee from inside to outside, knee caps moving up - straighten your legs
- Using Circumferential Action, roll legs and metatarsals inward
Advice: Lifting the knee caps from the quadriceps never works, the knee cap will move up but not back at the same time, there will be space between the femurs and the knee and therefore no strength in the knee.
Corrective Action: From the feet, pull the four corners of the knee caps straight back into the knee, the knee cap will move upwards and backwards at the same time, this will strengthen the knee. Action starts from the toes and moves through the ball of the feet to the heel.
- The outer legs should have the sensation of descending , while the inner legs are active and ascending
- Shift the weight more and more towards the heels
Advice: For most people the weight shifts towards the ball of the feet, so move the weight back towards the heels.
- Move the groin backward - move the back of the thighs back, move the whole front of the thighs back - move the quadriceps towards the thigh bone and move the thigh bone into the back of the thigh until the back of the thighs are perpendicular
- Tilt the pelvis slightly, this brings contact with the skin just beneath the buttock bones
- The buttock muscles should pull the pelvic girdle down - connect the back of the thighs to the buttock bones without squeezing
- The pelvic girdle should be parallel to the floor
- If the groin tucks deep in, the abdomen is stretching
Advice: If you stand in back bends, the top of the inner thighs are difficult to open. If you bends forward they open easily, even over stretching.
Corrective Action: To counter this, open the back of the thighs from inside outwards. To balance this movement, counter the opening movement with movement on the outer thighs. The correct action comes when you can keep the outer thighs together; suck the outer hip sockets in, and at the same time roll from inside outwards, opening the back of the thighs.
- Grip the outer hip sockets, outer thighs , connect the groin to the lower ribs, connect the lower ribs to the collar bone
- Lift from the inner, middle and outer groin, connecting outer and middle part of the inner groin to the lower ribs
- Stretch the abdomen, widen the lower ribs, open the side ribs, the collar bones and the armpits, lifting the chest from the flanks/side ribs - use the intercostal muscles to lift the chest
- Lift the back of the chest, widening the floating ribs
- The skin on the back, and the kidneys should be moving towards the shoulders
Advice: Lifting the backside of the body is difficult. The front must move towards the back and back towards the front.
- The awareness in the front and the back of the body should be even and parallel
- The back of the brain and base of the skull must ascend, the back of the head aligned to the heels
- The back of the brain is resting on the heels, which allows the eyes to withdraw to the back of the head, this brings awareness to the back of the body
Advice: Don’t drop the chin. Open the back of the neck and back of skull.
- Open the calf muscles and heel from inside to outside.
- The outer legs must be firm and strong
- The inner knees will be moving closer together (approaching), but never touching
- Stretch the buttock muscles into the back of the thighs
Advice: This can only be done if the thighs are perpendicular; else you will end up squeezing the buttock muscles.
- Tailbone must descend towards to the heels
- The whole of spine should be integrated in the movement.Tail bone connecting to sacrum, scrum to lumbar, lumber to dorsal, dorsal to thoracic, thoracic to cervical
Prop: Wooden Block
- Place the block - with narrow edge up - in between the legs and up against the perineum
- Squeeze the block with the inner thighs, pushing it backwards
- Resist from the outer legs, while rolling in
- Outer hip sockets narrowing, sucking the skin in, hips becoming compact
- The inner thighs are in effect moving backward, away from the block, but the resistance in the outer thighs prevents the block from falling
Counter Action (rolling outer legs)
- Place the block on the floor, big toes touching, heels far apart. Shift the weight on to the outer feet
- The inner thighs and knees are now back, the emphasis shifts to the outer leg
- From the outer feet and outer heel, roll the outer thighs and the outer knees back
Advice: Often in Tadasana, people cramp the buttock muscles, but if the heels are far out, everything is widening and the buttock muscles stretch well without pressure on them, and the buttock bones are adjusted in the middle of the leg
- Place feet together again without the block and try both actions described above together. Make sure you have even weight on the different sides of the foot
- If the knees are stretched in circumferential action, the outer knees are resisting, the inner knees approach each other but never press together when the legs are straightened
- This action arises because of the interaction between the knees and the feet
- The quadriceps move horizontally towards the bone from the action in the feet
- The bone moves horizontally to the back of the thigh
- Stretch from the skin to the bone
- Lifting from the feet is a more physical action than horizontal action which is more mental
- Attention level is physical - Connecting from brain, decending down to soles of the feet, gripping feet and lifting . All the muscles, tendons, fibres, tissues and nerves are working.
- The moving backwards, connecting front and back, is called penetration, penetration when sustained becomes integration, and integration is meditation.