This delicious flow opens the side body creating more breathing space and opening up our inner GPS into Compass pose as our peak pose.
We start this weeks flow in a low lunge in Anjaneyasana and pulse with the breath into Ardha Hanumansana. The inhale uplifts and the exhale dissolves and folds. After a few goes you could add the “look Mum/Mom no arms variation” of winged warrior as long as your back is strong, core active and you fold from the hips, not the waist.
Rock back into Half Splits and pivot on the bottom knee (some knee padding would be a great idea) so that you end up in a “restorative” Trikonasana then fold a little further into Parighasana by reaching the top arm over. Notice how my straight leg foot is flexed with toes pointing upwards.
Use the hands for support to lower the hips down and into Pavritta JanuSirsasana which you can hold for some time, breathing into your side gills for a delicious opening. Often peeps are eager to reach the foot with the top arm and in doing so loose the sweet opening. If when you catch the foot with the arm is in front of the face and the chest facing the floor, it is best come out and start again. I love your enthusiasm though! Better is to stay higher and hover the hand over the straight leg foot, dialing the chest to the sky. This more closely emulates the full pose of Surya Yantrasana (Compass Pose).
Return your torso to vertical and draw the straight leg up to a Krouchasana variation (not pictured). Here the chest is facing forward and directly towards the front of the thigh. Check that you are not sagging into the lower back. Better to bend the knee, lift the chest and then work towards straightening the leg without loosing your elegant spine.
Start to open the leg to the side and use the opposite hand to hold across the top of the foot. Notice how the shoulder nestles behind the same knee. Surya Yantrasana should now be more achievable as your hamstrings and side body are ready. There are different ways to practice. Try what feels best between straight leg hip lifted and leg more vertical or both hips both and being on more of an angle. This is part of checking in with your inner compass to see and feel what you need most. When we trust this we are truly practicing yoga.
Preventing Rookie Error:
In Sun Dial Pose – Instead of collapsing the spine with the arm in front of the face, try to draw the head under the top arm by moving the elbow back and dialling the chest to the sky. Worry about straightening the leg later.😅
The Flow of The Week in English is lunge to half splits to gate pose to Revolved Head to Knee Pose to crane pose to Sun Dial Pose.
I hope you enjoy this flow as much as I do.