Thursday, November 29, 2012

Utthita Pristhasana or Lizard Pose

Sanskrit: Utthita Pristhasana                                                                   Western Term: Lizard Pose

Type of Asana: Standing Pose

A dorky face but pretty picture of me in lizard pose pre-Thanksgiving meal taken by my brother-in-law, Burak Tatar, and sister, Timothy Harrison. Get in touch with them for great head shots. 

How To:
1.     From Down Dog, inhale reach your right leg up and back.
2.     Exhale bring your right foot in between your hands. Move your palms of your hands to the inside of your right foot, allowing your right toes to peak out further than your right heel (if this makes the pose feel better). If flexibility allows, come on to the forearms.
3.     Bend your back left knee down to your mat, pointing the left toes.
4.     Hold for 5-7 breaths and repeat on opposite side.

Body Points:
*feel your heart melting down
*relax the head and neck
*keep the knee of the front foot over the ankle to ensure safety of the knee

Enough lizard poses in a yogi practice and you may even start to look like this guy...but probably not. 

 Emphasized Body Parts: hip flexors and quadriceps; improves circulation in your legs. Improves flexibility of hip ligaments and strength to thighs and legs. Lengthens the lower back and gluteal muscles.

Mental Achievements: Calms the mind by relieving fatigue, tension, and anxiety.

An aid for beginners: kramas or levels of a pose give us yogis with various levels options. For any given pose, there are various levels of difficulty. This krama that I offer is for beginners to the pose:

-stay up on the palms of your hand, if it is already feeling very intense in the hip flexor. If your back knee begins to hurt fold your mat or use a blanket underneath the back knee. Breathe. 

For Advanced Yogis: 

-come down on to the forearms to get further into your hip flexor. If you're still looking for more, lift the back knee up and lengthen through the back leg. Breathe. 

Check this picture and you need never wonder where you second chakra is to be found. 

Chakra: 2nd chakra, svadhisthana, symbolized by the color orange and a six-petaled lotus. This chakra is located in the lower abdomen and pelvis.

Get into the groove by repeating the “seed sound” or bija mantra: “vam” while in lizard pose to connect further to that second chakra. Rarrrrrrr. 

Ancient Sanskirt Proverb: “Hunger, thirst, and desire are like a man’s wives. They do not desert a man throughout his life. Of them, desire is the most faithful. Others leave at least temporarily after eating and drinking.”

Element: water

*Avoid this pose if you have buttock surgery or a serious thigh injury

Lizards aren't the only ones who like to eat. Munch on this healthy snack, after an intense practice including your new lizard pose :) 

Quinoa, Beet, and Arugula Salad

Ingredients: this quantity makes 6 servings 

-1/2 pound beets, peeled and sliced   -1 clove garlic, crushed
-1 cup red quinoa                              -1 teaspoon of salt
-2 cups water                                     -1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
-1/2 cup olive oil                               -2 green onions, sliced
-1/2 cup red wine vinegar                 -3 ounces arugula, chopped
-1 1/2 teaspoons of white sugar        -5 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

Happy Friday! If you're in the Portland area, join me for a free yoga class this Saturday, December 1st, at Lululemon on Free Street. Namaste. 

Sources: Viewed 11/29/12. 

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