E-x-t-e-n-d a Little

Today’s pose, extension.

I need e-x-t-e-n-s-i-o-n. The word sounds good, doesn’t it? Cindy Dollar, my yoga teacher, says it is crucial for creating space between one body part and another. At fifty I am having a harder and harder time separating body parts so yeah, today it is all about extension.

Extension is a forward bend. It can be standing poses or sitting poses. I’m pooped after a night out and a day of work, so I’m opting for the sitting pose of Janu Sirsasana or Head to Knee Pose.

Head to Knee Pose is number fourteen in Cindy’s book (she wrote a book called Yoga Your Way, but as my teacher, she never really lets me do ANYTHING my way–don’t tell her I said that.) Head to Knee Pose is listed right before Headstand Part 1 pose, or Salamba Sirsasana which is also considered an extending pose. I find it very intimidating. It’ll have to wait for another day.

I begin Head to Knee Pose by sitting on the center of my buttock bones. They are actually somewhat hard to find, I am embarassed to admit. My legs are extended on the floor in front of me. Cindy says to pull one leg in, bending it at the knee while keeping my other leg straight. Ultimately, I will e-x-t-e-n-d over my straight leg, back concaved, sacrum drawn in, while pressing the bent leg down to the floor. The focus is on elongating my sides (really?) and the goal is reaching my straight leg’s foot while having my head on my chins and my abodomen in line with my straight leg.

Wait a minute, you say. I did that “pose” in gym in grammar school. Why is it special? Why does it get some groovy Sanskrit name? Remember, people, it is yoga. Yoga always surprises me. Let it surprise you too. No expectations here.

And, I am surprised. Who knew my sides were tight? I knew touching my toes never came easy to me, and that my shoulders stay tight, but my sides? I never really thought about them at all.

Seems they need me too. Stretching my arms up over my head, lifting them as high as I can, and then slowly leaning forward over my straight leg while keeping that lift, and therefore the stretch in my sides, feels like a massage. I groan in sheer pleasure, the kind of sigh you let out when you first step into a hot bath.

So, I e-x-t-e-n-d-e-d my five minute time and went for ten minutes, repeating the pose three or four times. Cindy recommends two minutes per side. I set the timer for two minutes but then tossed it aside and just enjoyed the feeling of e-x-t-e-n-s-i-o-n. It is good. It deserves the Sanskrit name.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>