Malasana Pose with a Bind

On this weeks Art&Om post we hang out with "The Creature" behind the Subway off Hickory St near the Fry St area. Tiffany takes us through Malasana, or a yogi squat, to stretch out those hips. You can take the pose deeper by adding a bind to create openess in the chest. 

Start in a forward fold position, then step your feet a little wider than hips distance apart. Turn the toes out and the heels in, and begin to drop the tailbone towards the ground. 

A big focus in Malasana besides creating more space in the hips, is to be mindful of your posture as well. Reach up through the crown of the head, stacking one vertebrae on top of another. If this isn't comfortable on the knees, you can also sit down on a block to bring the ground a little bit closer to you. As you gently press the palms in towards each other, use the elbows to push the thighs out a little bit further for a deeper stretch. 

Moving into the bind, starting on the left side, extend the left hand out in front of the left foot and little bit out to the side. Reach the right hand up, keeping the pinky finger turned in to release the shoulder blade down the back. As you inhale, draw the right shoulder back to help propel open the chest. With each exhale root down through the soles of the feet to maintain a strong foundation. 

Begin to bend the left elbow and reach behind you, like you are going to give pat on the butt, I mean come on ... you're doing a great job! Externally rotate the right arm from the shoulder, bend the right elbow reaching back for the left finger tips. You can interlace the fingers, creating a deeper twist, or use a strap to fill in the space between the hands. Lift you gaze up following the direction of the chest, as you lift through the sternum and continue to draw the right shoulder down and back. Hold for a few breathes and then give it a go on the other side!