Stiff yoga guide: Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana

Here’s a good example of being lost in your practice.

I mentioned that when Bobbie and I went down to Tim Miller’s this Sunday for his Led First, we had a moment in Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana. When Tim got me to grab (with some aid) my foot with my wrapped arm, I didn’t know what to do with the other (hanging straight) one.

It turns out, of course, that I’ve been using that non-wrapped arm to hold up the half-lotus foot — my wrapped arm comes around and grabs on near the wrist.

No wonder, with my hanging arm suddenly free, I didn’t know where it should go.

But, with the pain and soreness from the Tim class still with me, I’m back searching my way through my focused-on-getting-more-flexible practice. And we’re to Ardha Baddha.

Quick, right?

I’ve already suggested the main modification with the above: No forward fold and I grab my hanging wrist with the wrapped arm/hand. And the palm of the hanging hand is facing forward, although that probably is counter to how it is if/when you’re folding down. But I think it makes the grasp a bit easier.

The key thing I focus on here is trying to drop the knee that’s in half-lotus, to feel the opening in the inner thigh. And it is another good pose to be thinking about Uddiyana Bandha. (In some ways, I suppose, not folding forward encourages a Samasthiti-like sense.

I also hold the pose for 10 full breaths, trying mimic the amount of time it takes to fold forward, to hang out down there and then come back up.

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

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