2 poses in one, aren’t we lucky?!
The first one is “NOT a stretching a pose, it’s a compression pose”! So I keep hearing and then promptly get told by the teacher to stretch out my leg so there is no space between the back of my knee and the floor and to pull my heel off the floor!
Man, the number of times I get told to do this is unbelievable and the pain sensation I feel up my leg when I try to do this is just as unbelievable.
With the whole ITB pain I’ve been getting, this posture has been regressing and the teachers have stopped pushing. Thank God because it hurts, I mean REALLY hurts.
It hurts mentally and emotionally too. How deflating it is to know you can go further because you’ve done it before but be in the state where it hurts so much that if you do go further, it feels like you’ll probably break something. Yes, it’s very deflating and mentally tormenting too.
Mind to body: “C’mon body! You can do this!! You’ve done it before, you can do it!”
Body to mind: “Not today buddy, NOT today! Now back off before I hurt somebody! I’m not gonna say who but somebody’s gonna get a hurt real bad!”
Like they say, sometimes you have to go backwards in order to move forwards. I’d rather keep my leg intact so, backwards it is.
Check out Tony’s Head to Knee to see what it’s supposed to look like 🙂 See his knee on the floor and heel off the floor! Bravo!
Now the second pose, Stretching Pose is the same, I could go further before but these days the ITB pulls and “every now and then I fall apart….”
Ahh I’ll get there eventually – this one IS a stretching pose and it does feel good especially when I think back to how I used to be…..
When I was 17 years old my Physical Education teacher laughed at me because I couldn’t touch my toes. She laughed until she realised that was actually my best and then told me that I needed to try to touch my toes more often because at 17, I had the flexibility of a 35 year old. Sitting down with legs straight in front, reaching to touch my toes, my fingers were approx 10-15 cm away from reaching their goal.
And so it was up until about a year ago. I started Bikram Yoga 2 years ago. I wasn’t surprised when I couldn’t touch my toes without having to bend my knees completely for this posture.
So, if you look at any postures I’ve posted and think “oh, I couldn’t do that, I’m just not that flexible.” Just know that most of it is the result of hard work, not natural talent. Chances are, you can touch your toes and are starting off from a much better place than I did! Where is my Physical Education teacher now? She’d be so proud!
Here’s our progress. Unfortunately we didn’t take pictures when we first started but following is an honest estimate of where we started (pictures on the top) vs where we are now (pictures on the bottom).
Janushirashana with Paschimotthanasana (Head to Knee Pose with Stretching Pose)