Monday, September 22, 2008

Tugging at my Hamstrings

Autobiography of a Recovering Yogi

Its been nearly a year now since I started my yoga practice. I started with a free, introductory yoga session at my neighborhood yoga studio and then started attending weekly Vinyasa classes there. Since then I have been challenging myself to the more strenuous Ashtanga primary series classes. I feel really peaceful and meditative at the end of these classes. The next morning, however, my body aches.

I did't want to give up doing my yoga just because of these aches. A few friends recommended that I try Bikram because the heated environment allows for deeper stretches and for accomplishing challenging poses. My body definitely felt a lot more relaxed after the class but I didn't find the same post-class bliss that I found with Vinyasa and Ashtanga.

A few weeks back I attended a workshop at the Balance center where the instructor analyzed the way I sat, stood, walked and slept. One key observation was that I arched my back and leaned backward while standing which messed up my entire posture and resulted in the aches.

So now I am consciously leaning a little forward while standing. To improve my poses, I signed up for Iyengar yoga. In these classes, I hold my asanas for longer with the correct technique (with the help of the instructor). My teacher noticed that my asanas were crammed because I had tight hamstrings (because of my arched back). This has affected even my foundation asana such as the downward dog.

Her prescription is two months of daily Supta Padangusthasana or the Reclining Big Toe Pose (See video below)

Will document the results after two months...

1 comment:

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