Today's Daily Tip
Angle of Repose
Now that you've encouraged length in your hamstrings and adductors, come to a wall to apply it in Trikonasana. A wall is excellent for feedback: It can reinforce the actions in your legs and help keep your hips, torso, head, and feet all in one plane.
With your back to the wall, your feet about four feet apart, your right foot turned out, and your left foot turned in, stand so only your right buttock is touching the wall. If you force your left buttock to the wall, you'll be limited in your ability to tip your pelvis to the right, and it will be hard to keep your right knee properly aligned with the center of your foot.
Once you've set your basic stance, press out through your right leg into the four corners of the foot, as though you're trying to push the mat away from the floor. This will engage your quadriceps to support your right knee. Next, place the web of your right thumb at the crease where your thigh joins your pelvis. Inhale and, as you begin to exhale, push with your right hand so your right buttock slides back on the wall, away from your head. This will initiate the tip of your pelvis to the right and help you maximize the length of your hamstrings and adductors.
When you feel your hamstrings and adductors stretching, stop and put a block under your right hand. When the leg stretch becomes intense, that's a sign you've rotated the pelvis as far as you can. If you continue reaching, you force your spine to flex laterally, and you'll lose the straight line at the top of your triangle.
Instead of grasping for something your body isn't ready for, remind yourself that it takes years to develop the hamstring and adductor flexibility that allows you to put a hand on the floor without laterally bending the spine. Until you can do that, use a block and work regularly on stretching your hamstrings and adductors. Eventually, you'll work your way to the floor without sacrificing the length of your spine.!--page-->