Sara Clark strikes a pose in Wild Thing.
Bryant Park Yoga is back in New York City for its 12th season, featuring teachers curated by Yoga Journal. This week's featured instructor is Sara Clark, who led the Tuesday morning class.
Camatkarasana, or Wild Thing as it is commonly referred to, is a pose I can't seem to get enough of. It is an exuberant celebration and representation of the dynamic ways our body can move. It opens the heart up toward the sky, allowing us to tap into the energy of compassion, empathy, and love. It is both an arm balance and a backbend focused on the shoulders, throat, quadriceps, and core. It also combats mild depression and fatigue. I encourage you to enter into this asana with grace, playfulness, and deep breaths.
7 Steps for Wild Thing (Camatkarasana)
Keep the above engagement and lift your right leg into a Downward-Facing Dog split, spreading through the toes and pressing out through the heel.
Move forward into Plank Pose, keeping your right leg lifted and engaged. Bring shoulders directly over your wrists. Do not let your hips sink -- keep them level with your shoulders. Draw your navel toward your spine. Breathe.
Rotate into Side Plank, keeping your right leg lifted and foot flexed, anchoring into the outer edge of your left flexed foot. Make sure shoulders and hips are stacked. With hasta bandha engaged in the left hand, lift your right hand toward the sky, reaching up and out through the fingers. Gaze toward your right fingers.
Slowly bend your right leg, releasing the ball of the foot onto the ground behind you, resting almost beneath your right hip, legs hip-width apart. Your left leg is still extended. Your right arm will reach up and overhead.
Press into the ball of your right foot and allow your pelvis to lift upward, letting the head and neck relax toward the back body. Feel your right shoulder turning down to open the chest. Reach fiercely through your right fingers as your right arm frames the right ear. Take 5 rounds of breath. The lifted hand can be placed on the heart.
Exit by turning the gaze back down toward the ground. Pressing into the outer edge of the left foot, rotate your right shoulder and hip down toward the earth and release your right hand to floor, returning to Plank. Rest in Child's Pose or Downward-Facing Dog. Repeat on the left side.
READ MORE Safety Considerations in Wild Thing
Check here for the schedule of upcoming Bryant Park Yoga classes, which take place every Tuesday and Thursday through Sept. 23. Follow the Bryant Park Yoga series at #YJendlessYOGAsummer.
Image by Phototainment