When ready, remove the blanket and drive both heels back and down, evenly; this will lift your hips slightly. Keep pulling both thighs back. (You may need to more vigorously suck the left one back as well as draw the right one down, to balance your hips.) Try to deepen and slow your breath, lengthening your spine on your inhales and deepening your twist on the exhales. With a good grip on your wrist, bend your elbows more to pull your arms back and open the right shoulder. Feel your right chest expand, and look back over your right shoulder with a soft and sweet gaze. Try to hold here for 3–5 breaths. On an exhalation, gently release the bind and unwind before starting over at the wall and slowly moving into Pasasana on the left side.
Be patient! For most yogis, Pasasana is more of a pilgrimage than a destination. Take your time to build the necessary strength in your legs to align and support your knees. Slowly deepen your twist over months (and
years!) rather than force yourself into
a pose that might torque your sacrum or lower back. You may not feel the strain while practicing, but rather
the next day, so be willing to take gradual steps and work methodically. Enjoy the journey!
Learn more about Noose Pose
Teacher Annie Carpenter is the creator of SmartFLOW Yoga, a marriage of mindful movement with compassionate, wakeful alignment. California based, she teaches globally and is the author of RelaxDEEPLY, a CD of restorative yoga, and Yoga for Total Back Care, a DVD produced by Yoga Journal. Learn more at anniecarpenter.com. Model Tiffany Russo is an LA–based SmartFLOW yoga teacher and trainer, and has assisted Carpenter with teacher trainings since 2010. You can find her teaching schedule at tiffanyrussoyoga.com.