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Try placing your hands on your hips. By bringing your hands to your hips, you shift awareness to the power of your legs and the position of your pelvis. Strong legs are the foundation of safe and comfortable backbends like Dhanurasana (the peak pose in this practice). High Lunge provides the opportunity to feel the sensations in your legs as they become accustomed to working harder.
See also 3 Foolproof Chest and Shoulder Openers
Try placing your back knee on the ground. This modification will relieve stress on your front leg by redistributing some of the weight. Bonus: This modification may also simplify the stretch in your hip flexors (back leg) while heightening the sensation there, bringing extra awareness to this important muscle group.
See also Revolved Side Angle Post
Try placing both hands on the floor. In yoga, it’s important to move with enough ease and comfort that you’re able to keep your attention on your breath. Placing your hands on the floor affords two more grounding points for redistributing weight. Each of these modifications is designed to help you focus your attention on stretching the hip flexors in your back leg while feeling comfortable enough to notice your breath and smile.
See also A Safe, Core-Supported Backbending Sequence
Be Here Now
As a culture, we tend to value multitasking and staying busy. But the practice of yoga provides us with an opportunity to reduce this dissipation of our energies. While practicing, notice if your attention wanders out of your body and into a dialogue about your experience, which detracts from the experience itself. Instead, let yourself feel your practice more potently by keeping your attention vigilantly focused on sensation. There is no right, wrong, good, or bad—these are your mind’s stories. Strengthening the muscle of attention will deepen your practice and spill over into all areas of your life in beautiful ways.
See also Learn to Backbend Better: Locust Pose
About Our Pro
Model and teacher Jodi Blumstein has been a devoted student of Ashtanga Yoga since 1994. In 1998, she opened the first Ashtanga Yoga school in Chicago, and for the past 11 years, she has been teaching the practice at YogaWorks Center for Yoga in Los Angeles. To learn more, visit jodiblumstein.com or check out her classes at yogaglo.com.