Let's face it: sometimes we all get a little lost on this journey through life. And sometimes, we look at a yoga pose and scratch our heads, wondering how we will ever accomplish it.
Compass Pose, or Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana in Sanskrit, is a challenging yoga pose that can help you navigate yourself back to your center when you feel lost... but it definitely requires some patience in order to find your way.
Everyone feels yoga poses differently in their bodies, but there are some many areas of focus you can work on to accomplish this advanced pose. First of all, it's important to be properly warmed up throughout the entire body because it requires side body, hamstring, and hip flexibility in order to attempt. And always remember, there is no need to push into it.
Poses to Warm Up the Body for Compass Pose:
Side Crescent: Perform this pose seated or standing for 5 breaths to open the side body, in particular stretching the serratus anterior under the shoulder and waist muscle, the quadratus lumborum.
Trikonasana:Triangle Pose is an excellent way to open the inner thighs and stretch the rib cage area in preparation. Hold for 5 breaths on each side.
Janu Sirsasana:Use Head-to-Knee pose to simultaneously open the hips and stretch the hamstrings before moving into Compass Pose. Try it revolved to target the inner thighs and side body, too! Breathe deeply for 5 breaths on each side in each variation.
Now, let's try moving into Compass Pose. Here's how to do Compass Pose:
1) Sit with the left leg bent into a half butterfly position and cradle the right leg with your arms. Rock it gently like a baby for a few moments then lift the shin and chest upward.
2) Place the right thigh over the right arm as close to the shoulder as you can.
3) Begin to reach the left hand to the outside of the right foot and extend the right hand to the floor to stabilize.
4) Lift the right hip off the mat as you extend the right leg and left arm to the right side in a gentle pressing motion. Once extended, peek the head underneath the arm and smile! You made it.
5) Hold for 5-10 breaths once you get there
6) To release, bend the right leg back in as you exhale and release the hand. Then try the other side!
Compass Pose is a wonderful pose because it is energizing and helps us to direct our focus. If you are ever having a dull day or feeling lost, this is a great pose to incorporate into your yoga practice. One of the reasons for this is that it stretches the side body intensely, which houses our rib cage area. When this area is expanded, fresh oxygen is brought into the body and the lung capacity increases. Our bodies thrive off of oxygen, so it just feels good!
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