Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bikram Yoga: Standing Separate Leg Stretching

Even good Bikram yoga classes are HARD.

I’ve taken Bikram Yoga class for the last three days and can honestly say they were all 100% better than Saturday’s class. That is the funny thing about Bikram Yoga, some classes are good and some are bad. Sometimes you can do all the postures and sometimes you can’t. What I find ALWAYS the same, they are always hard. And if they are easy?! Well, that just means you didn’t try hard enough.

Today I tried hard and sweated my you-know-what off. It was a good class, hard class, painful class and wonderful class. The best part? Has to be water breaks and when they open the door because the room has gotten too hot. It is like heaven washing over you as the cool air rushes in and clashes with the hot air. Then they close the door and it is gone just as quickly as it blew in. Ugh, more postures. Ok, deep breath… can do it. That is my mantra most of class, almost every class. Today was no different.

There are many times through class when I just want to sit down. I’m tired. I had a long day at work and the stress of the day, things I didn’t do, need to do, etc creep into my mind. It’s mind over matter though so I just keep telling myself, “you can do it, it’s just X number of postures to water, or to Savasana, or whatever.” I felt fatigued but not physically drained when we got ready to do Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada-Paschimotthanasana (aka Standing Separate Leg Stretching). As I stood there on the left side of my mat, looking at myself in the mirror, watching sweat stream down my body all I could do is breath and tell myself just a few more postures and then you can lay down in Savasana, you can do it. And I did. I even made it through both sets of Triangle. Savasana never felt so good!

There are many health benefits to Standing Separate Leg Stretching, I particularly like the “good for psychotic depression.” It could be good for this because you are completely bent over and your head is touching the mat so all the blood is rushing to your head. Hard to have psychotic depressive thoughts when you brain is full of fresh blood. It is good for so much more, see below…

Health Benefits of Standing Separate Leg Stretching:
  • Good for psychotic depression, loss of memory, constipation, abdominal obesity
  • When chin is forward it increases circulation to the adrenal glands
  • Increases circulation to the brain
  • Pushing stomach in strengthens the diaphragm
  • Good for hyperacidity
  • Releases tension in lower back muscles

How to do Standing Separate Leg Stretching:

  • Stand with your feet together on the left side of your mat
  • Arms over head, hands in prayer
  • Move your right foot out about 3 feet and at the same time bring your arms down parallel with the floor
  • Bend your body down and grab your ankles with your hands
  • Pull your body down and touch your head to the floor

Photo is courtesy of Bikram Yoga Dallas

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