My intention for YoMo is to practice Upavistha Konasana (wide angle) and Supta Virasana (reclining hero) every day, because those two are my bugaboos.
Yesterday I was exhausted from a very long walk through the wooded ravines around our house, so I did a fairly restorative practice with focus on those two poses. I’ve been thinking about what other poses will help me warm up and make them easier. They both open different parts of the hip.
For Upavistha Konasana, I can do Trikonasana (triangle), which works on my adductors one leg at a time, Prasarita Padottanasana (wide legged forward bend) and Viparita Karani (legs up the wall) with my legs spread wide. The last two work on the adductors both legs at a time.
For Supta Virasana, I can do Ustrasana (camel) against the wall, lunges, Virasana (hero), and Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana on a chair.
That’s the title of a handout my wonderful teacher Margaret gave us when she taught a home practice class. I’m going to dig out some more of the information from that class and start posting it.
The handout had only pictures of the poses and their names.
Supta Padangusthasana (reclining hand to foot pose; turn the picture counterclockwise so that the person is lying on her back). I really do try to do this, if not every day, then very often. The two other parts of it involve extending the leg out to the side, and then switching hands so that the up leg is across your body. I use a strap to hold my foot, and press the down foot against the wall. Sometimes I do it against a projecting wall in my house.
Baddha Konasana (cobbler’s pose). I need to sit on at least one blanket for this one. It’s best to be up high enough that your knees are below your hips. In tough times (stiff, inflexible times), that sometimes means three or even four blankets under me. I also like to do it against the wall with a block between my shoulder blades pressed into the wall. For someone like me who has trouble remaining upright, this feels excellent, and it seems to allow me to focus on pressing my knees down rather than fighting to balance.
Upavistha Konasana (seated wide angle pose). This is my most difficult pose. It’s funny, because it’s often part of a restorative class, where you sit in the pose and then lean forward with your head on a bolster. I can no more do that than fly across the room. I have occasionally wept in frustration trying to avoid flipping over backwards. That’s why this is one of my TV poses. Do I do it every day? Um, no.
(As a side note, I just found a cool thing called yogafont, and that’s where these pics came from. You’ll see them again.)
See, you could have a short practice with these poses plus (always) Savasana. You can stay in these for a while, or do one or two minutes each.
Eka Pada Supta Virasana (one-legged reclining hero’s pose)
Any version of sitting on the floor
I’m sure there are more, but I just can’t think of them. The thing about TV yoga is that you aren’t really doing a practice, because your focus is elsewhere, but you can stay in these seated poses for a long time. They’re particularly good for creaky hips.
Upavistha Konasana is my hardest pose. My hips are so tight that it’s a tremendous effort to keep from flipping over backwards, let alone getting my legs wide apart. Watching TV, I prop myself, particularly against the wall with a block between my shoulder blades, so that I can relax into the pose rather than struggle like a drowning fish.