Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘dandasana’

Three Different Types Of Cues To Janu Sirsasana

Posted by terrepruitt on May 10, 2017

A week ago in a post I brought up three different ways that a yoga teacher might cue a pose;  Anatomic – basically just moving the body this way and that or Sensory – moving the body by sensing and feeling how it is moving or Imagery – moving the body with images to help us get to where we are instructed to be.  Usually a combination is used and if you take a yoga class you probably don’t really even notice.  The idea is that each way appeals to different people and can allow everyone to follow along with the instruction to get into the pose.  Here are examples of all three for Janu Sirsasana or Head-to-Knee Forward Bend.

Anatomic
From Dandasana (Staff pose), rotate your left thigh out allowing a bend at your knee.  Bring your left foot as close to your pelvis as possible, the sole of your foot is against your inner right thigh.  Continue to sit up tall, lengthening the spine.  Bend, from the hips, over the straight leg.  Keep the straight leg active with toes and knee pointing up.  Your stomach moves towards the right thigh, chest staying open as it lowers towards the leg.  The top of your head continues to reach away from your shoulders, you are still lengthening the spine as you fold over your leg from the hips.  Hands/Arms can remain on either side of the leg or you can hold your right foot, or perhaps even reach your hands beyond your foot and clasp.  Breathe.

Sensory
From Dandasana (Staff pose), turn your left leg out sensing your thigh bone rotate in its socket.  Bring your foot as close to your pelvis as possible.  Feel your left food connect to your right thigh.  Continue to sit up tall, sensing your spine lengthening.  You have plenty of room to breath as you continue to open the chest.  Then fold from the hips over the extended leg.  Help to keep the right leg active by feeling the floor with the entire length of the back of the leg.  Keep the toes and knee pointing toward the ceiling.  You sense the stretch in the back of your straight leg, as your belly moves towards it.  You may also sense a bit of a stretch in the inner thigh of the bent leg.  Continue to fold over bringing the chest closer to the right leg.  Maybe you feel the press of it on your leg.  Sense the space between your back bones as you fold over your leg, heart opening towards your leg.  Perhaps your arms are heavy on the ground of either side of your leg or perhaps you are gently reaching for your foot.  If you feel you want more of a stretch through the back of the right leg perhaps reach your hands beyond your right foot and clasp.  Breathe.

Imagery
Imagine you’re a sunflower, your head is the blossom reaching for the sun directly above you.  Your spine, the stem, is long and straight.  Your legs, the roots, reaching straight out from the stem.  The stem and the roots form a 90° angle.  One root, the left one, rotates outward, then bends in the middle, at the knee.  The end of the root, your foot, is as close to your pelvis as is comfortable with its sole against your right leg.  Now the sun is going down in front of you, and you, the sunflower still reach for it.  Unlike a typical sunflower you follow the sun as it descends with a long, straight stem, folding from where your stem meets your roots.   You use your leaf arms to reach out towards your root feet.  They may lie on the earth on either side of your root-legs or, if you can, your grab your feet, or even wrap your leafy hands beyond your rooty feet and clasp them together.  You are a happy sunflower as the top of your head, the sunflower blossom reaches towards the setting sun.  You take a deep breathe lengthening further towards the sun and relax onto your roots.

What do you think?  Are you noticing the different types of cuing in your yoga class now?

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