Cindy has been coming to my classes for almost two years. Sometimes I won’t see her for a week or so and it always makes me smile when she comes back. Cindy has general knee instability, weakness in the muscles around her knees, and often feels unstable when walking downstairs. In order to safely build strength and stability we developed this sequence together, me offering options and Cindy letting me know how she felt in each pose.
Warrior II: root firmly into both feet, as though you are trying to stretch elastic between them. Keep the bent knee directly over or slightly behind the ankle and aligned with the second and third toes. If you have weakness around the knee the tendency may be for the knee to cave in toward the big toe, engage and correct this alignment. Keep the torso aligned over the hips, if there is relevant weakness you may feel the torso lean closer to the front thigh, engage and correct. Hug the shoulder blades toward one another, keep fingertips at the horizon and gaze just beyond them. Take 3 deep breaths here.
Reverse Warrior: continue rooting firmly into both feet, maintain the alignment of knee directing to the second and third toes. Sweep the same side (as bent knee) arm to the sky and/or slightly behind you with the opposite arm reaching gently down the back leg. Notice the tendency of the body to lift out of the front knee bend and to put more weight in the back foot, engage and correct. Take three deep breaths here.
Extended Side Angle: maintain the same foundation from feet to hips. Bring the same side (as bent knee) elbow to rest on the thigh and extend the opposite arm overhead, fingers pointing to the opposite side of the room. Notice the tendency of the supported shoulder to ‘dump’ weight, the shoulder will be elevated. Engage by lifting the ear away from the shoulder and firm the low belly to support the effort. Gaze can be on the earth, on the horizon, or to the sky, whatever feels beneficial and sustainability. Take 3 deep breaths here.
Triangle: foundation is the same except the front knee straightens (to whatever depth is sustainable and feel benefical), continue rooting firmly into both feet, again imagine you are stretching elastic between them. Bring same side (as front leg) arm to a block for support, opposite arm points directly to the sky. Gaze can be on the earth, on the horizon, or to the sky, whatever feels beneficial and sustainability. Take 3 deep breaths here. And go to the opposite side. Settle into a restful pose, such as child’s pose, if you choose to repeat the full sequence on both sides.
You can repeat this sequence as many times as feels beneficial for your body in the moment you are practicing. Notice any tendency to over do, the intention is to provide benefit not pain! You can transition fluidly from one pose to the next as you feel comfortable with your alignment but let yourself move in whatever way helps you settle into correct alignment as you learn. Have fun and let me know how you feel!