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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Tip of the Week: First Part of Awkward Pose

There are so many great benefits to Awkward Pose. Toned and shapely legs, relief from rheumatism and arthritis in the legs, aligned skeletal system, sciatica relief, flexibility in the toes and ankles, and relief from menstrual cramping!

There are three parts to Utkatasana, or Awkard Pose. Today we'll be exploring the first part.

Separate your feet so they are shoulder-width apart or about 6 inches between them. (The best way to measure this is to bend down with both fists side-by-side between your feet.)

Throughout the posture, your heels stay behind the toes invisible in the front mirror. Heels do not turn in or out but remain in perfect alignment, so they make a perfect "number 11". 

Extend your arms out and hold them up shoulder height for the duration of the pose, never dropping them. Engage your triceps as hard as you can as you straighten your arms out in front of you, extending from your shoulders to the tips of your fingers.

Breathe out on the way down and in on the way up. 

Exhale and lower your hips, bending the knees forward, until your thighs are just up from parallel. Your pelvis should be positioned in line with your heels and about 2 inches higher than your knees.

Maintaining a straight back and keeping the abdominals tight, begin to sit deep, bending the knees as if you're going to sit in a chair directly behind you. Push your booty back, waaaay back. Imagine you're going to fall backwards. Push your heels into the ground while keeping your toes on the ground.
Roll your shoulders back and lift your ribcage, keeping your sternum straight and perpendicular to the floor until your chest is open. Make sure that when you lift your ribcage that it is just a lift, not a push forward with a lift.

Straighten your neck, balancing your head evenly between your shoulders, until your chin is parallel with the floor. Throughout the entire posture, keep your eyes fixed in the mirror. Don't even blink your eyes or you may lose your balance.

*Check back next week for the 2nd part of Awkward pose!

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