Wring It Out!
Ever have those weeks where you are just absolutely filled to the rim? You’ve done SO much during the week that you feel like you can just burst! There’s been business meetings, taking the kids to basketball practice, PTA meetings, committee deadlines, grocery shopping, eye doctor appointment, working out at the gym. Shall I go on? The list grows and grows. It can seem endless sometimes. So, what are you doing about it? These things really can’t go to the wayside. You can’t always call out, “Calgon! Take me away!” (I just tried it, and I wasn’t whisked away to a hot bubble bath with rose petals and soft lighting.)
Well, since we cannot always escape the daily grind, at least we can take a few minutes of the day to release some of the tensions that can build up due to heavy schedules. The pose this week will feature a twisting posture: Revolving Triangle. I like the idea of twisting postures. When I teach them, I have my students imagine they are a wet sponge: full, dense, and heavy. In order to be rid of that excess water, one needs to wring out that sponge. We can do the same with our bodies.
Revolving TriangleStart in Mountain Pose. Set your intention here. Take some deep cleansing breaths to bring your body and mind to the present moment. Also, think a bit about the fullness you’ve experienced the last few days and the desire to release some (or all) of that heaviness.
Step your right foot forward on your yoga mat. See how wide you can take your feet. See if they can move relatively close to the edges of your mat. Have your right foot pointing directly forward on your mat while the back foot is more at a comfortable angle so the entire foot is planted on the mat. Make sure both legs are straight. Place your hands on your hips and be aware of the alignment of your hips.
Now, while holding onto your hips, imagine you’re holding onto a big pitcher of water that you’re ready to pour. Tip the pelvis so that the right hip drops and the left hip lifts as if you’re pouring water out of the pitcher down your right leg. Tip as far as you can go while maintaining a nice alignment in the hips. (The right leg should remain straight.) You may begin to experience a stretching sensation in your right hamstring. Allow the torso to match the angle you’ve created in the tipped pelvis. Now, extend the right hand toward the floor (it doesn’t have to touch the floor; perhaps the hand rests on the inside of your leg) and reach your left hand toward the ceiling. You are now in Extended Triangle Pose. Now we are ready to wring it out!
As you exhale, rotate your torso, maintaining an extended spine, so that your left hand is now reaching down toward the floor and your right hand extends up toward the ceiling. This is a challenging yoga pose, but very effective. (If you need a block to place your hand on, please use one.) In this pose, you’re not only experiencing the twist in the abdominal region, but also you’re gaining flexibility in your hips, legs, and spine. Hold the pose for 5-10 breaths. When you’re done, carefully unwind and return to Mountain Pose and prepare to repeat the pose on the other side.
Remember, while holding this posture, think about that wet sponge that you are now wringing out. It may take several breaths (particularly the exhales) to move into this pose deeply and to wring out the sponge completely. When you return to a neutral posture, experience the lightness in your body – having released some of the tension and heaviness your body has been holding onto. The Revolving Triangle Pose can be your own Calgon experience!