I would like to introduce to you Skandasana, the pose of the war god, named after the Hindu god Skanda, known for his graceful and handsome form and love of virtuous deeds. Energetically, this posture has the amazing ability to open the two lower chakras and really allow a deeper connection to the earth.
Although this can be a challenging posture for the beginner, it comes with many great physical benefits, including an improvement of balance, core strength and stretching and toning the hamstrings and inner thigh muscles.
Let’s look at how to practise this powerful pose:
1. Step your feet out to about three or four feet apart, hand on the hips and back straight.
2. Start to turn your left foot out 45 degrees, shifting your weight more into the left leg as you start to bend the left knee.
3. Place your hands on the floor for stability, as you rest into your bent left leg, left foot flat on the floor. Left knee is aligned on the top of the ankle.
4. Right leg is extended out straight with the knee and ankle facing upward. The toes can be either also facing upward or flat towards the ground.
5. Roll the shoulders down the back and maintain a straight upright back. Pull the stomach inward to the spine and upward to the chest.
6. Beginner variation is to place your hands on blocks to assist with the back and the leg bend. If you are happy and would like to progress, take your hands into prayer hands at the chest, shoulders firm down the back, chin tucked and back straight.
7. Hold for 30 seconds to one minute, inhale to stand and repeat on the other side.
With the start of a new Thai year, I thought it fitting to start with a strong, powerful intention. This awesome position will go to war on the deep processes of the hips.