This week I was in Australia living the farm life with my brother.
So naturally our yoga pose has a farm flavour this month. It also got me thinking about all of the body movements that used to be an everyday part of our lives, that in this modern day, we now miss out on.
Perhaps what suffers the most is our core strength. We used to spend more time doing physically demanding daily chores that activated our core but now in this day, we have a modern, minimal effort, easier lifestyle and building our core has been left behind.
This month’s asana Utkata Konasana also known as horse pose is a great DIY way to build a good honest strength throughout the body. I am not sure the average person truly understands how important core strength is to the general everyday movements of our bodies during daily life.
When our core strength is low, we have tell tale signs like lower back discomfort, poor balance and poor posture.
Everyone, from beginners to the super fit can build a good level of core strength with this month’s horse pose and it only requires your heart and your body to work together.
Lets look at the benefits of utkata konasana:
• Stretches your hips, groins and chest
• Strengthens and tones the core muscles
• Strengthens the quadriceps and inner thigh muscles
• Strengthens the shoulders, arms and upper back
• Heats the body and increases circulation
• Prepares the body for childbirth by creating more room in the pelvis
Below are the instructions on how to practice this powerful yet simple pose:
1. Start in a standing position with your feet about 3 feet apart, turn the feet out to 45 degrees facing the corners of the room.
2. There are two options for the arms, for those that have shoulder issues or are starting out, place your hands in prayer (anjali) position at the chest and roll your shoulders firmly down your back, ( photo1). For a stronger, more challenging pose, lift your arms up bending at the elbow with palms facing upwards. ( photo2) like you are holding a big ball over your head.
3. Exhale and bend the knees, keeping feet firmly placed on the floor, and the knees in line with the middle toe. Try not to roll the knees inward, keep your focus on keeping the weight even in your big toe and little toe.
2. Press the hips forward, press the knees back. Drop the shoulders down and back and press the chest toward the front of the room. Keep the arms active. Look straight ahead with the chin parallel to the floor.
3. Breathe and hold for about 30 seconds.
4. To release: inhale and straighten the legs, reaching the fingertips to the ceiling, then exhale the arms to the sides.
This is an amazing pose to add to your daily routine and I like to think that it is a way of getting back some old school strength, farmer style!
Kim White is the owner of Sala Samadhi. She offers authentic Hatha yoga instruction for private and group sessions. Contact: www.mindbodyyogasystem.com or 086 276 9174.
The opinions and advice contained in this column are those of the author only. The Phuket News is not responsible for the outcome or results of following any advice in any situation.