Friday, September 05, 2014

Laghu Vajrasana

September personal challenge: Laghu Vajrasana

Here's a picture of a pose I love, but don't practice very often. Called laghu vajrasana, start from kneeling, grab your leg somewhere from ankle to back of knee, and lean back. In Bheemashakti, we go slowly in and out of the pose; we do not stay for the standard 5 breaths.

I love it because in this variation it is a deep backbend. Since the Bheemashakti version is dynamic, I try to go back and forth very slowly, developing strength and control.

When I first started doing this exercise this spring, I started with 7 reps, and felt very sore at the lateral sides of my thighs for two weeks. I gradually increased to sets of 10 reps, doing one to 3 sets. To do that many, I would go back until my head was 4-6 inches away from the ground. I stopped doing this exercise in May: I was working heavily and doing the yoga teacher training.

My current goal for September is to do as many reps of this pose as the day of the month: one on Sept 1st, two on the 2nd, etc. I plan to go all the way to brushing my head on the floor. If I have the time and energy, I will also do the foundational backbend exercises we were doing daily during teacher training as these will help my dropbacks. I might also work towards brushing my head on my feet instead of on the floor for a deeper backbend. Wish me luck!