Saturday, September 12, 2015

Meet My Favorite Paschimottanasanas-Both The Posture and My Cat

So who names her cat Paschimottanasana? I do. In the past I have named most of my pets with a Paul McCartney/Beatles reference. There was Mac the dog whose AKC name was James Paul McCartney Regan, Then there was Jude the Cat. I had Paulie the turtle and Paulie the fish and of course I now have Rigby my beloved Lhasa Apso who is my yogi dog. He enjoys and is a fixture in my H'Om studio Yoga classes.

Meet Paschimottanasana! She is a beautiful cat but she sure is independent. I guess you need to be with a name like that. LOL I decided to veer away from the Beatles theme and named her after my very favorite yoga posture. Paschimottanasana is a full seated forward bend. I have always been able to find my peace in this posture.

Like other forward bends, Paschimottanasana provides many physical benefits such as the stretching of the lower spine, pelvis and hamstring muscles. In addition it helps to stretch the lower back, kidneys and adrenal glands. This makes Paschimottanasana a full body stretch of the back body and compression of the front body. I have found that it has a profound calming effect on my mind when I do this posture. This is the reason I love it so much

I sit with my spine straight and legs out in front of me. I flex my feet with my toes pointing towards the sky. I like to roll to one side to remove the flesh under my seating bones and then roll to the other side and do the same. I like to feel my seating bones on the ground beneath me.I reach my arms straight up by my ears and lift though the spine on an inhalation. On an exhalation I hinge at the hips reaching towards my toes. I allow my hands to touch the ground or on my legs in a place where I can bend my elbows. This allows some space between my shoulders and my ears. I hold this posture for 5-10 breaths and even more if I am feeling like it. Please feel free to bend you knees if you have tight hamstring muscles should you decide to give this posture a try. 

So meet my two favorite Paschimottanasanas. The Posture and my cat! Much love!