The standing head to knee posture is an intense asana, requiring good balance, strong yet flexible leg muscles, and awareness of your alignment.
After a warm up sequence that includes plenty of stretches for the legs in downward dog and some standing warriors, come to standing in the middle of your mat in mountain pose. Place two blocks at their tallest height on the right side of your mat. Come back to face forward again in Tadasana, and step the feet a metre apart. Turn the right foot to point out to the right and turn in the left foot sharply, rotating the hips through 90 degrees to face the wall on your right.
Stand tall and steady with both legs straight, feeling your feet anchoring you into the earth and a grounding action rebound upward through your core. Feel your spine lengthen up toward the sky.
Before you begin to fold forward, place your hands on your hips and check your pelvis is level. Then, keeping the legs straight and stable, hinge forward with a straight back, keeping your gaze straight ahead and the spine long, even, and steady.
Pause here before reaching your hands toward the blocks. If this forces your shoulders to slouch or your spine to round, then return the hands onto the hips. If you are able to reach the blocks without rounding your spine, start to move the chest towards your thigh. After a few deep breaths relax down into the full pose.
Soften and relax into the pose, keeping your leg muscles working, then after several breaths, place your hands on your hips and use your inhalation to bring you back to standing. Step your legs together into Tadasana. You may notice how Parsvottanasana has affected the body. Which leg feels longer? Which hip feels fuller? Which side of your spine feels more expansive? Has your breath changed as a result of this exploration? When you are ready, repeat the movement on the left side.
Below is a reminder of some of our practice this week:
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