Our Bikram Yoga series “Flow into Yoga” is back this week. Here’s the latest feature piece from Bikram Yoga Burr Ridge:
Fixed Firm Pose or Supta-Vajrasana is a personal battle. For some this pose is a breeze, and for others it is pure torture. Listen to your body and remember we all have different bodies, different injuries and different capabilities. Fixed Firm helps rebuild a natural flexibility of the joint, improving weak or injured knees, but the knees must stay grounded throughout the entire pose.
• Sit between the heels, feet facing upwards and knees together. If there is sharp pain in the knees, separate them a little, but keep the feet hugging the sides of the hips.
• Place your hands on the soles of your feet with the fingers facing forward.
• Lower back one elbow at a time. Look back and let the top of your head drop back.
• Slowly lower your shoulders onto the floor as you slide your elbows out, resting the upper back on the floor.
• Raise your arms overhead. Grab opposite elbows. Press the arms and shoulders down, bringing them flat on the floor.
• With the chin tucked into the chest, press back with the arms and lift the ribs up to feel the chest stretch. Simultaneously ground the knees and feel the stretch along the stomach, hip flexors, front thighs and knees.
• Relax deeper into the pose by breathing, bringing your knees closer together on the floor and pressing your buttocks into the floor.
• Remember the knees must not lift off the floor. This may mean not lowering back all the way and widening the knees. Listen to your knees! If needed, use your hands to support your body weight.
• Continue to breath.
• Hold for 20 seconds.
• Slowly come out of the posture using one elbow at a time.
A few tips to remember:
• Always maintain correct alignment: heels touching with the hips. This will ensure the ligaments of the knees and ankles are stretched evenly.
• Do not compensate by changing the position of your feet. Your ankles should be straight, toes pointing to the back wall.
• Do correct the depth of the posture if you feel pain. Sometimes less really is more.
• Always keep your knees on the floor. Bikram constantly preaches, “Do not mess with the knees, you can mess with the Gods but you cannot mess with the knees.”
With proper execution, Fixed Firm strengthens and improves the flexibility of the lower spine, hips, knees and ankle joints. It increases circulation to the lower limbs and is therapeutic for lower back pain, sciatica, rheumatism and varicose veins. It also helps prevent hernias.
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