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  • Ashtanga Yoga Plymouth

Building flexibility within our practice...

Every time we practice Ashtanga Yoga we take our joints through their full range of motion. Here in Ardha baddha padmottanasana, the straight-leg hip flexes, the knee extends; the bent-leg hip flexes, abducts, and externally rotates; the trunk flexes; the front arm/back arm shoulder flexes, abducts, and externally/internally rotates; and not forgetting the elbows, wrists, ankles and feet! This can all help prevent degenerative arthritis or mitigate other disability by ‘squeezing and soaking’ areas of cartilage that aren’t normally used. Joint cartilage is like a receives fresh nutrients only when it’s fluid is squeezed out and a new supply can be soaked up, so without proper sustenance neglected areas of cartilage can wear out, exposing underlying bone....

Ardha baddha padmottanasana is also a great posture to demonstrate the building blocks of the ashtanga primary series. Students that don’t yet have the openness for the half lotus position or the forward fold are able to take the option of Vrksasana/tree pose and, in time, with the repetition of the series, the body starts to open naturally; the hand is able to rest next to the foot and the head reaches the shin.

The series is devised so that each posture builds the strength and flexibility needed for the following postures, and within that we always have options.

The repetition of the series enables us to feel progression and find confidence quite quickly within our practice and, as we progress, we start to find the balance of ease and comfort with the effort and dynamics of each posture 👌💫🧘‍♀️

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