Open your Back and Knees in Bhekasana from Ashtanga Yoga Second Series
This is one of these postures that didn’t make sense to me when I first started practicing it. I can still remember the feeling of wondering if I was doing it safely to prevent damage to my knees and lower back. Now after many years of practice I can say that Bhekasana is not only a safe posture, but also a therapeutic one when done with proper alignment. Start with a conscious internal rotation of the thighs to help release the sacrum and the piriformis. Then be sure to widen you thighs so that there is space for you knee to bend as close to parallel as possible. Let your leg fold as effortlessly as possible into the internal rotation so that it feels light and free. Then take hold of your foot with begin activating the quadriceps and lift the knees slightly off the floor and aim the toes towards the ground. Stop pressing if you feel sharp pain in your knee.
One of the greatest difficulties that many students experience in this posture is the ability to have the chest lifted while pressing firmly down on the feet. Strengthening the mid-back is crucial to finding the power to support the upper body and give enough pressure to place the feet on the ground. Keep practicing and over time you’ll find the perfect balance!
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