Sometimes it’s a little hard to find it, but there really is that happy place in all poses. Even if it’s hard or hurt-so-good sensational, it’s there. These are definitely two poses where sometimes it’s hard to find the happy, but let’s give it a go! 😉
There are many variations of this lunge pose that help make it more accessible or more difficult as you need it to be! Start in Warrior 2: your right knee is bent and in line with your right ankle, right toes are pointing forward while your left foot is turned to run parallel to the back edge of your mat, squeeze up and in with your left quad to help open your left hip out to the side, arms are extended straight out and you’re looking over your right fingers. Start to reach your right hand and ribs forward. Engage your right obliques to support your torso as you rest your right elbow on your right quad. Left arm reaches toward the front of the room overhead so your left bicep hovers over your left ear. Don’t collapse on your thigh! Stay strong through both legs and the torso!
To take it a step (or two) further, bring your right hand to a block or the floor (as pictured). Stay strong and deep in your lunging right leg and supportive through the waist. Try not to dip the left shoulder. Option to reach around your back with your left hand for your right hip in a half bind, or complete the bind around your right thigh by reaching under the thigh with your right hand for your left fingertips.
BIRD OF PARADISE
Be warm in the hamstrings for this one! Whew it’s a doozy! From the full bind in side angle, shift the weight to your right leg and step your left foot to the front of the mat, keeping the bind the whole time. Fully plant the left foot and come up onto the right toes to help find your balance. Lift up to standing with the right knee bent and your arms still bound around the thigh. Push the left foot down into the mat and engage the left quad firmly! Stay here or start to extend out through your right toes. Hello, hamstring!
To play with balance and the bind but not the hamstring extension: Start in low squat at the top of the mat. Bring your right shoulder to the inside of your right knee and extend the arm out as you reach your left arm up. Half bind with the left arm around your low back for your right hip. Bend your right arm around the outside of your right knee to connect your left and right hands. Left foot plants firmly as you come up to the right toes, finding your balance. Lift up to standing on a strong left leg with the bind around the outside of your right knee.
Don’t forget to play on both sides!