Get to the Root (Chakra) with Yin Yoga’s Dangling Pose

rootchakraFor the month of May, we have been talking about the Muladhara chakra and the role it plays in your life.  Today in our Yin series, we’ll be covering a pose that has quite a few physical benefits, but also helps to ground the yogi’s Muladhara chakra.  Dangling pose is a simple standing forward fold that you may recognize from other yoga practices as uttanasana. This beneficial pose can be done by yogis of all kinds, although those with high blood pressure and disease related to it (diabetes, glaucoma) may choose to avoid this pose.  Dangling pose allows for a nice stretch in the lower back, encourages looseness in the hamstrings, and strengthens the quadriceps (though that is not our focus in Yin, which you can read about here).

yin yoga dangling

To come into the pose, simply stand with your feet hip-width apart, bend your knees, and fold forward grasping the opposite elbow with each hand. While a bend in the knees may take some of the stretching of the hamstrings away, this allows the spine to stretch and release further.  You may find that your body sways a bit as you settle into the pose, so listen to what your body is asking for as you begin to find stillness.  The typical 3-5 minutes in a Yin pose may be too intense for some here, but splitting the pose up into two two-minute increments is a nice alternative.  The connection of your feet against the earth is incredibly grounding, so focus on that sensation as you hang out here.  Again, if you feel any pinching, tingling, burning or electric sensations please back out of the pose and listen to what your body is saying.  After you have been here for your desired amount of time, release your hands and very slowly return to standing as you roll up one vertebra at a time.  Once you return to standing, spend a minute here noticing any new sensations the pose has brought about.  Any gentle backbend is lovely as a counter pose, but supported reclining bound angle is especially nice!

supported_reclining_bound_angle2

Photo credit: www.sparkpeople.com, http://www.healing.about.com, and www.dorestorativeyoga.com

 

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