Fearless 14: Knees-Chest-Chin

You’ve made it to Day 4!  Vinyasa classes usually incorporate some Sun Salutations.  If you aren’t familiar with the sequence, you can get more details in my post about Yoga Malas.  One of the hardest (and most confusing) parts of the Sun Salutation is Chaturanga Dandasana.  It looks like you are just holding a low push-up, but it is so MUCH more.  This is a challenging arm balance that I still cannot achieve with proper form.  When we reach the point of “I can’t,” we all face a choice.  We can force ourselves into strange positions causing injury, give up, or we can do the best we can with what we have.  When faced with fear, it’s the same thing. We often quit or try to psych ourselves up to push through. Today, I bring you the happy medium. It’s a challenge that still achieves the goal (attaining upper body strength), but this pose meets you where you are and can serve as a more accessible modification for Chaturanga.  Today we’re talking about Knees-Chest-Chin or Ashtanga Namaskara.

KneesChestChin1First, begin in a High Plank (or Push-Up position), and bring the knees to the floor.
KneesChestChin2

 

Next, hug your elbows into your ribs and lower your upper body to the floor. There will be the tendency to turn this into one of those Jr. High P.E. “girl pushups” and let your elbows splay out. Really glue your elbows into the sides of your body. Your chin, chest, and knees should be touching the floor. Your hips will be high in the air. Hold here for 2 breaths.

KneesChestChin3

To get out of this pose, you will simply transition into Cobra by pulling your chest through your arms to rest your belly on the floor. Here the tendency is to flop down, which you may actually have to do for a time until you can maintain the upper body strength to pull the chest through. The main point is to control your transition as much as possible.  Practice this sequence from High Plank to Knees-Chest-Chin to Cobra about 3-5 times.

My Out of Comfort Zone Moment:  Today, I was waiting for a meeting I was nervous about, and instead of getting on my smart phone to play a game or read social media to pass the time, I simply waited.  Remember, when we waited in doctor’s offices without telling the world on Facebook about it?  Even as a yoga instructor, I still seek out the security of my phone when alone to pass the time.  Is being inside your head for an extended period of time outside of your comfort zone?  Notice how often you reach for entertainment to avoid silence or connection with strangers?  I want to make more of an effort to be able to sit and wait without distraction.  You never know what you miss while staring at your phone.

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