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9 months ago

Yoga Journal USA - June_2016

practice well YOGAPEDIA

practice well YOGAPEDIA Modify Matsyasana if needed to find safe alignment for your body. If Matsyasana feels stressful on your neck ... TRY a propped version of the pose in which you place two blocks on their longer, narrow edges where your head and shoulder blades will rest. From Staff Pose, slowly lower onto the If your low back feels congested or your groins and hips are getting overstretched ... TRY the propped version at left, but with a different leg position. Bend your knees and place your feet on the floor, mat-width apart. Let your toes turn in slightly and your knees fall together. This position is called Constructive Rest and will widen the sacrum. You can also experiment with different block heights under your head, lowering the block to receive more of a neck stretch and chest opener. If you feel too much of a stretch between your shoulder blades ... TRY using a blanket. Fold it in half lengthwise, and then roll the folded side over one or two times. Lie on the blanket just as you did with the block, placing the blanket roll along the lower edges of your shoulder blades. Your head can rest on the unfolded part of the blanket. This will give you a nice chest and shoulder opener—one that’s less intense than the other versions. Let your feet fall open as you relax. FIND JOY & CONTENTMENT The buoyancy that lifts our hearts and our moods when we practice backbends needs to be balanced with a downward-moving energy to help us stay rooted and safe. This dual action is how you find the fullness of yoga in any pose; when we experience it in backbends like Camatkarasana (Wild Thing)—the final pose in this sequence—we begin to understand what Buddhist teachings call the “ground of our existence,” or simply put: joy and contentment. Instead of grasping for that perfect backbend, allow the earth to support you. Actually to embodying contentment and the base from which joy grows. Without contentment, or a sense of soft instead of genuine, uplifted joy. Without the buoyancy of joy, contentment can feel flat or dull. 32 Matsyasana, page 31 Matsyasana modifications Camatkarasana prep, pages 34–35 Camatkarasana, pages 36–37

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