When I decided to start Iyengar Yoga as a beginner, I was a little worried about my level of ability, and how well I would be able to execute the poses. So, you can imagine my surprise and delight when my first class spent a solid 20 minutes ‘jumping or stepping the feet apart.’ The move was seemingly easy and didn’t strain my muscles.
I thought to myself, ‘oh, oh, I got this. I am going to be an intermediate in no time!’. Ah, the naiveté of the inexperienced. But I digress.
Several weeks after my first introduction to ‘the jump’ Utthita Hasta Padasana, and I have a whole new appreciation for how challenging this simple move is. As an example, jumping the feet apart is essential to correctly and effectively positioning in Virabhadrasana II or I. Too short a distance and dropping the hip, chest or buttock become near impossible. Too wide a distance and your muscles will probably object by tipping your balance.
So this weeks blog empathises with all the people still wrangling with understanding the their bodies in Utthita Hasta Padasana. Learning to jump the ‘right’ distance between your feet and landing straight is surprisingly challenging, but ultimately essential to improving ability in standing poses. So the next time you do a cheeky check to ensure your feet are still facing straight, or slide your heel back because you missed the mark the first jump – don’t despair: there is a class of people surrounding you doing exactly the same.
Alex is a recent convert to Iyengar yoga and very comfortable with her ‘Beginners’ status. A 20-something writer, Alex is currently in her second round of the beginners’ course at the Marrickville Yoga Studio. One of her greatest accomplishments to-date is figuring out how to avoid somersaulting when attempting a shoulder stand.