COMPASS POSE

3 KEY TECHNIQUES TO INCREASE FLEXIBILITY

COMPASS

Technique Makes everything Easier

Technique is like following an instructional guide that your body celebrates upon reading. The body, like all things in nature has a certain timing that when followed will allow for your greatest physical expression. The Goal for most people when it comes to the physical practice is typically strength or flexibility, but the problem is most people don’t know how to gain either and so they waste time, money, and energy following workout plans and training programs. Not to say that these are bad or that you shouldn’t use these to stay motivated, but be sure to harness your minds power on more than just getting in a workout, or achieving a certain number of repetitions, or attaining any particular pose. Instead, FOCUS on building BODY AWARENESS! This is why technique is so important – it gives you insight into the physical body that you are living in! Increasing body awareness will directly result in strength and flexibility. In Chromatic Yoga we define yoga as the practice of developing awareness of Mind, Body or Soul, giving us access to our inner state of Pure Bliss. To practice asana (physical awareness) from that perspective means to take a deep journey of your body, and technique is path that gets you there. 

In my Online Live Class from March 14, 2020 I shared 3 primary techniques to give insight into your body and greater access to compass pose. Compass is an incredible expression of the human body and it requires an equally incredible awareness of your hips, pelvis and shoulder blades. Let’s take a look at this video excerpt from the online class to give you the steps into this complicated posture, and then we will review below.

3 Actions To Access Your Flexibility

Step 1 - Retract Shoulder blade

Retraction of the shoulder blades is when you pull them toward each other using muscles called the rhomboids. In the Live Class I taught this in chair pose with cactus arms, as depicted in the above photo. Try this for yourself, take chair pose, feet wide, and arch the low back so your chest is more upright. Take your arms into cactus shape and pull your shoulder blades together. Then do the opposite which is like your going to hug someone – or like your about to come to eagle pose. 

Step 2: Anterior Tilt

A great way to practice what is called anterior tilt of the pelvis (lifting the buttocks upward – back arches) is first in cat and cow, and then moving on to something a little more challenging like Lunge Pose depicted above. I shared this in the practice to help go back and forth between anterior tilt which I playfully referred to as “Beyonce” and posterior tilt (tucking tail bone) more like “Michael Jackson”. Doing both actions will help you understand the range of motion your body is capable of.

Step 3: Rotate The Thigh inward

Maintaining Anterior tilt, we add internal rotation. Doing Anterior tilt with internal rotation is something we call in Chromatic Yoga a simplified technique – a combination of 2 or 3 joint actions. I shared this in the 3-14-2020 live class by doing something similar to a chair pose, but adding a spin of one thigh bone inward whilst arching the low back. In Hip workshops I usually pair this with a comical phrase “Heyyyy” because it’s a bit playfully sexy (not really). Try it on in an empty room and give a little sass.

FLEXIBILITY

 

If you switch your focus from flexibility to technique you will build awareness of you body much faster. Technique requires engagement of muscles through range of motion while moving your joints – this process is powerful if you have the willingness to learn. The result in my personal practice is undoubtably remarkable. In my 12+ years of study of the physical practice, I have worked with so many approaches, but I always come back to this one question: Am I more aware of my body from this?  If the answer is yes than you will not need to force flexibility or strength, they will be the simple results of your focused efforts.

For more on strength and flexibility in the hips, I recommend my blog Pigeon Without Knee Pain 

 

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