One of my favorite things about yoga is that it can be so many different things and still be yoga. Even the way one prefers to approach asana can appear in many different ways, from restorative to ashtanga. Even with the vinyasa style popular in the West, poses can be choreographed to flow in a particular way or static poses can be sequenced to build to an apex pose. Something I’ve been playing with in my practice is a combination between these two – where my static poses become dynamic and I move into and out of the pose without moving on to the next pose. Here is an example:
As you can see the classic pose is utkatasana (chair pose). Try lifting one leg and then coming up partially out of the pose and going back through the pose until it is as if you are exiting the pose in the opposite direction before changing direction again. Oscillate between these two ends without ever really leaving the pose. You may find the perturbations as a result of making the pose dynamic requires an entirely different skill. Ideally, you will be able to translate this skill to the static variation of the pose.
Let me know what you think, I’d love to hear from you on twitter. My handle is @julesyoga.
If you want to experience the full class of interesting variations and movements in classically static yoga poses that focus on the deep muscles of the lateral hip, try Hipster Flex Part 1, on Udaya.com.
Jules Mitchell, MS