So, in my last post I mentioned that my yoga community (musasana) and I are studying Parsvottanasana this month. I decided to teach it in every class this month. I may use it as part of a flow series or teach a part of the pose. Last night in class I focused on the work of the legs, especially the back one. I find that back leg begins to "relax" as we move into the pose and then hold it. When the back leg lacks energy, the heart sinks and the energy of the pose is lost. Instead, keep the energy and strength in both legs equally throughout the pose. I use two variations to teach this idea.
1. Place the back heal at a wall so the student can press the heal to the wall to keep the back leg engaged.
2. This variation places the hands at the wall so the student can push into the wall to keep weight in the back leg. Have them face the wall and do a "wall push" (hands shoulder height, stepping the feet back to get about a 90-degree angle at the hips.) Then have them step the right foot forward a bit and the left foot back to put their feet in the position for the pose. Now they can reach for the wall and get really long in the body and press their weight into their back leg.