We will be learning how to access the quietening and grounding qualities of forward folds in our Yoga Booster: Masterclass series starting on Thursday 10th December. Over the course of these 8 masterclass sessions, we will refine technique and explore key concepts from a whole spectrum of different yoga pose groups-enabling you to take responsibility for safe effective alignment and to give you more clarity & understanding of what you’re doing and why. Click here for more information and to secure your spot.
Forward Folds: Letting go of Flexibility
Forward folds help us to bring our attention inward and can therefore be very soothing for the mind. In a comfortable forward fold we learn to let go of the distractions and chaos around us and become more aware of our internal sight and how the breath feels in the back of the body. This however, is not achievable if we constantly try to move beyond our level of flexibility whilst battling restriction in the posterior chain. We must allow the movement to come from tilting the pelvis forward.
Yoga is about balancing effort and ease, so there should be no straining to reach your toes. One of the beautiful things I feel that we often forget about with the yoga practice, is that it is one of those very unique and rare times in the day where we don’t need to achieve anything at all! Its an opportunity to let go of our ego and meet ourselves ‘where we are’ not ‘where we would like to be’.
In our forward folds if we let go of the need to reach for our toes with straight legs, then we are more likely to feel a peaceful and spacious experience of the pose. Too often many students are overly rounding the thoracic part of their spine which is often an area that is already excessively rounded. This will often happen through a common misconception that the whole point of the pose is to bind with the feet. In a standing forward fold the spine should feel like it is de-compressing and it takes time for the back body to open.
In our yoga practice we can get things a little muddled up and thats ok. It’s a practice so there is a process to it. Sometimes we make gradual progressions and sometimes we make huge U-Turns in where we stand and what we think. This is why I find yoga so engaging. I remember very clearly that ‘aha’ moment in my practice when I let go of where I thought I should be able to reach and surrendered into a more gentle and easeful standing forward fold. After initiating that all important forward tilt of the pelvis, I bent my knees deeply and started to work from the ground up, keeping my belly connected to my thighs. You do not need to have straight legs in a forward fold, especially when you are still warming up the body. Bent knees is not a lesser variation or expression of the pose and for many it is the gateway to a more sustainable, easeful and harmonious experience.
We will be learning how to access the quietening and grounding qualities of forward folds in our Yoga Booster: Masterclass series starting on Thursday 10th December. Over the course of these 8 masterclass sessions will refine technique and explore key concepts from a whole spectrum of different pose groups-enabling you to take responsibility for safe effective alignment and to give you more clarity & understanding of what you’re doing and why. For more information please click here