By NANCY DALE
Yoga For Life
In today’s technology workplace, many jobs require long periods of sitting that places stress on the spine and lower back. The “hip flexors” or “iliopsoas” can be shortened, reducing flexibility and full range of motion. “Lizard Pose” is a Yoga posture to open and lengthen the iliopsoas and reduce stress.
“Lizard Pose” is also a transitional posture into other poses that lengthen the legs/hamstrings and strengthens the arms. Balance poses such as Triangle, Downward Dog, Upward Facing Dog and Dolphin not only require an even distribution of weight in the hip flexor but arm strength to maintain the pose for at least 10 breaths.
“Lizard Pose” begins from Downward Dog, bringing one leg up to the front of the body on the outside of one arm. If this is too difficult at first, position the leg into a bent position and lift it up next to the arm on one side, keeping the other leg long. The leg in the back can have a bended knee until greater flexibility is achieved to straighten it.
After moving into the posture, gradually lower both forearms flat onto the ground, lift the head and hold the pose before changing sides. Work on keeping the hips level and the bended leg next to the arm. Lengthen the back leg and hold the pose for 10 breaths before changing sides.
This posture relieves stress on the back/spine and elongates the core. “Lizard Pose” is a Level 2 pose and will take time to improve, so be patient.
Many Yoga poses are challenging which provides us with an opportunity to continue learning as we strive to improve the body for health and greater flexibility, increasing blood/oxygen flow through tightened muscles/tissue. Engaging all the muscles in the core and extremities is important. Through our continued Yoga practice, we discover our limitations and how to overcome them as we loosen and reshape the posture.
While doing Yoga poses, in every practice session, be sure to relax in the posture once you feel you have done the pose the best you can do. Over time, the body will let go as you free the mind from past limitations. End your Yoga practice in Shavasana for 10-15 minutes and arise to greet all those you meet with kindness and serenity.