A good time to learn about maximizing reverence and minimizing violence is while struggling with a posture like

Ardha baddha padmottanasana or Half Bound Lotus Standing Forward Bend

Yoga practice is designed to increase our awareness, amplify our sensitivity to the suffering of the world, and develop our compassion.

One of the ways it does that is by teaching us to recognize what hurts and what feels good within our own body.

How often do you think about your hard working shoulder muscles? This variation on standing forward bend will give them just the stretch they need.

Step 1:  Stand at the top of your mat with your feet slightly wider than hips distance apart.

Step 2: Interlace your fingers behind your back.  Straighten your elbows as much as you can by pressing your knuckles toward the floor.

Step 3: Slightly bend your knees

Step 4: Bend at the hips to hold forward.  Bring your knuckles up

Step 5: As you relax your neck and shoulder, try to bring your knuckles toward the front of your mat.  Keep your elbow straight.

Step 6: If this position feels like a good challenge, hold it for a few breaths.  If you wan to make this pose more difficult, begin to straighten your knees.

Step 7: Hold for a few breaths.

  • If it’s difficult to interlace your fingers, just hold on to a towel or yoga strap.

 

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