I know what you're thinking. But before you start the snickers and jokes about the Kama Sutra and such, let me say that this pose isn't just a prep for some crazy tantric sex technique designed to help you achieve the best orgasm of your life. It is an actual yoga pose that you'd find in the second series of Ashtanga yoga. Its purpose is not to turn you into a pretzel, but rather to deeply stretch your lower back and hamstrings. I'm not expecting the average Joe to be able to get into it, since it requires extreme flexibility in the hips and backs of the legs, but just attempting this pose, and taking it as far as you can will do wonders for a tight lower back.
|Sanskrit Name: Yoga Nidrasana|
English Translation: Yogic Sleep Pose
Also Called: Sleeping Yogi
To learn a much easier version of this pose
- Begin lying flat on your back.
- Bend both knees and hold onto the outside edges of your flexed feet with your hands. Keep your arms on the outsides of your legs. Gently use your upper body strength to equally press both knees to the floor below your armpits. Try not to tense your shoulders or chest but keep everything relaxed. This pose is called Happy Baby, and it's a great prep for Sleeping Yogi.
- From here, move your arms to the insides of your legs. Use both hands to help your left knee come behind your left shoulder, and eventually your foot behind your head. Then bring the right knee behind your right shoulder, and your right ankle behind your left ankle.
- Whether both legs are behind your head or not, bring both hands to your lower back, and try to clasp them together.
- Stay like this for five deep breaths. To release, bring both legs to the floor. For a counter-pose, do Fish.
This is one of my favorite challenging poses. Do you have one? Share it in the Yoga Stretch and Tell Group.