June is our Month of Creativity!
The flora is blooming, the days are longer, and the days are bursting with possibility. How will you choose to spend these days? If you are anything like me, you are a wee bit overwhelmed with the possibilities before you, there are walks to be had, fires to sits around, fresh vegetables to explore, and that is just the beginnings of what NATURE has to offer. Aside from the natural realm, which, I of course encourage you to take full advantage, there are also creative opportunities within your yoga practice.
Lately, I have been doing a LOT of running with the increase in somewhat amenable weather. This uptick in activity for many of us has led to some sore lower backs, and tightness in the hips. Whether it is from running, walking, spending time with ALL the weeds! This tightness and low-grade pain, can often be attributed to tightness surrounding the sacroiliac joint (or SI joint to keep it a little easier). One amazing opportunity for us to both express our creativity and get out some kinks is through our Wide-legged forward fold or Prasarita Padottanasana.
Coming into Wide-legged forward fold:
- Step wide along the long side of your mat. Part of the exploration is finding that right distance for you TODAY!
- Allow the feet to be parallel to one another, and lift through the arches.
- Placing the hands on the hips is a good starting point, though experienced practitioners may want to start expressing some of that creativity here… have at it.
- On an inhale, lengthen through the spine, and begin hinging at the hips. Maintain the length through the spine for as long as we can.
- As the spine becomes parallel to the earth we may with to drop the hands to the earth and hand out here. It is a lovely place.
- At this stage, you may wish to release some of the engagement of the back muscles and move more into a forward fold.
- Arms can dangle down towards the floor. We can walk hands to one foot, and then the other. We can interlace the hands behind the back.
- Play around with the head, shaking the head yes, and shake the head no.
- Allow your body to accept space, to bring it in. Take a risk 🙂
- Try walking your feet in or out, see if there is room to grow.
- Today may be a day where the creativity comes not through the physical body, rather through the breath.
Benefits of Prasarita Padottanasa:
- Keeps the SI joint fluid. Without nutation and counternutation this joint can fuse up as we age. Keep it moving!
- Tremendous traction for the low back.
- Opener for the legs.
- Strengthens the arches of the feet.
- Engages the core and the muscles of the spine.