24 September 2010
Teaching Script for Prasarita Padottanasana
To prepare for Prasarita Padottanasana, place your blocks on the long side of your mat, shoulder width apart. Remember to keep a slight bend in your knees if you have tight hamstrings or back problems, especially when getting into and out of the pose. Standing in Tadasana, inhale slowly. On the exhale, step your feet to a wide stance, toes pointing directly forward. Inhale and ground down through your feet, connecting to the earth through the four points of each foot. Exhale slowly, releasing the tension in your neck and arms as you drop your shoulders down your back. As you inhale, float your arms to the sky, palms facing inward, as if your breath generated the motion. As you exhale, slowly hinge forward from your hips with a straight back, placing your hands on the blocks in front of you. Hold this position for three breaths, lengthening your spine on the inhale and releasing tension from the back of your legs on the exhale. As you feel your spine lengthen in this forward fold, continue to ground down through the four points of each foot, keeping the weight slightly forward in the ball of the foot. Not so much that your heels lift, but just a slight weight shift forward. On your next inhale you will move your hands in between your legs. You can adjust the position of the blocks if necessary, or if your back has relaxed enough, move the blocks to the side and place your hands directly on the floor, palms open and fingers spread widely. If you can, on your next exhale, walk your hands back until the fingertips align with your heels, keeping your palms flat on the ground and your elbows stacked above your wrists. Stay here for three breaths, lengthening on the inhale, releasing tension on the exhale. Feel your neck become longer and the tightness in your hamstrings melt away. On your next inhale, press down with your feet and raise yourself up with a flat back. Step your feet together with your arms at your sides, palms forward, to return to Tadasana.