22 February 2011

Teaching Script for Utthita Trikonasana

To prepare for Utthita Trikonasana, place your blocks on the long side of your mat about 4 feet apart. Standing in Tadasana, inhale slowly. On the exhale, step your feet to a wide stance, bringing your hands to your hips. Bend your left leg and rotate it open from the hip. Check the position of your feet: the back toes should be turned slightly in and the front heel should align with the back arch. Also check that your left knee is aligned with your second toe. Allow your right hip to rotate forward (unsquare your hips). On your next inhale, lift your arms to the sides, parallel to the floor. Focus on generating the lift from your shoulder muscles while also allowing your shoulders to drop down as the shoulder blades melt forward into your chest. Hold here and breathe. Keep your arms lifted and engage the muscle in the front of your thigh, straightening your left leg.  On your next inhale, extend your body over your left leg, reaching your arm to the side of the room. Keeping length in your waist, slowly reach your left hand to the floor, your ankle, or onto the block, as your chest expands and your right hand reaches toward the ceiling. Soften the front ribs so that your chest does not puff out. Hold the pose for several breaths, lengthening your waist on the inhale, and deepening the stretch on the exhale. Press your femur bone on your right leg back while you firm the left glute under. As you inhale, feel the front of your chest expand and widen across your collarbones, exhale and send the breath down your arms and out through your fingertips as they lengthen. Draw the shoulders down and away from your ears and firm the outside of your right arm in, making a straight line from one hand to the other. Keep your neck elongated, turning the head to look up to your hand if that is comfortable. On your next inhale, press down into your feet and raise yourself up to standing, keep reaching the arms outward in a straight line. Exhale and step your feet together, bringing your arms at your sides, palms forward, to return to Tadasana.

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