Pose of the day. Postures based on Bidalasana.
Bidalasana, or “Cat pose” is very familiar to everyone. Unfortunately, it is often considered as tiring and boring practice by some.
When I ask to practise it I sometimes hear a strained groan in class. So pity! The simple often does not mean ineffective one! Though it is not as simple pose as it seems.
Dozens of years yoga-mankind keeps inventing more heaped poses taking Cat’s pose as a base in order not to fed up. Let’s do it too and look how the ordinary can become something new and interesting.
Bidalasana is a very important posture to keep up the spine and paravertebral muscles’ flexibility. It looks as simple movement and in daily practice, it may not be necessary so much. But in fact, it is necessary. Because the human needs to discover new things and it’s never enough. It is an advantage for us because of two basic primal feelings: fear and curiosity.
Put fear aside and let the curiosity come in! Here is a dynamic cycle of poses based on Bidalasana.
1. Today the original pose (the Cat’s pose) is now known even to a child. So let’s go ahead to its content and its forms diversity. The starting pose is on all fours. Inhaling, draw the right knee to the forehead (or breast or stomach, depending on the degree of spine flexibility).
2. With a soft exhale, push the foot back up, pulling muscles of thigh to toe tips. Important: do not turn the right hip outwards, and keep pelvis centred. Push yourself with palms from the ground, hold the elbows straight. Do not bend the lower back too much.
3. Repeat the earlier bundle several times on each side. Once you are warmed up move on to the next step: add the balance element to Bidalasana.
To do this, transfer the body weight on the left side supports (palm and instep/toe). With the right-hand grab to right foot. Grab instep or Shin, as you prefer. Mind the mobility degree your shoulder joint. With left palm, knee and instep push upwards from the floor. From the right hand and foot pull the body upwards smoothly and evenly.
Remember even and symmetry of traction is very important in this case. The leg is pulled up not by hand but the whole construction moves due to its working muscles! Stop for a few breathing cycles then return to Bidalasana. Adjust the supporting side and run it on the left side.
4. Ready to go ahead? Let’s move on! Let’s do a twisted extension in the Cat’s pose. The movement is like the previous one, but here the right hand and left foot will work as supporting points. Capture the right foot with the left hand. Be very careful, because here the shoulder turn and its mobility will be even more intensive! When you affirm the original pose, push the whole construction up. Try to keep the balance and traction symmetry. Fix in this pose for several breathing cycles. Go back to Bidalasana. Repeat with the other side.
5. Ready to move on? Let’s experiment further! Leave the previous variation as the original one. When you fix the traction of arms and legs and keep balance, try to pull the heel to the buttock, stretching the anterior surface of the right thigh. If possible try to squeeze the heel to the buttock, while keeping the thigh parallel to the ground.
Fix the pose for several breathing cycles. Follow with the other side.
6. And finally, try to expand the body up, rotating the right thigh out, but not dropping the knee to the floor. Lock the balance and hold for a few breathing cycles. Repeat with the other side.
Well, now you know how to vary your practice and add to your “Cat” new colours!..))