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Squat Pose

Warm-up posture to open your hips, groin and inner thighs.
 

Squat Pose helps to open your hips, groin and inner thighs, while stretching your ankles and feet. This pose can also relieve tension in your lower back. Regular practice of Squat Pose can help improve your balance and concentration.
 
This pose is commonly used as a transition from seated to standing poses. From a seated pose, you can move into Squat Pose and then slowly roll your spine up, one vertebra at a time, to a standing position. Squat Pose is also a good prenatal exercise because it stimulates your pelvic area and opens your groin and hips.
 
To help you balance and feel more comfortable in the pose, you may need to adjust your stance after you bend your knees and lower your hips. You may find it helpful to move your feet a bit further apart or turn your toes out slightly.
 
Use caution performing Squat Pose if you have problems with your knees or hips.
 
Steps:
Begin in Mountain Pose.
Step your feet slightly wider than hip width apart, with your toes pointing forward.
Bend forward from your hips.
Place your hands on the floor slightly in front of you, with your palms facing down.
Keeping your hands on the floor for support, bend your knees and lower your hips toward the floor.
Gently lower your heels toward the floor.
Move your elbows or upper arms to the inside of your knees and then bring your hands together in Prayer Pose.
Gently press your elbows or upper arms against your inner legs to open your hips, inner thighs and groin.
Point the crown of your head toward the ceiling.
Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
To come out of the pose, bring your hands back to the floor, straighten your legs and then roll your spine up, one vertebra at a time. Then return to Mountain Pose.
 
Modification:
You can add motion to Squat Pose to energize your spine. Perform Squat Pose, except keep your hands on the floor instead of placing your hands in Prayer Pose. Inhale as you lift your hips toward the ceiling and move the crown of your head toward the floor. Then exhale and lower your hips back toward the floor. Lift and lower your hips ten times.
 
My heels do not reach the floor when I perform Squat Pose. What can I do?
If your heels do not reach the floor, you can remain on the balls of your feet, or place a rolled or folded blanket under your heels for support. Make sure the blanket is not so thick that it pushes your heels up further. The blanket should only support your heels at the lowest position possible.
 
What can I do if I find it difficult to balance in this pose?
You can leave your hands on the floor for support instead of bringing your hands together in Prayer Pose. You can also move into Squat Pose with your back against a wall for support. Slowly slide your back down the wall to lower your hips into the pose. As you slide down, allow your heels to lift off the floor.
 
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