Lop

Figure 7.17c. For tl third position, con up, twist to the lei and bend forward s in fig. 7.17a except in he opposite direction (The order in whic direction to go fir-can be switched o alternate days, as i going to the right st on even days of lb month and going I the left first on od> days of the month

7 twisting postures 415

Figure 7.17d. Come up, stay twisted to the left, and bend backward, with muscles engaged from head to toe. It's fine to keep the knees straight so long as they are not hyperextended beyond 180" and so long as the thighs (especially the hamstring muscles) are kept in a state of strong isometric contraction. Experienced students can of course use their own judgement about how and where to relax in standing poses (see chapter 4).

Figure 7.17e. Come up, face the front, and bend forward, again keeping the muscles in the thighs engaged. Notice that gravity pulls you straight forward and that it is not necessary to keep pulling yourself around to the side as in the twisted poses. Strong students can still aid gravity with muscular activity.

Figure 7.17e. Come up, face the front, and bend forward, again keeping the muscles in the thighs engaged. Notice that gravity pulls you straight forward and that it is not necessary to keep pulling yourself around to the side as in the twisted poses. Strong students can still aid gravity with muscular activity.

figure 7.17f. Come up and bend backward to your capacity, merely standing straight for some, pulling mildly to the rear for average students, and pulling strongly to the rear for those with more experience, but always keeping muscles in a state at least mild isometric tension from head to toe. Be aware of alternatives of breathing in backbends (chapters 4 and 5; figs. 4.19, 5.6, and 5.7.)

416 anattm 1 of hatha vtxja

416 anattm 1 of hatha vtxja

Figure 7.18a. Second of seven arm and forearm positions (the first was illustrated in fig. 7.17a-f) each demonstrating a different stage of the twist-and-bend sequence of six postures. For this one, keep (he upper extremities straight out to the side in one line with the shoulders (don't lift the hands up as in making wings as though to fly). Keep the fingers together and palms down.

Figure 7.18b. Grasp the forearms or shoulders behind the head for the third series of six bends. Watch the extra weight overhead thai has to be managed in the three forward bending positions. With this series in particular, beginners and those who have less musculoskeletal confidence will want to start with six small bending gestures rather than immediately exploring their limits. With more experience, one can always ratchet up commitment to the full postures.

Figure 7.18c. For the ft> th series of six bends, pla< the hands in a prayer p si-Con behind the back, r work toward that posi >n by touching the third .i J fourth fingers of one h id to the third and fourth in-gers of the opposite h. d, and then gradually lift' ? the paired hands hight to approximate the palms is much as possible. New hurry this process, as ( ;"E so can cause repetitive stress injuries-

7 TVJSTiW; POSTtlRIx figure 7.1Ud. For the fifth series of six bends, interlock the fingers behind the back, press the palms together, and pull the hands strongly to the rear. For an easier option, keep the forearms flattened against the back instead of pulling them to the rear.

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