To complement my video series, I am in the process of detailing the basic instructions for each of the 26 postures.  Starting off with Half Moon Posture.   My mindful approach to Bikram yoga has proven to be particularly beneficial to those with stiff and unfit bodies.

In every postures your are engaging a range of muscles and equally relaxing all other muscles.  Most beginners over contract muscle which need to be relax.  The more your body learns to relax these muscles the less your are fighting against yourself and the more the body will open, building greater precision of strength in the process.   If you simply try to go into a posture as far as you can, the bodies self protection system kicks locking everything up so that you don't injure yourself - now your just knackering yourself out and getting now where.

In all the postures, always focus on creating space; opening up the joints, opening up the body through the precise application of strength.  Feel it, Breath it , don't just do it.

"It's not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential."  Bruce Lee
 


Half Moon (Lateral Flex)

 
Half Moon 1

INSTRUCTIONS

 

THE SETUP

  • Feet together heels and toes touching.
  • Arms up over your head; palms together;  interlace fingers and cross thumbs.  Maintain a tight grip through the posture.
  • Body weight on your heels; thigh muscles contracted; tuck your tailbone under; hips forward a little bit; open up your chest and rib cage; arm locked with elbows against the ears, if you can.
  • Now bring your focus to the spine and length up, opening up the whole spine.

 

THE POSTURE (left side opening)

  • Maintain that opening and push your hips to the left and very slowly come down to the right, opening up the whole of your left side.
  • Keep your shoulders and hips parallel to the mirror.  Lift your left side chest up to increase the opening down the left side.  Opening up the whole of your left side, create a stretch all the way down the left side from the fingers tips to the toes.
  • When you reach a point of intense tightness hold it for a few breaths.  Then go again; first lengthen the spine and then push hips more and create more opening down the whole lift side. 
  • As always stomach sucked in and shoulders & hips parallel to the mirror; breath calm; thigh muscles tight.
  • Don't fool yourself into thinking its about how far you can come down.  It's all about how much you can prize open the whole of the left side.
  • Repeat on the other side (Right side opening)