Peak Pose Breakdown

July 28, 2018

It thrills me to look at a difficult pose and break it apart. Questions that come up are usually around what is required of the joints and muscles. Where are we most deeply compromised? What are some repeated shapes within it that we see in basic postures? What is the greatest liability? What would the flexible or strong student take for granted?

Kasyapasana is so many things at once- a handbalance, a bound posture, a lotus posture. Below my aim is to make it as accessible as possible to a wide range of students. If you can only get so far please do not force your body but rather repeat some of the sequence for a month or more before trying to go full throttle again. This is also not a complete practice, just a study on a single pose.

The work:

This beautiful posture is hard on the lotus knee if the lotus hip doesn’t laterally rotate. So there you need the outer hip to be supple and strong. We could even take that further and make sure the adductors of the inner thigh are lengthened.

Next at the top of the list is the internally rotated shoulder of the binding arm. Once you grab the foot from behind the shoulder will take pressure. So we have to do work on opening the chest and engaging the upper back. In the sequence below you will see some shoulder extension postures which is not the exact position of the final pose. Repetitively turning the upper arm bone in and bearing weight on it to me feels dangerous so I’m working more on opening the chest and repeating a clasp behind.

The outer hip of the standing leg needs to be strong so that it doesn’t drop (sag towards the floor). So the work you do for the lotus knee ultimately will assist you here too.

Certainly this pose could be pulled apart further for wrist extension and the work of the supportive standing leg ankle.

Below you will see the nuggets from class this week that I feel make this pose present in many other forms.

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Need help with catching the bind? This could work:
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