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#PowerPose 20 – Kapiṅjalāsana

Named after a partridge that lives only on raindrops or dew, Kapiṅjalāsana is also know as Dew Drop Pose.  This challenging pose requires a focused balance of strength and grace.  The foundational poses of Vasiṣṭāsana, Camatkārāsana, and Naṭarājāsana come together to create all of the actions needed, just infuse a bit of raindrop softness and release.

The stability of the base side plank or Vasiṣṭāsana is extremely important.  Keeping the base shoulder integrated on the back and stable will help prevent any injury to the rotator cuff.  Grounding through the full footprint of the bottom foot instead of just the blade edge, will also create stability.  This requires ankle mobility, so work over time to root all four corners of the base foot to the ground.

Try these variations to explore this challenging posture:

IMG_1272Option 1 – Foot Reach.  From side plank, bend the top knee, reaching the heel toward the glute.  Reach the top hand back as you would for dancer’s pose.  These movements can challenge the structure of the side plank, so move slowly and mindfully.  If your hamstrings seize up, then add dynamic movement by bending and straightening the knee.

IMG_1277_2Option 2 – Side Plank with Half Bow.  Eventually, the opening of the shoulder and quad help to bring the foot and the hand together.  If needed you can coil the knee to the chest, establish the grab and then draw the leg behind.  At first, hug the heel to the glute for a great quad opener, then kick the foot into the hand creating the half bow shape.

IMG_1279Option 3 – Turn the Heart.  When you are confident in the foundation and the grab of the foot, begin to turn the heart to expose it skyward.  This rotation is not recommended if you have any shoulder damage.  But, if your shoulders are healthy, the stretch feels so good.  Keep the hips lifted as you make the turn.  If you get wobbly, release the foot and land in wild thing.  You can even make it look like that was your plan the whole time.

IMG_1291Option 4 – With Strap or Foot Grab.  To create a fuller backbend, grab the foot, reach the elbow overhead and rotate the hand on the foot, so palm and fingers cover the toes and grip the top of the foot.   If you need a little extra space, use a strap.  Add the turn of the heart when you are able.

In addition to these variations, you can try any of these from a kneeling plank with the bottom knee down.  You can also brace the bottom foot against a wall for added support.

As always, work were you feel challenged and can keep your body safe.  That’s really the only way to find the softness of the dew drop that really enlivens this pose.  Follow this #PowerPose challenge @suzannewrightyoga on Instagram or at Suzanne Wright Yoga on Facebook.  If you post your pictures or about your experience be sure to tag #PowerPose and @suzannewrightyoga.

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