Our June 2018 post of the month is Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana – Revolved Compass Pose or Sundial Pose.
This is a simultaneously grounding and expansive yoga posture with powerful energetic effects. Rich in symbolism, the pose uses the body as an instrument to guide us back home.
This intermediate/advanced yoga posture requires equal parts strength and flexibility. Several areas of the body need to be warm and open before moving into this pose: the hips, groins, hamstrings, shoulders and side bodies.
Getting Into Compass Pose
1 Start seated in a cross-legged position. Place the sole of your right foot on the floor, leaving your left foot where it is, and hug your right knee into your chest.
2 Lengthen your right arm along the inside of your right knee and grab hold of the outside of your right foot. With your left hand behind you for support, lean back as you lift your right foot off the floor until the sole of your foot is facing the front of the room, shinbone parallel to the floor.
3 Holding onto the outside of the right foot with your right hand, flex your foot as you pull the right foot and knee straight back alongside the outer right ribs.
4 Flex your left foot as well, and firm your left inner thigh down to lengthen up through the spine. Then raise your left arm up and across your chest, reaching over the top of your right foot to grab the outer edge of that foot with your left hand.
5 With the left hand holding the right foot, release the right hand down to the floor beside your right hip with your right arm inside and under your right leg.
6 Leaning onto your left hip, pull your right knee further back with your left hand and swing the leg higher up and over your right shoulder (as though you were throwing a purse over your shoulder).
7 Pause and take a deeper inhale. With your left hand griping your outer right foot lean more into your right hand now, and begin to straighten your right leg, pushing your right foot into your left hand, on the exhale.
8 As you begin to straighten your right leg, simultaneously pull back with your left hand, bringing the left arm behind your head, and turn your chest, belly and gaze to the left, looking up under your left armpit.
To release re-bend the extended top knee, remove your right arm out from underneath your right leg and release the foot to the floor.
This pose can easily be modified by using a strap to connect your hand and foot together.