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Awkward pose – aka Utkatasana – is one of the primary leg-strengthening moves in the Bikram posture series. As the second posture in the sequence it is also a big wake-up call to the major muscle groups: your quadriceps, triceps, biceps, delts, abs and calves saying: “Come on! It’s time to do some yoga.”
Three keys to doing utkatasana correctly are:
1. Have your feet parallel in the shape of an H or 11, never veeing in or out.
2. Keep your abdominals tight throughout – this supports your back.
3. Shake a leg! As you lower down, your quads might start trembling. Hang in there.
It’ll hurt sometimes, but remember this quote from Emmy Cleaves:
Whenever there is shaking, there is always a threatened nerve. It’s NEVER an impulse saying, “If you keep going there could be trouble.” Shaking is not bad, it is your body creating new neural passageways and learning to strengthen and hold.