One Pose—Three Ways

The last time YogaCity NYC met Meghan Lastra in OnePose, she demonstrated anjaneyasana. Today, Lastra, who is studio manager at Bread and Yoga, breaks down parsvottansana, bringing alignment and breathing sensibilities from her background in Hathavidya. Here's how Lastra explains intense side stretch pose in three different ways:

YogaCity NYC: What pose did you chose and why do you like it?

Meghan Lastra: I chose parsvottanasana. This pose is a wonderfully complex pose with lots of different ways to work into it.

YCNYC: Describe the anatomy of the first pose and body parts engaged.

ML: In this variation of the pose, you’re just exploring the use of the leg muscles and feet while taking out the complexity of the hip rotation. Start in a lunge position with the back foot flexed and the back knee off the mat. Find parallel hips first making sure that neither hip is behind the other or dipping down to one side. Keeping your fingertips on the floor and the stomach touching the front thigh, slowly start to lift the hips up and back as you straighten the front leg. The back foot will stay like it was in the lunge so it’s easier to play with where the hips are in space and in relation to each other. They should always stay in parallel. From here start to play with the action of drawing the feet together, like squeezing the legs up and in. Once you start to play with this action, you’ll have more space to stretch your spine long and over the front leg.

YCNYC: What body parts are engaged in the second pose?

ML: The second pose utilizes blocks in order keep the spine long for those of us with tight hamstrings. We’ve also added in the full variation of the back heel down on the mat so we’re really starting to feel the hip rotation. For this pose start with the legs wide apart, pointing the right toes towards the front of y