Yoga Day Forty-Seven – Frogger

This weekend was a yoga mess.  Still not feeling great, I slept through my usual Saturday class.  My two home studios had most/all classes cancelled, but I managed to grab a mindful vinyasa class at my scholarly studio (seriously, all of the women have advanced degrees in being brilliant, kind, funny, and having an energy reminiscent of the brilliant girls I ran with in high school).  My most constant teacher, R left my open-hearted love studio and is kind of a bridge between both energies.  I choose both, which is more expensive and makes me feel a little two-sided, but also gives me all of these amazing women as teachers.  The best of all sides of love, intelligence, grace, athleticism, music, chanting, and a billion classes.  Except Saturday.

Anyway, my 11:00 class was the perfect amount of hard, the perfect amount of movement, the perfect amount of LONG, LONG asanas, and the perfect amount of talking.  Prof. S is a more introspective yogaini, which I think has got to be hard for her, but for me it’s very calming and peaceful and I also tend to work harder with her, because she’s a professor and I am an always, always student.  She is also DEAD ON with the verbal cues.  I could seriously start out in mountain and end up in crow with my eyes closed and have perfect alignment.  I am so lacking in hand-eye coordination, so this feeling of ear-body coordination is exciting and calming.  Prof. S somehow gets me to squeeze in 5 more breaths than I ever thought was possible into holds and is one of the best hip instructors I have worked with (which I feel like is a kind of giant, giant skill given the incredible teachers I have).  She was super kind about my very tight knee and helped me modify some double pidgeon poses and she taught me frog, which I have decided to nickname frogger.

I freaking LOVE frogger.  I mean, in the way I love really long pidgeon or those insane low lunge hip openers (stalking cat – also extra deadly with Prof. S).  I sort of feel like everything is going to crack open and come pouring out and I might have a nervous breakdown, EXCEPT that I also feel strong and open hearted and full of awesome.  So get out bad energy.  Come in stillness.

I think I also really dig poses that are shameless.  For example, I would do pidgeon, king pidgeon, frogger, and then maybe goddess (supta baddha konasana), while playing Ani and Tori’s most shameless songs (like Shameless<:).  I find them freeing and tend to let go of everything but me, the mat, and maybe Prof. S telling me to flex my feet.  Seriously, yoga is my shy, emotional place, so these things are radical to me and my body.

I think most people would hate this pose, because it hurts like a *%&%**&!!! and requires a certain familiarity with your pelvic floor.  Being shameless and also so happy to not be overstretching my right knee, my reaction was more like, “I am so in love with how much this hurts, owowow, not going to cry, owowow, yum.”

And you can do it down like child’s pose, or up like cobra (hands together or flat on the earth).  One yogini said:

You are literally looking like a frog in this pose. One of my favorites because it opens the hips and works your thighs, throat, chest, abdomen, groin and quads as well! Helpful for rejuvenating knee joints while providing a deep stretch to the quadriceps and psoas muscles. Not only that, but it also strengthens the muscles of the back and improves posture, improves digestion and (my favorite) helps reduce excess fat in the body especially in the thigh, hip and abdominal region. It also assists in the cure of pain in the knees, ankles, and back. . . . There are many ways to come at this pose. First it’s helpful to warm up a bit with a few sun salutations and other yoga vinyasas to be sure your body is ready to get deep into this pose (as deep as it will go for your body that is; our anatomy is unique for each of us). You can start from your belly or from a seated position. I like to begin in a wide standing down dog pose. So just like downdog but legs are very wide. Then walk your hands forward while pointing your feet out and bending your knees. Drop the knees to the mat. Take your knees as wide as they will go. Adjust the position of your hips and see if you can press back a bit with them. Surrender those knees wide a bit more while opening up those hips. We can have our hands either under our legs with wrists under shoulders or I like to come down onto my forearms and rest here while I play with how wide I can take my knees. The most challenging is to have feet out, rather than in towards each other. To make it easier while still getting an excellent stretch, have feet come in towards the center and each other. Lower the head if that feels good or gaze forward.  Hold till you feel like your reached your edge in time. To come out press your hands into the mat or floor and bring your knees in slowly and gently. Come into child’s pose and rest for a few minutes

I think if you bent up too much in the back and gave it an upward facing dog backbend,  it might get a little x-rated.

Sometimes yoga does that.  Frogger!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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