This week’s yoga stance is called ‘hero pose’. Lori Whitby of Slave Lake Smiling Dog Yoga says this is a good pose to sit in while meditating or to stretch out your thighs.
“But it isn’t comfortable for everyone. Be careful if you have a knee or an ankle injury,” she says. “Begin on your hands and knees; place a folded blanket under knees and shins if you would like cushioning. Separate your feet slightly wider than hip width (if this is painful on the tops of your feet or your knees, kneel on a thin blanket).”
Whitby adds, “Slowly lower your hips back and sit on the floor between your feet. If your thighs feel tight or sitting back starts to hurt your knees, you can sit on one or even two blocks placed between your feet. Mindfully keep your toes pointing straight back and the ankles drawn in close to your hips to protect your knees.”
Whitby says that if you’re feeling any discomfort, don’t push through the pose because it could cause knee injury.
“Press your shins and knees into the earth as you lengthen through the spine, lift up through the head, roll your shoulders up back and down then bring your ears in line with your shoulders,” she says. “Relax the face, jaw, and belly. Breathe deeply through the nose down into the belly.”
Hold for five breaths or as long as comfortable or for the duration of your mediation practice.
Benefits: Stretches quadriceps, strengthens the tops of the feet and improves posture
If you’re interested in trying out the yoga pose of the week in-studio, Whitby says Smiling Dog is offering summer classes and new workshops starting in September.
“Our drop-in classes are $12 plus tax,” she says. “We are also offering a yoga teacher training that starts in January.”
Camille Gatto in ‘hero pose.’