November 2008 Koundinyasana

Posted By Mimi on Nov 1, 2008 in Blogs, O2 Yoga Blog |

For many years I have taught a pose called Koundiyasana and revolved Koundinyasana. In researching the pose of the month, I found out that what we often teach at O2 as Koundinyasana is actually Koundinyasana II, and the revolved pose is actually Koundinyasana I. Koundinyasana I is a twist and Koundinyasana II is more like a flying split. We will work on both throughout the month as pose and counterpose. They are both arm balances and hamstring-intense, so we will also be countering with lots of wrist stretches and standing, seated, and lying preps. Koundinyasana II also requires some spinal flexion, so backbends are often great for countering this pose.

Koundinyasana II is a variation of Titibasana. It requires the flexibility in the front to allow the shoulder to go beneath the thigh with the leg remaining straight. The front leg is externally rotated to allow a better shelf on the arm, but also a bit more room. The second piece of the posture is the weight shift, which allows the back leg to come off the ground. The straighter the front leg and the higher up on the arm, the easier the weight shift becomes. This is because the front let provides a counterweight to the back.

Koundinyasana I is esentially side crane but with the legs extended, one to the side and one behind. This is a very intense twist as well as requiring tons of flexibility in the hamstrings. The fun part is the prep. There are so many ways to work towards these poses. Lots of fun will be had throughout the month!


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