About the asana
Hi, this is Tim with MidpackRunner.com. I’m here today with another stretch for the active runner.
This time, we’re targeting the quadriceps and the lumbar spine. This asana is called saddle in yin yoga. I’ve also heard it called camel, so you may be more familiar with it under that name. We’ll be holding this asana for 3 to 5 minutes.
This pose can become a very deep stretch, perhaps too deep for some people. You’ll want to be especially careful with your knees and lower back.
As with all of our poses to this point, if you ever feel any pain, stop and consult a trainer before continuing.
Begin kneeling with your legs wide enough for you to sit down between them. Your feet are pointed back behind you. Tilt your pelvis forward as you lean backward onto your hands or your elbows.
If you’re especially flexible, you can come all the way down so that your back rests on the floor. In this position, placing the crown of your head onto the floor will open up the neck and deepen the stretch slightly.
Remember, don’t feel compelled to go all the way back right away. This is an intense stretch, and you may need to work up to it. As your flexibility increases over time, you will be able to get deeper into this pose. You definitely want to be patient with this, and all of the stretches in this series.
If you’re like me, and you find that this asana bothers your knees, you can open them up by placing a rolled hand towel into the crux of the knee before lowering back down.
The other modification that can be helpful is sitting on the edge of a block to help keep your hips tilted forward. Just be aware that you don’t want to lower down as far if your using a block. I generally recommend that you don’t come any further down than your elbows in this case.
Finally, you can play around with sitting on or between your legs. Sitting between your legs will provide a deeper stretch in the hip flexors and quads. Sitting on your legs will put the focus more into the lumbar spine.
If you do play with sitting on your legs for this, just be sure to pay careful attention to your ankles, and this modification can cause additional strain for some people.