Square pose is one of those asanas that has a lot of room for adjustment. Because of this, it’s still attainable to the “can’t quite touch my toes” yogi but is still beneficial for the yogi who regularly finds themselves in a pretzel-like shape. Square pose is a deep hip opener which simultaneously releases any tension in the lower back through the forward fold.
Coming into this pose for the first time may take a little bit for you to find your ideal posture.
Begin just by sitting cross-legged, the legs a little further away from the body than where you normally place them. Lean forward a bit here and take note of the sensation in your outer hips. If your hips are really “talking” to you, then this is where you belong. If there isn’t much sensation or if you don’t feel like you’ve reached your edge (which you can learn about here), try a different variation.
Lift one leg so it can rest on top of the other. For example, if the left leg is on top, the left the ankle is resting on top of the right knee.
If tension in the hips doesn’t allow the top knee to rest on the bottom ankle, go back to the starting position and spend some time there first. The idea is that the legs are always “square” to the front of the mat. Wherever you decide to be, fold forward from the hips and allow the spine to round in order to release any tension from the sacral or lumbar regions. Remain here for three to five minutes, remembering to find stillness. You may notice that the hips begin to give and that you can stretch a bit more from the spine. After the three to five minutes, slowly return to an upright position. Send the legs out in front of you and do some “windshield wipers” to release the hips. Repeat this process with the opposite leg in front/on top making sure to take note if one side is tighter than the other and making any necessary adjustments. Enjoy another round of windshield wipers to finish.
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