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  • Compass Yoga Pose
    How to Work Towards It and What You can Do After It

    compass yoga pose, compass yoga pose alternatives and preparations, compass pose, binding yoga poses, shoulder stretches, leg stretches

    What's a good way to prepare for compass yoga pose? Since the leg is behind the shoulder in this pose you can use yoga poses where the shoulder and leg are in a similiar relationship as preparations.

    Since this can be harder with the knee straight, start with postures where the knee is bent.

    Is it a Hamstring Stretch?

    Compass yoga pose can be thought of as a seated hamstring stretch. However it is also a shoulder stretch and a stretch for the side of the body.

    Notice the way that the knee (of the straight leg) points inwards towards the body as opposed to pointing backwards.

    Bend Knee Preparations for Compass Yoga Pose

    You could use binding side angle pose. Notice how the shoulder is close to the knee.

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    If you can't bind then you can do regular side angle pose and focus on reaching your elbow to the floor. Then roll the top side of your body backwards. Again notice the relationship between shoulder and knee.

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    If you can't get your elbow close the floor in side angle, you might want to prepare for side angle with low lunge.

    Aim to touch your chest to the floor in this hip extensor stretch.

    low lunge with elbows straight, compass yoga pose alternatives and preparations, compass pose, binding yoga poses, shoulder stretches, leg stretcheslow lunge push up variation, compass yoga pose alternatives and preparations, compass pose, binding yoga poses, shoulder stretches, leg stretches

    Again notice the relationship between the shoulder and leg in this lunging yoga pose.

    Straight Leg Preparations for Compass Yoga Pose

    Similiar to side angle but with the leg straight is seated wide leg side bend. (not shown.)

    You could have the other leg straight, or bend the knee and fold the shin to the inside of the thigh or outside. In the first case the bent leg knee is in the janu sirsana position. In the second case it is in the hero leg position.

    half hero side bend, compass yoga pose alternatives and preparations, compass pose, binding yoga poses, shoulder stretches, leg stretcheshalf hero side bend, compass yoga pose alternatives and preparations, compass pose, binding yoga poses, shoulder stretches, leg stretches

    This then could be called gate pose.

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    In any case, you first reach your elbow down to the floor, and then once that touches, then reach your shoulder to the floor.

    In all cases notice the direction that your knee is pointing in.

    It points towards the body (upwards) not back.

    Before you do compass pose you could do this compass pose prep which I use often as a seated hamstring stretch.

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    Preparing the Shoulder for Compass Yoga Pose

    You could also do this shoulder stretch. Which part of the shoulder stretch to do you think is relevant to compass pose, the straight arm or the bent arm?

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    Getting into compass pose relax the shoulder. Imagine reaching both the arm and the leg up and to the side. Once the knee is straight, or as you straighten it, turn the leg inwards so that the knee faces the body. Then once the knee is straight, then use the arm to pull the leg inwards.

    Brace the other hand on the floor, and then so that you can get used to doing this pose standing, take the hand off of the floor. But before you do brace the leg with the back of the shoulder.

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    After Compass Pose

    What do you do after compass pose?

    You might find that it feels right to do half lotus forward bend.

    half bound  lotus forward bend, ardha baddha padma paschimotanasana, compass yoga pose alternatives and preparations, compass pose, binding yoga poses, shoulder stretches, leg stretcheshalf bound lotus forward bend, ardha baddha padma paschimotanasana, compass yoga pose alternatives and preparations, compass pose, binding yoga poses, shoulder stretches, leg stretches

    Or ardha matsyendrasana.

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    Or you might like to do an arm balance variation like easy eka pada koundinyasana.

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    Feeling Tension and Using It

    In all of these poses including compass yoga pose, the thigh is close to the shoulder or in front of it. In the poses where the shoulder presses against the leg or vice versa, notice how this changes the overall feeling of your body. When you press one part of your body against another you create differences in the tension network of your body.

    The more tuned in to this that you are the better you can utilize this tension to your benefit.

    As an example, hopefully you found that relaxing the shoulder of the upper arm made it easier to straighten your leg. And if you tried the arm balance maybe you found that pressing the leg down against the arm made it easier to lift your body.

    Tension can be your friend if you learn how to feel it, control it and use it effectively.

    Seated Yoga Poses

    , If you are flexibility impaired, then one option for janu sirsasana side bend is to bend the knee of the leg you are bending towards. If you find that you tend to tip backwards you can also place the hand on the floor to the outside of the upward pointing knee. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses. , One option for a seated side bend is to sit with legs wide, knees straight and bend to one side. In this case both arms are reaching past the head adding weight to the stretch. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses. , One option for a seated side bend is to sit with legs wide, with one knee straight and the other knee bent with the shin folded to the outside of the thigh <br>(hero position). Bend towards the straight leg to stretch the side of the torso. In this case the top hand grabs the foot of the straight leg with the uppermost side of the ribcage rolling back. The lower shoulder is to the inside of the leg and pressing back against the leg.  Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses. , yoga for flexiblity, bound angle inner thigh stretch <br>(baddha konasana) with a 45 degree forward bend, hands grabbing the feet. Make the spine feel long from pelvis to head, push the feet into the floor and use the arms to pull up on the feet so that the ribcage moves down. In this picture my elbows point back. Model, Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses. , Hamstring stretches, wide leg forward bend. In this wide leg forward bend feet are a legs distance apart from side to side with feet parallel and knees straight. Upper body is tilted forwards with torso almost horizontal. Both arms are reaching forwards with hands off of the floor. Gaze is downwards. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses. , frog pose seated hip stretch. Sit with legs open 90 degrees. Keep one knee straight. Bend the other knee with the shin to the outside of the thigh <br>(hero position). Top of the foot or the inside of the foot can be on the floor. <br>(In picture, the inner foot is on the floor so that toes point outwards.) Turn midway between both thighs and slowly bend forwards. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses. , In seated forward bend, you can sit with legs parallel and knees straight. Tilting forwards at the hips, make the spine long <br>(from tailbone to crown) and reach the arms forwards. Make arms and legs and spine all feel long. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses. , In table top yoga pose, move the shoulder blades together. Reach the chest back <br>(towards the chin.) Press the feet down to press the pelvis up. In this picture the the head is slightly lifted. You could also relax the neck and let the head hang back. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses. , For reverse plank <br>(also called straight bridge or purvottanasana), move the shoulder blades together, reach the chest towards the chin and press the heels down into the floor to lift the pelvis. Keep the knees straight. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses. , Modified compass pose or Compass pose preparation is a seated hamstring stretch. From a cross legged position grab one foot with both hands, lift the floor and straighten the knee. Keep the neck long and chest lifted. Relax the shoulders to make it easier to straighten the knee. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses. , For compass pose, start from a seated cross leg position. Place one thigh behind the same shoulder. Press the hand into the floor. Grab the foot with the opposite hand. Keep the shoulder relaxed slowly straighten the knee and rotate the leg so that the knee points towards the side of the body. Press the other shoulder back against the leg. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses. , ardha matsyendrasana seated yoga pose. Step one leg over the other. Have foot just beside the other knee. In this picture the opposite arm is hugging the top knee. The other hand is on the floor behind the back. Both arms are being used to turn the ribcage and twist the spine. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses. , janu sirsasana a with head to shin and hand on the floor either side of the straight leg. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoa Poses. , Getting into Janu Sirsasana B seated yoga pose, Using hands to lift the hips and place anus on top of the bent knee heel. , janu sirsasana C, in this picture torso is upright with spine long. Foot is against the inner thigh with heel uppermost and toes tucked towards the knee. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses. , half bound lotus seated forward bend <br>(ardha baddha padmo paschimottanasana). Right foot is in lotus and bound with the right hand. Left hand is grabbing the left big toe. Torso is tilted forwards at the hips. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses. , bharadvajasana, one leg in lotus the other in hero. Lotus foot is bound with same side arm from behind the back. Hero side hand is on the lotus knee. Torso is twisting towards the lotus side. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses. , full lotus, hands on knees , Modified marichyasana position with non-marichyasana foot folded to the inside of the other foor. Torso is twisting away from the marichyasana side. Neil Kelher. Sensational Yoga Poses. , Marichyasana A from side, can see hand grabbing wrist behind back. , marichyasana C , marichyasana B from lotus leg side. Head off of the floor. , marichyasana D <br>(working towards binding) , triang muka eka pada paschimottanasana with hand grabbing wrist. three quarter front angle , reclining half hero pose <br>(ardha supta virasana), arms behind head , hero pose seated, upright, hands on floor. , reclining half hero pose, arms behind head

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