More Leg Work!!!
I went back to the leg work again, but my focus was shifted to the inner foot this morning. The work was to ground the inner foot down in standing poses and backbends, and press the base of the big toe in seated forward folds. What I referred to here was not the pronation when the arch was collapsed. Instead, I brought awareness to the inner foot and inner thigh.
In standing poses, I tended to put more weight on the outer foot than inner foot, which was quite obvious on how outside heels of my shoes worn out more than inside. By pressing my inner foot down, it helped to bring the foot to a "neutral" position where the weight was evenly distributed between four corners of the foot. In addition, it forced me to turn on the adductor as well as the Mula Bandha. The pose that I could feel this work the most was Trikonasana. As soon as I turned on the adductors, the energy (legs) was drawn in toward each other. If you are not sure whether adductors are turned on, try Trikonasana with socks on on the hardwood floor (no yoga mat).
Similar work applied to seated poses. Instead of grounding inner foot down, I pressed the toe mound forward (especially the big toe side), which helped me to engage the Mula Bandha and inner leg. In seated poses, the Mula Bandha was often forgotten. I usually went into passive and relax stretching mode in seated forward folds. Pressing the big toe mound forward reminded me to engage the Mula Bandha. One way to keep ourselves honest on doing this work it to put the sole of the foot against the wall or a block, then actively pressing through toe mound and into the wall or block.
Then I moved into the Second Series. Even though most poses were back bends, my attention was still on the legs. In Shalabasana, Bhekasana and Dhanurasana, I fired up the quads and glutes to lift the legs up. In Ustrasana, Laghu Vajrasana and Kapotasana, I had to keep pushing the thigh bones and hips forward, and to lift my heart up. Believe or not, the leg work has helped tremendously on my drop back.
As I am typing, I just realize that I forgot to do Supta Vajrasana today. I was so ready to do the drop back after Kapotasna and totally forget about doing the next pose.
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