Compass Pose: How to Do It

3 min read

Get ready, hamstrings and hips; this one’s for you! Compass Pose, or Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana, is a gorgeous reminder of how yogaone us chart our course and find our way to the home in our soul. When practiced correctly, this pose both looks and feels awesome!

Warming up your hips and hamstrings is essential before you even attempt this pose. I suggest you practice Fire-Log Pose, Thread-the-Needle, or Cradle-the-Baby before trying this one. Janu Sirsasana, or Head-to-Knee Pose, is another great opening pose to practice.

Compass Pose: How to Prepare

Sit cross-legged. Begin by inhaling deeply and stretching your back. Fold forward. Here, take five deep exhales and inhales to loosen the back of your hips. Slowly walk your hands up, and then release. The hands should be switched.

This time, stack the ankle over the knee. It’s a Fire-Log Pose. However, it is important to practice before trying Compass Pose. Be sure to fit your feet both ways. It is vital to protect your knees. Switch sides after holding for five deep Ujayii breathes.

Compass Pose: How to Do It

Again, sit cross-legged. Bring your right leg forward. Draw the leg towards the body, keeping the knee at 90 degrees. The shin should be crossed over the body, and the knee should be near the right armpit.

Place the left hand next to the ball of your right foot. Place the right hand over the right calf. Then, using your hands as a guide, begin to “backpack” or wrap the right leg around the right shoulder. You are now using your right hand” to guide “the upper leg and knee behind the right shoulder. Then, you want to try to get the leg to “backpack” around the shoulder.

Extend the right arm to the side. Keep your back long. Spread “our coll” rbones. Keep your chest wide and open. Roll the shoulders slightly backward and downwards. This will keep your right leg in place.

Do not look at the foot. Look over your left shoulder to the sky. Start straightening the right leg by taking a deep breath and using your left hand to help you. If you have super-open hips and hamstrings, the leg will naturally straighten.

Rotate the top of your right thigh inwards if you are a little tighter. You will be able to straighten your hamstring completely. It’s normal to feel some resistance. Sometimes, the hamstring must cross the knee joint, so it must straighten the hips completely.

Remember, do not force yourself or strain. Try again tomorrow if it does not come today.

Compass Pose can be a grounding and comforting asana with some practice and opening. This posture can help you find a sense of home, even if you are far away. Yoga helps us to find peace in our soul, which is what home is.

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