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Jackknife Pose

"Nothing on earth can hold me!"

Paa-da-has-taa-sa-na Pada = foot; Hasta = hand


From tadasana, inhale and circle your hands out to the sides and overhead, stretching tall.  As you exhale, push your sitbones back behind you and bend forward from your hips, keeping your spine straight and circling your hands out to the sides and down to wherever they reach on your legs. Bend your knees if necessary (never lock them). Inhale and reach with your sitbones toward the ceiling/ then exhale and release the backs of your legs as you lengthen your spine.

Continue breathing and relaxing,  bending forward only as far as you can keep a straight spine. Lengthen the crown of your head away from the tailbone. Grasp the backs of your knees,  calves or ankles (whichever you can reach); if you can do so without round-ing your spine,  wrap the first two fingers of each hand around the inside of the corresponding big toe.

When you reach your deepest forward bend, inhale and lengthen your spine one last time, then exhale and release into the "surrender" phase of the pose, allowing your spine especially the base of the spine to relax and lengthen, and the crown of your head to release toward the floor.

Breathe smoothly and naturally as you hold the pose and affirm mentally,  "Nothing on earth can hold me!" Go farther into the forward bend only through relaxation,  not through effort.

To exit, release your hands and bend your knees slightly. Then on an inhalation, push your feet into the floor. engage your abdominal and lower back muscles, and circle your


hands out to the sides and up as you bring your torso back to vertical. Finish the inhalation by stretching tall through your fingertips, then exhale into tadasana.

Pause to integrate the effects of the pose.