Apanasana: it seems so simple and easy but wait till you see all the things you can do with it!
Apanasana works great for warming up the lower back and hips. It is also helpful for establishing breath- movement connection.
Apanasana: 3 stages is very useful for diagnostic purposes (when you don’t know how much pain the client has in the hips or lower back). It also helps loosen up the lower back when it’s really tight.
I love to use Apanasana: no hands when I am teaching new students how to do the pose. Many newbies tend to use their arms a lot and tense the neck, so asking them to use their abdomen only helps to shift their thinking and view the pose differently. Also works well for the abs!
Apanasana: pelvis lift is one of the best moves to target lower abs – I always include it when I do any sort of core work. The trick is not to tense the neck and upper body and make sure that the knees lift up, instead of moving in.
Apanasana: one knee is really useful for diagnostic purposes – it lets you compare the right and left hip (sensations, mobility, trajectory of movement). Great to use with students who have lower back pain or hip discomfort.
One leg up
Apanasana: one leg up is great for alternating back stretching with hamstring stretching on each side. Super useful to test the range of motion in the knee, loosen it up and prepare for hamstring work later on.
Apanasana: knee hug is a great way to warm up your hip flexors and stretch your back and glutes one side at a time. It is even more effective when followed by Apanasana: toe tap
Apanasana: toe tap is excellent for releasing tension in the hip flexors. Be sure to maintain mild abdominal contraction (inner corset) through the entire movement. Do your best to keep the trajectory of movement consistent, and do as many taps as you please before you extend the leg fully.
Apanasana: knee circles is great for loosening up the hips and gently stretching the lower back. You can circle your legs outward few times and then reverse and circle them inward – whatever feels good.
Apanasana + Dvipada Pitham
Apanasana + Dvipada Pitham combo works great if you want to warm up the hips and lower back. It alternately stretches and contracts the hip flexors, glutes and lower back musculature.
Apanasana+Urdhva Prasarita Padasana
Apanasana+Urdhva Prasarita Padasana is a simple move that’s very effective for stretching the hamstrings and warming up the knees and hips. You can embellish it with some feet movements to stretch your calves and shins, too