Standing Posture Variations

Asana variations are not just for people with specific physical problems. They can help all yoga practitioners remain open to discovery.
—T.K.V. Desikachar

Once you experience the benefits of Bed Yoga, the possibility of an enjoyable home practice emerges quite naturally. Home is a great place to explore the uniqueness of your body through variations of traditional postures.

Rather than presenting the thousandth approach on the details of asana, I thought it might be useful to see how some of the more common postures can be altered so that you can truly visualize and feel the relationship of your shoulder and pel- vic girdles to your spine. These two transverse axes deeply influence how much lengthening is possible. Often tightness in shoulders or hips actually constricts the spine. Freedom in asana is only possible when these spinal relationships are not compromised for the sake of the posture’s idealized form.

These variations are intended to help you find your own personal sthira sukham asanam. They are not intended to be the right way to do the posture. Rather they are simply a means by which you may realize the function of the postures with less strain and effort. There is another subtle yet powerful benefit: you may just become more flexible and comfortable in your body! Those trust muscles will be very happy.

“The purpose of adaptation is to remove danger or provide a benefit. The form of asana was traditionally worked out between teacher and student based upon the uniqueness of the practitioner’s needs. Today asanas have become icons we worship, yet many
of them as practiced today are only 50 or 60 years old.”
—Gary Kraftsow

Sun Salutation: Not your average Sun Salutation, this variation may just help you to remember what it’s all about.

Warrior 1: Betcha didn’t know this is a back bend, a lunge, and a psoas release.

Triangle: Side extension not side bend!…and fuggedabout how close to the floor your front hand gets.

Warrior Two: OMG! another hip opener???? Remember it all starts from your core.

Standing Forward Bend: Notice how your legs get all the attention, except when you don’t let them.