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3rd Position of Sun A

This month’s pose was chosen by student, Michelle Rose. Here is Michelle’s perspective:


What I love about it: There is so much in this one little movement, and I can usually find mula bandha pretty quickly here.

What I find challenging about it: With the very first trini, I know exactly what kind of practice I’m going to have – sluggish, energized, tight, open… When winter body shows up, for instance, it announces itself in trini. Then, I find that getting out of my head and letting go of the attachment to that thought process can be a real challenge.

How to set it up/get in it/points of focus: Begin wherever you are in uttanasana. It’s important not to reach for a depth in uttanasana that your body isn’t ready for yet. Grounding strongly through the mounds of your big toes and activating your quads with an inward rotation, inhale and lengthen your spine with your gaze going to your third eye. If your hands are on the floor, push strongly and evenly into your hands.

Tips on what to do/not do/ modifications: Keep the length of your inhale the same as for ekam, which means you’re going to have to move more slowly into this and reach from the crown of your head to your tailbone almost imperceptibly at times to be filling the entire inhale with movement. I think about separating my sit bones and finding length from my navel to my pelvis. Finding this length is a key to so many other things in the practice (e.g, graceful float backs and flow throughs, handstands, etc). I like to ask myself if I can find that length in other postures: paschimottanasana, marichyasana, navasana?
You don’t have to be able to put your hands on the floor to do this. You can use your shins to press your hands into and lengthen your spine against that resistance. You can also reach your hands out further in front of you on the floor if you can’t get your hands right next to your feet. You may find that by your 5th Surya B you are able to go deeper.

More about Michelle:

I’ve been practicing Ashtanga since 2002. My primary teachers are Kathy Hallen and Fran Slavich in Durham, NC. I’ve studied with many of the senior teachers over the years and completed five month-long intensives with Matthew Sweeney. I completed teacher training in 2006 with one of Dharma Mittra’s senior students. You can find Michelle practicing Mysore at Ashtanga Yoga St. Pete.

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