Fallen angel pose

One challenging pose for me is the Fallen angel pose.  As can be seen from the name, the final pose looks like an angel that just fell from the sky with the legs illustrating the angel’s wings towards the sky.
There are a few preparation exercises.
1.  Utkatasana twist – Sit in a chair pose, twist the torso to the right side with palms at heart center.  Left elbow should be over the right knee.  Repeat on other side.
2.  Crow pose – Balance on two hands with knees over elbows.
3.  Side crow pose – Squat with knees together, palms on the floor at shoulder width.  Twist legs to the left (or torso to the right).  Place the right knee on the left elbow and right hip on the right elbow.  Balance on two elbows by hugging in the shins.
The Crow and the side crow are two of my favorite asanas.  But the following steps leading into Fallen Angel is where things start to become difficult.
1.  From side crow, shift forward towards the ground until the temple of the head touches the floor.  Face the same direction as your knees.
2.  Making sure the elbows are bent at 90 deg angle, hinge the hips and reach the left leg straight up towards the sky.  Reach up with strength as if the toes are trying to grab something in the sky.
3.  Hinge the hips to rotate the right leg towards the sky also, but keeping the right knee on the left elbow.
4.  Keep hinging until both toes face the sky.  Hold for 5 breaths.
5.  Come back down to side crow.
6.  Rest in child’s pose.
Benefits of this pose include cultivation of discipline, tenacity, deep body awareness, focus, and a steady, calm mind.  But above all, I would like to master this pose because it is so pretty.
So far, my attempts have left me with bruises on my arm where I rotate my lower leg..  I will continue working on this asana until I learn to ‘fall with grace’.  angel
Getting knocked down in life is a given.  Getting up and moving forward is a choice.
Naho Udagawa – 200hr YTTC weekday

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