Kapotasana in 3 (not-so) easy steps

Asana Quick Fix: 30 January 2015: Kapotasana in 3 (not-so) easy steps

Step One from David Garrigues:

It’s something I’ve written here before about – the lift UP.

Step 1: Reach Up!!!!

Step 1: Reach Up!!!!

It was David G. who first taught me to raise my arms to lift me UP and out of my pelvis while rooting down through my legs. Many of us dump into our low back, which can be further exacerbated when we push our hips forward.

But, remember, the arms don’t just lift overhead – they REACH.

This works all the way until you get to the half-way point in which the upper back has to be accessed.

Here is where many will either land behind their feet and push their way into their heels by straightening their arms to maintain lift – which is technically ok!

Others will bend their elbows out to the side and take their shoulders to a wonky place to achieve the catch – this is NOT ok. That’s where step two comes in …

Step Two from David Robson:

Using the ol’ head in the hands trick.

Step 2: Head in the hands

Step 2: Head in the hands

Bending your elbows, press your wrists to temples and clasp hands behind head. Push your head into your hands and vice versa – using the opposition to access the upper back.

The idea again is not so much that the upper back bends, but that the lift you can access there will keep you lifting up and out of your low back.

I know, I know. The temptation is to swing the elbows out to catch the heels is great because it works. But this totally bypasses the work!

Which brings us now to …

Step Three, also from David Robson:

The spider crawl

Step 3: Spider crawl

Step 3: Spider crawl

As you get close, keep all the other actions going: strong legs, suck the body up, keep hugging the head and drawing spine into the back but now also reach with your fingers!
The idea is the fingers reach for the heels or at least the feet, where they can latch on and spider crawl their way to the heels. Once you have your heels, you’re home free. And yet …

Catching the heels can be so elusive and feel so far away!!

So I suppose there needs to be one more step:

Step Four is YOU: All that’s left now is for you to NOT give up. You’re so close and yet, like with everything, the final stretch is always the hardest.


Here are the three steps together:

Good luck!

peg-mulqueen-webAuthor: With a master’s degree in psychology and more hours of training than she’d care to add up, Peg Mulqueen has been leading yoga classes and workshops for over a decade. Though she has practiced various styles of yoga, it is within the traditional method of Ashtanga where Peg has made her home. Peg’s primary teacher is certified Ashtanga teacher, David Garrigues, but is grateful for the guiding influence of her Anatomy and Physiology teacher, David Keil and meditation teacher, John Churchill. When not on her mat or leading Mysore at Flow, Peg is a contributing writer for Yoga Journal, Elephant Journal and other publications as well as a more personal blog to inspire others along the path.

Peg has a gentle warmth and contagious sense of humor – and shares her passion of life and love with all those she meets.

Visit Peg’s website: http://pegmulqueen.com

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1 Response

  1. February 23, 2015

    […] and area of professional expertise. While Tristan Gatto, a physical therapist assistant and yoga anatomy educator, illuminates the fundamental body principles underlying asana (posture) techniques. Julie […]

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