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Tag Archives: compass pose

The Ultimate Compass Pose Cheat Sheet

Compass Pose

HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
There are 3 ways to use this blog:
1. You can simply practice Compass using the illustration above.
2. You can learn the steps get into the posture in the “How To” section.
3. Or you can geek out on the sequencing and anatomy details by skipping down to Part II.

Don’t forget to pass this along to your students and colleagues!

If you want to learn more, join me live at my 500-hour Certification Program or join me online for my Sequencing and Anatomy E-Courses.

GETTING INTO COMPASS
This may sound judgmental, but images of Beauty and the Beast come to mind everytime I practice Compass pose. The pose can strike a rich, regal tone of openness, agility, and poise. Or, it can look and feel like a tangled, unfinished mess. For the record, I usually feel like the latter. The inherent difficulty of this pose is that it simultaneously challenges your hamstrings, adductors, outer-hips and side body. But, this is also the beauty and the allure of the pose. Compass gives you one posture to open up some of the deepest, tightest layers of your body.

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16-Pose Sequence to Help You Progress in Compass Pose

16 Poses to Help You Progress in Compass Pose

I hear more sweet sighs of relief when I teach sequences that focus on side-bends than any other posture category. Side-bending in poses like Compass releases tension in the lats, obliques, and QLs, leaving students in a momentary state of suspension where everything feels better than it did a moment ago.

Compass Pose is a deep side bend that differs from its close relatives, Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana and Parivrtta Upavistha Konasana (poses 14 & 15): The upright, regal nature of the pose requires you to engage your core and spinal muscles. Instead of using gravity and laying your torso down into the pose, you have to work a little harder to lift up and lengthen your spine.

To meet these increased demands, this 16-pose sequence will:
1) Open your hamstrings and adductors.
2) Bring your awareness to your core and spinal muscles.
3) Stretch your side-body, including your lats, obliques, and quadratus lumborum muscles.

Here’s a closer look at the logic of my Compass Pose sequence.

>> Shameless plug time: To learn more and refine your sequencing, anatomy, and pose know-how, I’d love to work with you next year in San Francisco where I’m teaching an advanced 500-hour teacher training. <<

Poses 1-3

: These three versions of Down Dog will help you settle into your practice and begin opening your body for Compass pose. The one-legged variation of Down Dog will accentuate the stretch in your bottom leg, while the one-legged variation with the twist will provide your first side-bend of the sequence. Feel free to lean back—almost like you’re going to “flip your dog”—and indulge the stretch in your side-body. Stay for as many breaths in these 3 poses as you like.

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