Step Backward to Step Forward

You’ve probably heard me talk about not being able to scoop my hands under my ankles in the warm up series–hand to feet pose. I sort of squish my hands to the sides of ankles but not behind them. My elbows can’t seem to get behind my calves. I’ve asked many teachers about this and they always look a bit unsure of their answer. I’ve been told that “I’m so close,” “It may be anatomical. Maybe your little arms are just too small,” “You know one of our master teachers cannot do that pose. We all have some issue.” I can’t really tell if it’s tight hamstrings, tight shoulders (what I’m leaning toward) or some proportional issue, as some have suggested….

In class the other day my teacher suggested I take a step back. Maybe for at least one set of the posture. Not try to grab my ankles, but focus more on getting my elbows behind my knees and having my hands hang wherever they land. So i tried. My elbows sort of went behind my ankles and my hands stayed at the bottom of my calves. Did not come close to grabbing at my ankles or anything else. The stretch in my hamstrings didn’t seem as strong, although I did feel my shoulders stretching. I’m going to try it for a little while (at least) and see how it feels. I’ve googled how to improved this posture and haven’t found many tips.

I know I’m on the less flexible vs. more flexible side of things (my leg doesn’t wrap in eagle, head doesn’t touch my knee in assorted sit ups and postures, etc.) however, in most postures I feel there’s been progress in the 14 months I’ve been doing this yoga, albeit slow. Here, I’m less sure. There might be in other parts of the posture (how far I’m stretching) but not so much grabbing my ankles.


Has anyone else had to take a step back to move forward?




This is obviously not me!


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