A well rounded yoga routine
is made of complementary pairs. Each
pair contains a “main pose” and a “compensating pose”.
The Main Pose is included according to your purpose for your
routine. It’s generally held for several
breaths, until you have coaxed your fullest extension from the pose. Or you use your Breathing Theme on that pose.
The Compensating Pose stretches you in the opposite direction, but only
briefly. If the complementary pose is
held at all, it generally for just a breath.
It’s included to realign your
body after the main pose. It’s also
there to provide a counter stretch, of the opposite, supporting muscles. Muscles tend to be in pairs, on opposite
sides of a bone. While one stretches,
the other contracts. If you only stretch
or strengthen one side of the pair and not the other, you will not get the full
benefits of your efforts. A muscle on
one side can only stretch as much as the oppose muscle is willing to contract,
and vice versa. So you need to include
both of the muscle partners in your routine.
Together, a Main pose and its
Compensating Pose make nice mini-routines, or quick Yoga Snacks.
One of the main Compensating
Poses is Puppy Pose. It’s excellent after seated
back bends and poses done lying face down. Here are some
combinations that use Puppy pose:
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