Feeling that mid-afternoon energy slump?
Sitting too long at your desk and need to release your low back and hips?
Want to super-charge your digestion?
Squat Like a Squirrel
Squirrel Pose, aka Revolved Squat Pose (Parivrtta Malasana) combines a twist with a hip opener. It builds flexibility in the spine while strengthening the legs and opening the chest and shoulders. It stretches the ankles, groin and back torso while toning the belly.
practice Squirrel Pose with children:
Pretend you are squirrels, gathering nuts and acorns for the winter. Stretch up high and reach way behind you for nuts and acorns; don’t forget to twist to both sides!
How To: Squirrel Pose
Start standing tall in mountain.
Step your feet wider than your hips.
Bend your knees and squat down with hands together at your heart.
Place one hand on the floor to the front outside of your foot.
Twist toward the opposite leg and reach other hand up to the sky.
Take 3-5 breaths and then switch sides.
Tips for Mastering Squirrel Pose:
To begin, step your feet apart as wide as you need. As you get more comfortable, you may bring your feet closer together until they touch.
Try to bring your heels flat on the floor. If that is not yet possible, you can place a rolled blanket under your heels.
From centered squat, hug your inner thighs into the sides of your torso. You may eventually notch your shins into your armpits as your reach your arms to the sides and back to grab your heels.
Young children sit very naturally in a squat so this pose is often more challenging for the teacher than the children. We have all seen young kids squat to pick up something from the floor. However, once children enter school and begin to spend many hours seated at desks, their hips, legs and backs lose strength and flexibility. Eventually, they are bending forward from the waist as most adults do. Check out how grown-ups can relearn this better way to sit.
Variations for Revolved Squat:
If your hips and low back are super tight, try working on regular squat first before moving into the twist. Eventually, you may try a bind, reaching your back arm around your back and your front arm around your front leg to clasp your wrist.
Want to change things up? Try this pose and pretend to be a duck, rooster, chicken or even a space satellite! The possibilities are limitless…what will you be?
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