The first pose is Thunderbolt.
Thunderbolt looks simple, right?
It is more challenging than you would expect — especially if you are not used to being on your knees.
This is not to discourage you, but be prepared to face some discomforting sensations.
That being said, I am promoting this stretch because it activates the entire body’s energy flow.
- Start standing, bring big toes to touch, ensure all 10 toes face forward.
- Slowly lower down to the Earth and sit on heals.
- Ensure the pads of all 10 toes are still in direct contact with the mat. (I manually adjust my pinky toes to tuck them).
- With a straight spine, take deep full yogic breaths.
Ye will will start to feel this one.
Shambala Wisdom: Add a blankets or pillows to take the stress off the joints
- As the ligaments stretch — relax and breathe — do not panic or rush through this process.
- When we stretch our feet like this, we effectively open the yang meridians of the entire body through the channels in our legs.
- With our toes connected to the Earth, draw energy through your legs and up the spine.
- By sun gazing we can simultaneously take in chi and combine the yin and yang essence in our brain or solar plexus.
- When the discomfort becomes unbearable you can slowly transition to Hero’s Pose.
Hero’s pose is like sitting Japanese style.
It is the counter stretch to Thunderbolt.
This pose stretches the top side of the foot while Thunderbolt stretched the bottom side.
When transitioning into Hero’s, slowly lean forward and un-tuck the toes.
They will feel stiff.
Sometimes I flutter-tap the top side of my feet on the mat to revive them.
To transition, simply sit back down between both heels.
A blanket can be used in the leg crease to sit on.
Breathe deeply from the kidneys in the low back.
13Knowledge: With the weight of the body on the insides of the legs, we are activating our yin meridians.
This pose is more sustainable, therefore you may stay here for twice as long as Thunderbolt.
Afterward, lean back and lift the knees off of the mat to get an extra stretch on the shins and the front side of the ankles.
By combining Thunderbolt and Hero’s Pose, we have stretched both yin and yang energy channels.
This stimulated the entire body from head to toes.
The feet contain acupressure points that correspond to meridians and organs in the body.
These two postures should be practiced sequentially every day until they no longer cause discomfort.
Each day, try to hold the poses a little longer and breath calmly.