Today we are pleased to have a small class come together to demonstrate these two companion poses, padangusthasana and padahasthasana.
From left to right we have: our guest teacher, Rodney Copperbottom; the mysterious mutant, Nightcrawler; and the monstrously bulked-up but still super-hot superhero, Batman, who appears to have come to class today straight from the Bat Boat. We know how hard it can be to fit practice into your crimefighting schedule so we’re glad everyone made it on time today.
Rodney: Inhale and hop your feet your hip’s width apart. If your hip joints actually move. Batman, just do the best you can.
Nightcrawler: I am afraid of you. A robot! That talks! You are the work of a demon, I am certain.
Rodney: Exhale and hands on hips. Sometimes bulk works against us in yoga, Batman, but you’re doing great! Focus on the intention of bending your elbows and one day it just might happen!
Batman: I’ve got your intention hanging right here, Swami.
Rodney: Inhale and arch back slightly, lifting your heart. Excellent, Nightcrawler, the fact that you have an articulated thorax is such an advantage. Now, keep your focus inward. In this position your drishti, or point of focus, should be your third eye. That’s in the middle of your forehead. Nightcrawler, I know you’re a mutant, do you have an extra eyeball anywhere on your body?
Nightcrawler: Blue devil! That is a very personal question.
Rodney: Exhale, bend forward, and try to grab your big toes with your thumb and forefinger, and then gently straighten your legs. Nightcrawler, it looks like you’re the only one with toes this morning! I’m sorry, I know its part of your identity and everything but next time, Batman, I’m going to have to ask you to remove your flippers before class.
Nightcrawler: My hamstrings! They are shrieking!
Batman: You know, you could practice a little more acceptance, it wouldn’t kill you.
Rodney: Okay, still holding your toes, inhale halfway up, scooping your chest and gazing softly at the horizon . . .
Nightcrawler: With my third eye?
Batman: I’m just thanking god right now that someone taped the backs of my feet to the floor.
Rodney: . . . and exhale down, reaching for your toes. Stay here for five breaths, deepening your forward bend with every exhale. Batman, I don’t know, try to grab onto your flippers or something.
Batman: Is he trying to adjust me with sarcasm?
Rodney: Great! Now inhale halfway up again as your gaze softens and your shoulders drop away from your ears . . .
Nightcrawler: You are surely sent from the depths of Hell itself to torture us!
Batman: My ears are on the top of my head and my shoulders aren’t going anywhere.
Rodney: . . . as we move into Padahastasana now, exhale and try to slip your hands underneath your feet.
Nightcrawler: My hands under my feet! I have tipped over onto my head! You are truly a fiend.
Rodney: Again, you’re going to inhale halfway up and lengthen those spines, gentlemen!
Nightcrawler: What is this? Damn him and his unnaturally flexible hamstrings!
Batman: Well, obviously he has a background in dance.
Rodney: Strong legs, and with your toes against your wrists you’re going to fold back down for five more breaths. I’m not quite warmed up yet so I’m taking my hands out to the side.
Nightcrawler: I am sickened by this freakish display of meditative flexibility.
Batman: I can’t believe how vulnerable he is right now.
Nightcrawler: Surely you would not take advantage and harm him in this state? With his crown chakra throbbing so vibrantly?
Batman: Well, but did you hear how he was talking to me?
Nightcrawler: Ah, but what am I saying? I am an ethically ambiguous cartoon character! And I am burning with shame for the incompetence of my hip flexors! Someone must pay!
Nightcrawler: LET’S TEAR OUT HIS SPINAL COLUMN!
Batman: Whoa, dude. He’s just a yoga teacher. He still has much to learn.
Rodney: And inhale, gazing softly forward, and . . .
Rodney: Hey! You guys were just taking it easy while I did all the work, weren’t you!
Nightcrawler: No, that was a fine demonstration, I was enraptured by your alignment!
Batman: Uh, me too.
Rodney: Practice and it will come, gentlemen. Hop your feet back together. Namaste.
Nightcrawler: What does that mean, that foreign word! It burns in my ears!
Batman: You know what, you’re kind of a drama queen.