This pose is a twist and forward fold at the same time! I love doing this one during restorative practices and at bedtime.
BENEFITS OF DEER POSE:
stretches the hips, quads and spine to relieve tension
soothing for mind and body
promotes spinal health
YOU CAN FIND THIS POSE IN THESE YOGA CLASSES.
Sit with the legs extended in front of you. Bend the right knee and internally rotate your right hip so that the heel of your right foot comes up next to your right hip. This might feel like an intense quad stretch, but it will lessen as we fully enter this pose. Next you'll bend your left knee and bring the sole of your left foot to the top of your right knee. Open the left hip. Sit up tall, lengthen the crown of your head away from your tailbone. Begin to walk your hands over to the left side. You may notice that your right hip lifts off of the floor, and this is a good thing. Allow your pelvis to move freely. When you're ready, come down onto the elbows, stacking the forearms, one on top of the other. Then rest the forehead on the forearms. If this feels too intense or your forehead doesn't reach, try one of the modifications on the following page. Hold this pose for ten deep breaths. Be sure to practice on both sides.
VARIATION: FEET STACKED
If you're still feeling a significant quad stretch, try bringing the knees closer together and stacking the feet. Bring the ankle of the top foot to the arch of the bottom foot. This should help lessen the intensity so that you can fully relax.
ADDING PROPS: BLANKET BETWEEN KNEES
Adding a blanket between your knees pads the joints and will also lessen the intensity of the quad stretch. If you're feeling any strain in your top hip or low back, this modification should help with that, too.
ADDING PROPS: BOLSTER UNDER UPPER BODY
Resting the upper body on a bolster lessens the intensity of the stretch and allows you to rest your head so that you can completely relax into this pose. Feel free to adjust the height of the bolster to find what feels best. This restorative variation can be held for up to five minutes on each side.
ALTERNATE POSE: PIGEON POSE
If twisting is not possible for you, you can get the same hip stretch with your preferred variation of pigeon pose.
HOW DID IT GO?
If you tried any of these variations, I'd love to know how it went for you! Tag me on Instagram and use the hashtag #spoonieyogatribe in your photos for a chance to be featured on my page! Or post a photo in our private Facebook group to show off your progress! As a part of your membership, you can get personalized feedback on your poses.