Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our detailed breakdown of each of the poses in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series. Today we are covering Talasana or Palm Tree Pose.
Talasana (ta-LA-sa-na) or Palm Tree Pose is a slightly change to the pure traditional Sun Salutations series. Typically, the second Asana or pose is Tadasana / Mountain Pose with arms raised above your head, or a slight backbend. I prefer modifying the series here to get a bit more of a stretch in my arms, since I still have a lot of tightness in my upper body from spending so much time at a desk.
Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to again perform the traditional Asana series – Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series. This time, we will do the full series three times on each side rather than just once. Jump to today’s variations!
Talasana – Palm Tree Pose
Feet – Your feet can stay grounded in the same spot as they were in Tadasana / Mountain Pose. Make sure your big toes are touching. If possible, make sure the back of your heels are touching. If you have a lower back injury like I do, you may find it easier to keep the heels slightly apart. Claw your toes into the mat slightly to keep your arches from falling into the mat.
Legs – Make sure your legs are comfortably straight. Perhaps keep a slight bend in the knee, Always make sure you avoid hyper-extending or locking your knees
Hips – Make sure your hips are neutral. Try to tilt your hips forward and back a bit to get a feel for your natural posture. Err on the side of tucking your tailbone under, rather than sticking your booty out.
Torso – Notice your rib cage. If you notice the bottom of rib cage is sticking out, pull back in and down to correct your posture. Next notice your shoulders. Try to gently roll your shoulders back and down, away from your ears. Notice how this helps your chest open.
Arms – Bring your arms above your head, keeping your shoulders pressed down and back. Bring you palms to face each other, and interlock your fingers. If comfortable, flip your hands forward and up, keeping your fingers interlocked, so your palms now face up to the ceiling or sky.
Head and Neck – Check where your ears are compared to your shoulders. Most of us keep our heads slightly forward. If you notice you are doing this, tuck your chin slightly and gently press back to bring your neck and ears into alignment with your shoulders. Either close your eyes, or gaze softly ahead.
Stop and take a couple breaths in each Talasana / Palm Tree pose, and feel the stretch in your arms. Perhaps do one round of Sun Salutations with arms just above your head, not locked in the Palm hands, and see which you prefer. Or, perhaps try the traditional version with a gentle Standing Backbend. Also, focus on incorporating Diaphragmatic Breathing and try to get a “flow” with one deep inhale or exhale for each pose as you are moving through this Asana series.
If you feel comfortable with this pose series and want to work on balance and increase the stretch, come into the full expression of Talasana for a breath or two. Raise your heels off the mat and balance on the balls of your feet. Then press down through your heels while still keeping them raised slightly off the ground, to get a stretch along your whole body. Focus on pressing down through your heels while being lifted slightly off the floor, rather than getting all the way up onto your toes.
Check out this little video for a few options for Talasana and other gentle backbends. I like the extra chest and arm opening of palm-tree hands over the traditional standing backbend. Try a few options, and pick your favorite!
You may want to try with a strap between your hands if your shoulders are tight, or for a different stretch in the arms.
Please comment to share your experience or if you have any questions! What did you think? Do you prefer this series with the palm hands, or traditional arms above your head? Did you try the full expression of the pose with your heels raised? Always remember, be kind!