By Yoga Journal
Compass Pose can demand a lot of your shoulders, hips, and hamstrings. Learn how to warm up safely for this complicated seated pose with Miami Vinyasa and Vedanta teacher Rina Jakubowicz.
Bound Standing Forward Fold
Start to open your shoulders and hamstrings in this variation of Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend). Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) with your hands on your hips. Inhale and extend the spine. Exhale and hinge from your hips forward, moving from your hips, not from your back. As in all forward bends, emphasize the lengthening the both sides of your torso as you fold deeper. Bend your knees slightly and thread your right arm under your right thigh, internally rotating your right shoulder to bring your left arm behind your back. Clasp left arm with your right hand by your right hip if possible. Otherwise just place your hands wherever they land and open your chest to the left as you try to straighten your legs and straighten your left arm (if clasped.) Continue to press the heels and the balls of your feet firmly into the floor and lift the sitting bones toward the ceiling to accentuate the stretch. Take 5 breaths here before exhaling to release the arms, inhaling to rise, and switching sides.
Warm up your hamstrings, hips, and shoulders slowly with Lizard Pose. From Tadasana, step your left foot back into a lunge and bring your hands down to the inside of your right foot. Lower your left knee to the floor if you wish but keep your head lifted, looking forward. Stay up on your hands, bring forearms down onto a block, or bring forearms down to the floor. Choose the deepest option that allows you keep from collapsing to the left. Pull the low belly up and in and stay here for 5 breaths before coming back to Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge) and switching sides.