This video was shot on location in Mysore, India. I demonstrate the sequence of placing one (or single, eka) leg (pada or foot) behind the head (shirsha) in the posture known as YOGANIDRASANA or sleeping yogi(ni).
This pose opens the back, hips, legs and expands the chest. It is considered a restful pose. As you practice and open the different areas of your spine and mind, the posture elicits a deep sense of calm and comfort.
I recommend practicing the leg and hip openers, which will lead toward this posture. It is also the kind of position that requires daily practice. It took me several years to have both legs behind my back. With practice and patience it can happen.
One method to practice is rather than FORCE or try to cram your body into the posture stay at the place you currently are. Be there and breathe there. This is the way I learned it under my teacher Yogacharya. Count the breaths and increase them as you practice. Do not become impatient to struggle for more. Hold for 5 breaths and then gradually 8, 10, 12 and 16. Do this over the course of several months and slowly changes will appear.
** For more instructions and demonstrations are found on the DVD Advanced Practice of Backbending with Heather Morton, a downloadable video.
Copyright The Yoga Way ~ Heather Morton 2012