Deer


Benefits:
  • A nice counter pose to hip openers or any external rotation of the hips
  • A balanced way to rotate hips, both externally (front leg) and internally (back leg)
  • Improves digestion and relieves gas
  • Helps to relieve the symptoms of menopause
  • Reduces swelling of the legs during pregnancy (until the end of the second trimester)
  • Therapeutic for high blood pressure and asthma

Contra-indications:
  • If any knee issues exist, be careful of externally rotating the hip (front knee); keep that foot in closer to the groin. You could support the front knee with a bolster or folded blanket.

Getting Into the Pose:
  • Start by sitting in Butterfly on the floor, then swing your right leg back behind you, bringing the foot behind your hip. Position the front leg by moving the foot away from you. Try to make a right angle with the front knee. Move the back foot away from your hip until you start to feel like you are tipping away from that foot. Keep both sitting bones firmly rooted to the ground.

Alternatives & Options:
  • The tendency here is to tilt away from the internally rotating hip of the back leg; make sure both sitting bones are firmly on the floor; you may need to move the feet more inwards, toward the core of the body.
  • If you're very flexible, you can begin to move your feet away from the hips.
  • To get a nice stretch to the side body and the back thigh, twist around toward the back foot by rotating to the opposite side. You may rest on your elbow here and try to bring your head to the floor.

Coming Out of the Pose:
  • Lean away from the back foot and bring that leg forward, coming back to Butterfly and ready to do the second side.

Counter poses:
  • Since this pose is both an external and internal hip rotation, the best counter pose is to do the other side.
  • Windshield Wipers are nice: they can be done lying down, sitting up, or reclining on elbows.

Meridians & Organs Affected:
  • If the front leg is firmly on the floor or if you are twisting, the Gall Bladder line is activated. Any inner groin sensations indicate that the Liver and Kidneys are benefiting. If the thigh is stretched, the Stomach and Spleen are activated.

Joints Affected:
  • Hips mostly, but if you include the twisting version the spine will also benefit.

Recommended Hold Times:
  • Most can't do this pose well enough to get a lot of benefit from it, so it is useful mainly as a counterpose (in which case, hold for up to one minute).

Similar Yang Asanas:
  • This is a combination of Virasana (Hero Pose) for the back leg and Padmasana (Lotus Pose) or Baddha Konasana (Butterfly) for the front leg.

Other Notes:
  • Useful after long-held, external hip rotations such as Shoelace, Swan, or Dragonfly, where both legs were wide apart;
  • Most students won't easily understand what the pose is about they won't move their feet far enough away from the groin or hips, or they will tilt too much, allowing the internally rotated hip to rise off the floor. Teachers will have to inspect the efforts of their students and offer guidance.



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