Sunday, October 2, 2016

Sunday Stretch for Sewists #13 Eye of the Needle

This is the September stretch, a couple days into October.  :-)   This is the second day of Navratri, a festival brought to my attention by my dear friend Preeti of Sew Preeti Quilts.  One of my favourite Krishna Das songs is Ma Durga, and the festival celebrates this Hindu deity, the Divine Mother of the Universe.  Although you may not follow the Hindu religion, please always remember respect, and tolerance for those who do.  I am always fascinated by how many similarities there are between the many religions.... and hey, anything that encourages love, purity and acknowledges female power has gotta be good right?!

I love that the name of this month's pose is a sewing phrase!  This is a great alternative to poses like last month's, Swan, where you might experience too much knee pressure or knee pain.  It is a great hip opener, gently but firmly stressing the ligaments in the hip socket.  Because of not living on the floor, but sitting in chairs, we lose the natural rotation capability of our hips, and the ligaments shorten and tighten, creating the "tight hips" of the West.  Remember! Get down on the floor and watch 5 minutes of TV every single day sitting cross-legged, (or heck sit on your couch in cross-legged), remembering to alternate order of legs.  I am serious.  Your hips will thank you.

Eye of the Needle Pose

Lie down and place your right ankle just above your left knee, letting the ankle joint extend just past the knee.  Flex the right foot to help keep everything in line and to protect your knee.  Think about sending the right knee away from your torso.

If you'd like a little more sensation, then start to lift (go slowly) the left leg off the floor.  The tendency here is to let the right knee collapse towards the chest; try to keep it away.  Ensure your shoulders, neck and jaw are relaxed. We don't want to increase stress there!

Still keeping your shoulders, neck and jaw relaxed, see if you can reach through the triangle between your legs with your right hand and clasp hands just below the left knee.  It's okay to round the low back.  Gently and slowly, so you ease into the sensation and fully appreciate and notice it, draw your knee towards your chest.  Keep the left knee heading toward the left shoulder, and keep sending the right knee away from you.

For those that can do this and don't experience a lot of sensation, you may try this:  I like to use my right elbow to put a bit more pressure against the right knee.
Hard to tell, but my right elbow is pushing gently against the side of my right knee, creating a bit more resistance and sensation in the right hip joint.

This works into the outer hips, the low back, opens up the pelvic area and can help to work and loosen the hamstrings (I feel a good tug deep in the butt cheek).  Hold here for 2 - 5 full minutes, breathing slowly and deeply through your nose.  Then do the other side.  :-)  Rest between sides and at the end with both legs bent, foot soles on the floor so you enjoy the 'ahh!' feeling as the blood rushes and then flows through those compressed areas.

The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga by Bernie Clark
Yoga Journal (a note about the name Swan pose: Yin names for the 25 poses used from the many Hatha poses vary slightly, and are mostly from the animal world. In my teacher training, I was taught that Pigeon is where you sit on your foot, but there are pictures and reputable sources that call Full Swan Pigeon.  Either way the intent of doing Full Swan/Pigeon, or Sleeping Swan, or, for that matter, any of the yin poses, in the Yin fashion, is to relax the muscles, so we work into the connective tissues, the ligaments, tendons, joints, the very bones themselves, as Bernie likes to say.

Eeep!  Although I did not win in the ROYGBIV category for the Bloggers' Quilt Festival, I came in 5th out of 24 quilts in that category, so that makes me very happy!  Oh man there were so many gorgeous quilts!!! The one that did win in this category was one I voted for! I'd love to make one...add it to the never-ending always-expanding list of quilts I want to make!


  1. You are so right about how we should be sitting cross legged on the floor! Prevention Magazine had an article a month or so back about "nutritious movement" and the woman who has this site. It is an interesting site.
    Of course, if I get down on the floor I may be there permanently. lol Your exercise today reminds me a little of what the PT had me start doing. On my back, lift right leg to chest, take left hand to knee and draw it towards my left shoulder. Then do the left leg, drawing towards right shoulder.
    Congratulations on your 5th place finish. I saw that. You did good!!

  2. I looked at the winners, then after your words went back again, and see how much more Amy has put into this with the voting numbers for the first 10 in each category. I didn't get to #10, but so enjoyed it, and seeing the winners and some of the huge numbers, realise how world wide this was!!!Congrats on #5 .

  3. Eye of the Needle is such a great pose for me. I find it interesting in how it shows that one side of my body is tighter than the other and the reminder to spend some time not sitting in a chair is a great one. I hope that you are having a lovely start to your October. I plan to enjoy the beautiful weather outdoors today. :)

  4. Tight hips yes , trying to change shoes to socks and laced boots in the confined space of the car driving seat to go watch rugby . Eye of the needle is a great name

  5. Thanks for the stretching tip, I remember doing that one before. Yay! for your quilt in top 10! It's beautiful!