Yoga Poses

Churning the Mill Pose Chakki Chalanasana

Steps

Start in Staff pose and inhale. While exhaling move the feet away from each other while keeping the legs straight and the feet flexed. Inhale and clasp the hands out in front of the body with straight arms.  Tighten abdominal muscles and maintain a straight back. Moving from the waist, angle the clasped hands over the right foot starting a circular rotation from the waist.  Exhale and move the clasped hands forward and between the feet, leaning forward.  Continue the movement to the left over the left foot. Inhale and continue circling the clasped hands back, while leaning back and toward the right foot.  Exhale as the hands approach the right foot. Rotate 5-10 times, and then repeat in the other direction.

Teacher Queues

Visualization Comments

Visualize a large pot or bowl and a spoon held by the hands as they stir the contents of the pot. If children are in the class, ask, “What are you stirring?”

Technical Comments

The abdominal muscles are engaged during the entire rotation to protect the lower back. Arms and legs are straight.

Benefit Comments

  • Tones abdominal, back and arm muscles
  • Helps relieve lower back pain
  • Helps regulate menstrual cycle
  • Elevates mood

Watch Out For:

  • Headaches
  • Extreme lower back pain

Contraindications

  • Injury to the spine or back
  • Hernia
  • Pregnancy (see modification)

Modifications

  • If pregnant, keep rotations small and lead with the shoulders instead of the waist.
  • Place a folded blanket under the knees for balance problems.
  • Hold a block instead of clasping hands.

Variations

  • Rotate with hands on hips.
  • Sufi Grind (Stomach Grinds) in easy pose.
  • Using the same form, inhale and then exhale while leaning toward the right foot. Inhale back to center.
  • Continue this rhythm to each of the other points: Forward, Left foot and Back. Repeat and move in the opposite direction.

Yoga Counter Poses

  • Open Angle
  • Child’s

Written By: Kristen Porter

Kristen is a Yoga Alliance registered yoga teacher, studio owner (www.ovcyoga.com), corporate attorney, wife and mom. Her passion is helping people realize their true strength and inner light by sharing wisdom learned through yoga, meditation and incorporating positive changes in her own life.

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