10 Tips to Improve Your Fixed Firm Pose

1. It is important to go slowly in and out of this posture and to pay very close attention to your edge.

2. Keep your knees on the floor no matter how wide you have to spread them. Don’t push your knees, practice patience and self compassion at all times in this posture. Bikram says, “Do not mess with the knees, you can mess with the Gods but you cannot mess with the knees.”

3. It is okay to have your hips come up but your knees MUST stay on the floor. Heels open so the hips sit between the heels, with the heels touching the outside of the hips. Even for those who cannot get their hips down all the way to the floor, the heels should be positioned just wide enough that once the hips go down, the heels will touch exactly.

4. Once you have proper alignment in your feet do not move them. Your ankles should be straight and your toes pointing to the back wall.

5. Never push past pain in this posture, always be aware of your discomfort and go to that point and hold it there for a few classes (or more, it may even take a few years!). The depth will come with regular practice.

6. If you are feeling pain in this posture it is best to place the mind on the breath. Breathing in, feel the pain and be completely aware of it. Exhaling, think of the pain leaving slowly from your body. Take deep, slow breaths and be very still.

7. When going into Fixed Firm (if you are going all the way down) life your chest up and drop your head back before you even touch your head to the floor. Get the back bend in the set up. Most people only start to lift the chest up once they are already down on the floor.

8. The same thing goes for when you come out of this posture: the head is the last thing to come up and very few people take the time to do this.

9. If you’re more advanced, walk the shoulders down toward your hips and bring your knees together to touch. This is a backbend so try to get the proper form.

10. Patience, patience, patience! People always want to do what they see around them – but please listen to your own body. Your body has been on its own journey and it needs to go at the pace it needs to.

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