After Half Moon Pose with Hands to Feet comes Awkward Posture or Utkatasana. Primarily a strength and muscle toning posture, Awkward works your thighs, calves and hips. It firms and tones the upper arms and strengthens the shoulders and triceps muscles. Awkward helps increase blood flow in the lower body. It especially increases in the hips, knees and ankles. Awkward increases the flexibility, strength and control of all of the lower joints (again hips, knees, and ankles). It is good for gout of the legs, rheumatism, and arthritis.
All three parts of Awkward say to “suck your stomach in” which always increases strength and tone of the abdominal muscles. The contraction of the muscles gives you strength and the ability to hold the position to receive the benefits in the rest of the body. Awkward helps cure slipped disc and lumbago in the lower spine.
It cannot be stressed enough: Bikram Yoga is a sequence of postures. Each posture is carefully placed in the class to prepare you for the next. After Awkward comes Eagle (which will be the topic next week). Awkward prepares you to sit your hips low “in the chair” to make the wrapping for Eagle possible.