Elsewhere I’ve written about how my grandfather was a cobbler but never practiced cobbler’s pose.
Today we’re discussing Cobbler 2.0, which even if my grandfather were alive, he probably wouldn’t do either. He wasn’t exactly a yoga-practicing dude so much as a sedentary, beer-swilling kind of guy. You, on the other hand, probably have the willingness not just to tackle cobbler’s pose but to take it to the next level.
In five steps:
1. Instead of sitting, holding onto your feet and leaning forward with a straight back (the realm of Cobbler 1.0), thread your forearms under your shins. Yes, your back will be rounded, but it sets up the poses to follow. Open up your palms onto your mat and take three long, slow breaths.
2. Tip over to your right sitting bone and extend out your left arm. Not just extending it; lift your arm actively against the resistence that your knee provides. Take two slow breaths here.
3. Tip over to your left and repeat with two long, slow breaths. After the slow breaths, don’t sit back down. Instead…
5. If, on the other hand, you can bring your left hand back by your hip, leave it there and, tipping again to your left, see if you can repeat the placement of the right hand by your right hip. Here is another view of the final position:
Benefits: Good hip joint/shoulder joint opener. Also, you get to see your yoga mat up close and determine if it’s time to wash it.
Avoid if: Your back, your shoulders or your hips hurt. Especially your shoulders in Step 4 and 5. If they hurt, don’t force. Follow Step 3 with a re-visit of Step 1, practice daily, and revisit again in a few months.
Final thoughts: You may have noticed that Cobbler 2.0 goes on to something that begins to approach turtle pose. Because turtle pose requires your legs to be straight and your back to be flat, it’s quite a lot more demanding. So this pose could either have been called Cobbler 2.0 or Turtle 0.5—and I think a 2.0 pose makes you feel four times as accomplished as a 0.5 pose.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photos: Author’s Own