Enough profundity. It’s time to talk about thighs and their destinies. Take mine.
The saddlebags have long since disappeared. The pocky cellulite on the quads has melted. I may need years to undo what has been wrought of my derriere by my previous couch-potato life, but I am not complaining: There are muscular hollows below my butt that I just do not sense I deserve.
Best for building muscle in the thighs are the chair-series poses, which are nothing more than intense, fancy squats. But the long lean line that comes with skiing or Pilates–that is a different matter. Several Bikram poses create this line, and creating it in turn helps the poses.
The key is a subtle inward rotation of the thigh that begins at the hip–think of the child with knees glued together whispering, “I gotta pee”. This motion is clearest in the third awkward chair; when pressing the knees together, the pressure begins not down at the knees but up at the hips, with the quads turning to face one another. It makes the thighs more stable too as they lower and lift.
In eagle, the top leg’s wrap around the bottom begins with an inward torquing of hip muscles. This rotates the thigh, makes the cross higher, the grip stronger, the bend deeper, the pose more stable. Full hero is another chance to explore this move: pressing the knees together is both a matter of squeezing the inner thighs together and rotating the outer thighs inwards to help exert downward pressure on the knees. And this torque deepens spine twisting as well.
I do not mind the spider veins that lace my legs. Flat and delicate, they seem like natural tattooes, drawn by life rather than a downtown tattoo artist. I have the yoga to thank for my thighs and for that attitude. There is something profound in the superficial after all.