Yesterday, I posted a Youtube video of Kino doing Surya Namaskars A and B (see this post). In the post, I observed that in Surya B, Kino goes into a full squat before coming up into Utkatasana in Ekam position. I found that to be very interesting, and speculated that perhaps she does this in order to work or activate the quadriceps muscles more.
I speculated some more after I wrote the post. Finally, I decided that rather than continue to speculate, it would be much more fruitful to hear it straight from the proverbial horse's mouth (do people still use this figure of speech?). So I emailed Kino and asked her why she does this. She replied earlier today, and has given me permission to share her response with the rest of the blogosphere. Kino writes:
"By coming into a full squat during the Surya Namaskara B you can more easily activate the bandhas and begin kindling the internal fire of the Ashtanga Yoga practice. In my personal practice I do this not to use the legs or quadriceps but to inwardly rotate the thighs with a careful application of mula bandha. By doing so I find that the inner agni channels are more actuated. It also provides good inner suction around the lower regions of the pelvis that help support the back for many more complicated movements later. There is no absolute right or wrong way to move the body and various positions and actions may be useful for a period of time so it is important to remember to experiment and try out anything you see someone else doing and see if it works for you. But when the time comes to change it is also important to have an open mind to the constant evolution of the practice and ultimately of the human spirit."
So going into a full squat during Surya B can function to activate the bandhas more, kindle the internal fire, and prepare the back for more complicated movements later. Interesting. I'll work with this in my next practice, and see how this actualizes itself in my body.
I thought I'll share this here. Perhaps you might find this insightful and useful to your practice too.