Using your soft blocks or a rolled up blanket will really help you to maintain an upright posture for the duration of our pranayama practice. As you can see from the picture the pelvis is raised above the knees and this means that there is less strain on the thigh muscles. Also notice that the hips are tilted slightly forwards – this lady has rather a flat lumbar area – but you may find for yourself that your lumbar curve is more pronounced and this is usual. The lumbar finds it’s natural curve to support the upper sections of the spine and head, and the tilt of the pelvis enables the pelvic floor to relax into its natural position to support the abdominal contents.
There are many options with the feet – you can lay one in front of the other or stack the heels on top of each other. As your hips soften and open you may try full lotus with the tops of the feet on the thighs – though this extreme version of the posture can cause damage to the knee joints. And for some of us our bone structure means it will always be out of reach.
Be very careful if you have internally rotating hips (knees face inwards when your legs are outstretched in Dandasana) not to put undue pressure on the hips or knees. Additional support may be required under 1 or both knees – again you can use a rolled up blanket or towel for this. The key is to feel as though you are a ‘tripod’ supporting the spine – you feel relaxed but effortlessly stable and are able to focus the mind completely.