“Practice and all is coming.”
It can be overwhelming and intimidating walking into a Yoga studio…but it doesn’t have to be. Everyone’s body is beautifully unique and Yoga shines a wonderful light on these colorful differences. We all have a diverse range of movement and Yoga allows us to explore our muscles, tissues and ligaments in a fascinating way. Yoga can ignite a captivating light in your soul and lead you down a path of serenity and simplicity. Here are a few Postures/Poses (Asanas) that will get you started before you head on in to a Yoga studio for your first class. These Postures/Poses will have you feeling a little more confident!
SAVASANA – CORPS POSE
Laying on the back, flatten the shoulders onto the ground, relax as you melt the body into the Earth. Try squeezing all the muscles and then allow them to release if you are unable to relax. Tune into the breath, breathing in through the nose, expand the belly up into the chest and heart. Exhale, allow the breath to release through the nose, gently feeling the chest sink and then the belly. Allow for the mind to quiet as you bring all focus and attention toward the breath.
SUKASANA – EASY POSE
Seated on the mat, root into the ground and feel the connection to the Earth through each space of the body that touches the ground. At the same time lengthen up through the spine, feeling taller. Shoulders relax away from the ears, Chin is parallel to the ground, reach up through the crown of the head. To modify, prop blankets under the knees, if any knee pain occurs or sit against the wall to support the spine.
BALASANA – CHILD’S POSE
Sink the hips back to the heels, allow the bum to gently rest over the feet, forehead rests easily on the Earth. Knees can be together or apart, (whichever feels better TODAY for you) arms can be extended in front of the body on the mat or down the sides of the body, palms facing up.
Benefits: Calms the mind, stretches the thighs, hips and ankles, can relieve back pain.
ADHO MUKHA SVANASANA – DOWNWARD FACING DOG
Starting on all fours in table top, spread the fingers wide, tuck the toes and press the hips up and back. Lengthen through the spine, reach the sitz bones up toward the sky as you lengthen down the legs and gently press the heels toward the ground. Bend into the knees if the sensation in the back of the legs is too intense.
Benefits: Energizes the body/fights fatigue, strengthens the arms and legs, stretches the calves, hamstrings, spine and shoulders, beneficial for those suffering from asthma, high blood pressure and sciatica.
MARJARYASANA/BITILASANA – CAT/COW
Begin on all fours, wrists directly stacked under shoulders, knees under hips to form a miniature table with the body. Spread fingers wide. Inhale as you reach the bellybutton down toward the mat, gaze, tailbone and heart reach up to the sky, keep shoulders relaxed and drawn together. Exhale, pull the bellybutton in toward the spine, round through the back, tuck the tailbone, head hangs heavy, keep arms straight.
Benefits: Stretches the neck and spine, massages organs in belly.
TADASANA – MOUNTAIN POSE
Stand at the top of the mat. Feet press deep into the Earth, feeling anchored to ignite power up into the legs, spread the toes and press through all four corners of the feet. Lengthen the tailbone down toward the Earth, gently draw the lower belly in (stay away for “sucking-in”) and lengthen up through the spine, back of the neck stays long, arms reach down by the sides. Feel as though the feet are growing roots like a tree, deep into the ground and that there is a string attached to the crown of the head, pulling you upward. This posture seems simple, but if done correctly it can turn into an intense workout in no time.
Benefits: Strengthens legs, firms up belly, improves posture overall.
VIRABHADRASANA I – WARRIOR I
Stand at the top of mat, hands on hips. Press the feet into the Earth, lengthen through the spine, step the right leg to the back of the mat. Left knee bends, right leg is lengthened, plant the right heel into the Earth, press in to the pink-toe edge of the right foot. Hips are as square as possible (press right hip forward, tuck left hip back). If hips are opening up try stepping the right leg out, widening the stance. This offers more space for the hips to point forward, like headlights. Keep the spine lengthened, drop the tailbone down toward the Earth. Option to bring the arms to heart center. Left knee stays over the toes. Repeat on left side.
(left side shown in pictures)
Benefits: Stretches the belly, psoas, hips, thighs, calves and ankles. Strengthens the back, arms and legs.
VIRABHADRASANA II – WARRIOR II
Stand at the top of mat, hands on hips. Press feet into the Earth, lengthen through the spine, step the right leg to the back of the mat. Move the right foot to become parallel with the back of the mat and press into the pinky-toe edge of the right foot, left leg is bent. Body is open toward the right side of the room, option to extend arms out to the sides, finger tips are energized. Shoulders are stacked over hips. Gaze over the left middle finger, Left knee stays over the toes.
(left side shown in picture)
Benefits: Strengthens the legs and ankles, opens up the chest and shoulders and stimulates the abdominal organs.
ARDHA MATSYENDRASANA – HALF LORD OF THE FISHES POSE
Seated on the mat with legs extended front, bend the right knee and cross the right leg over the left. This may feel like enough of a stretch, but if not bend the left leg in toward the body. Inhale find length through the spine, exhale twist toward the right inner thigh, option to hook the left elbow onto the right knee. With each inhale find length, with each exhale relax shoulders, feel the twist in the spine (possibly twisting deeper). Inhale to unravel the twist back to neutral, naval moves first then heart and gaze. Repeat on other side. (Picture shows left side first, but be sure to start with the right as noted above. Twisting to the right first then to the left promotes digestion)
Benefits: Stretches the shoulders, neck and hips. Helps with digestion (twist toward the right first). Stimulates the liver and kidneys.
Pants – Teeki
Sports Bra – Lulu
Long Sleeve “Dream” Top – Spiritual Gangster (Available at Pura Vida Yoga DIeppe)