In my recent list of The Big 2-7 To Dos, I included “start attending yoga class at Nishkama Yoga at least once a week:. (I’m working on it!) While I hadn’t made it back to the studio to date, I have been incorporating more yoga poses into my stretching routine. So in true Tuesday fashion…
ten things this tuesday: my favorite yoga poses
Each pose is linked to its yogajournal.com page where you can find a plethora of information on each. Let’s get our downward dog on!
Ahhh, there’s nothing quite like a good hip opener. Actually, I wouldn’t recommend this pose at the start of your yoga session as I find it’s a much more effective at the end. You succeed in this pose when you focus on the breath and not your hip region that is screaming at you. Bend forward, placing your head on the ground in front of you, for even more fun.
Once I get fully set in a Warrior 3, I am flying. To get there, I do need a solid focal point to stay balanced. I suggest not focusing on the wobbly girl in front of you in class. Hone in on the corner of her mat or her water bottle instead.
Another fun standing pose, dancer pose is great to open up the muscles your torso. I love using a strap in this pose to get an even deeper stretch. With your foot near to the floor, position the strap around the foot that you plan to “fly” and lift yourself up into the full position holding your leg up via the strap.
I want to be better at this pose, but I think my arms are too short or my legs are too long. Yogajournal.com suggest holding this for 30 seconds. I consider ten seconds a victory in this pose. Before today, I didn’t know its therapeutic applications include relief for Osteoporosis.
This is another position that you better be well warmed up for – don’t just throw your legs over your head people!!! Also, don’t be afraid to grab a prop to assist you into making the experience more enjoyable. (And yes, I realize SOME OF YOU might be thinking over OTHER pleasurable experiences upon reading my description!!!)
You can’t help but feel silly in this position. While you are laughing at yourself, you are also calming yourself and relieveing stress. Count me in.
Sure it takes a moment to get comfy in it, but Eagle pose is highly rewarding once you are in it. I love the amount of concentration it requires. There’s no room in your head for extra thoughts – you’re too busy trying to not fall over!
I also love this variation suggestion from the website: Here’s a challenging variation of Garudasana. From the pose as described above, exhale and lean your torso into a forward bend, pressing the forearms against the top-leg thigh. Hold for a few breaths, then come up with an inhalation. Repeat on the second side.
Alright, so I can’t actually do this one yet, but it’s on my list of ones to master. I’m lacking in arm strength, so I’m going to have to do some bicep curls to get there. Perhaps I need to take the Beginner’s Tip from yogajournal.com:
Beginners tend to move into this pose by lifting their buttocks high away from their heels. In Bakasana try to keep yourself tucked tight, with the heels and buttocks close together. When you are ready to take the feet off the floor, push the upper arms against the shins and draw your inner groins deep into the pelvis to help you with the lift.
I’ve written several times on my love for this pose, but I really like yogajournal.com’s Beginner’s Tip for Wheel:
The knees and feet tend to splay as you lift into this pose, which compresses the lower back. In the beginning position, loop and secure a strap around your thighs, just above the knees, to hold the thighs at hip width and parallel to each other. To keep the feet from turning out, place a block between them, with the bases of the big toes pressing the ends of the block. As you go up, press the feet into the block.
As I added this last pose to my list, my mom said, “isn’t that just laying there?” Well Michele, I’ll have you know that according to yogajournal.com, Corpse pose:
- Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression
- Relaxes the body
- Reduces headache, fatigue, and insomnia
- Helps to lower blood pressure
If that’s all you’re doing in that pose, sign me up for a day long Savasana marathon.
Have you tried yoga? If so, what’s your favorite pose? Clevelanders: what’s your favorite studio? Haven’t tried yoga: why not?