Asana: Yoga Poses
Below you will find descriptions and helpful hints on asana aka yoga poses.
aka Low Push Up
Ok, so I make this pose look easy. But I admit, its challenging. Its challenging for all of us. But it doesnt have to be as hard as we make it. This is one of those poses that gets over worked, for a variety of reasons, but is also one of those poses that is the most important to do correctly.
Strengthens the arms, wrists, shoulder girdle, and core (abs, back, obliques).
This pose is not advised for those healing rotator cuff injuries, wrist injuries or pregnancy.
Beginners: Start from kneeling Plank pose, draw the sternum forward, while hugging the elbows into your side. Lower your shoulders towards the floor while squeezing your elbows into the side of your ribs. Keep the collar bones broad, and take your gaze slightly forward.
Intermediate: Once you feel successful in the beginner pose, start from full plank, with the heels drawing back. Now reach your heart forward, coming on to the tips of your toes, bend your elbows into your side, squeezing them in with strength and stability. As you lower down, the ribs continue to draw into your side, never leaving. Lower to a place that honors you, no lower than your elbows.
This is used to be one of those poses that I left out of the classes that I taught because of the controvery with this pose and the constant injuries that were happening in this pose.
I added it back in, though I admit, this pose is not for everyone. I added it back in because of the necessity for shoulder stability. There is a huge population of people who do not have stability in their shoulders, this pose is also a prep pose for a lot of other poses that need that stability. So its back in, but not in every class.
I always, always encourage this pose from the knees. There are huge benefits to it. And like all poses, you should progres in to it, and let go of competition. Let this practice be about you and what you need.
Propped: Theres a great way to practice this pose and really get the idea where you should be and how it should feel.
Take a yoga strap (with a buckle of some sort) and wrap it around your upper arms. Make sure the wrists & arms are aligned with the shoulders when you tighten up the strap. This is crucial. Note women: because of our upper bodies, you will want to make sure the strap is as close to your elbows as possible, while still staying on the upper arms.
With the strap in place, start in kneeling plank or full plank (depending on your progression), lower into Chaturanga Dandasana & notice how tight your elbws are to your side. keep the length in your upper body. The strap helps us understand where I body is aligned, and it also makes the pose significantly easier, because you are not working to hold everything in place. Its a great guide to see where you need to be, but doesnt replace the strength that needs to be built.
Happy Chaturanga's folks.
aka Warrior 1
This is always a debatable pose, so without getting into all the different styles, I'm going to go over the way I teach it, and why I do.
Directions: Lets start with the base of this pose. The feet. Your front foot will be facing towards the front of your mat, with your front knee in line with your toes. Your front knee is bent and stacked over the top of your ankle (depending on flexibility)The distance between your back foot and front depends on your flexibility, you want to keep your front knee bent and back leg extended. The stance is typically shorter than your other Warrior poses. The back foot is turned out 45degs from the front of your mat, and your feet are hip width distance apart. The feet are hip width distance apart to allow your hips to square up to the front of your mat.
The upper body is stacked over the top of your hips. Arms extend out to what honors you...you can reach them up to the ceiling, if its comfortable for your shoulders, you can draw your elbows out to the side with fingers pointing up to the ceiling, or you can interlace your fingers together pointing your index fingers up, as I am doing in the photo above.
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