Seated Spinal Twist In A Chair (Bharadvajasana)

Type : Seated

Justification : Twist, restorative twist

Complimentary Posture :  self-complimentary,  Malasana in a chair.

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Forward Seated Bend / Intense Back Stretch (Paschimottanasana)

Type : Sitting

Justification :  Forward extension, hamstring, back and spinal stretch

Complimentary posture :  Ardha Matsyendrasana, Ustrasana

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The Gate Pose (Parighasana) As It Resembles The cross Bar Of A Gate

Type : Sitting (from starting point)

Justification : Hip opener and lateral bend

Complimentary posture :  self complimentary as the lateral movement helps to counter-balance lateral twist extensions. Can be practiced before Uttitia Trikonasana or Uttita Parsvakonasana.

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Head To Knee Pose (Janu Sirsasana)

Type : Sitting

Justification : Hip opener, hamstring, inner thigh stretch. spinal and arm stretch

Complimentary posture :  Virasana,  purvottanasana

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The Dolphine Posture Or Half Headstand (Ardha Sirsassana)

Type : Sitting


Justification : Inversion (preparation for headstand)

Complimentary Posture : Adho Mukha Virasana


 

Physical Benefits :  Improves circulation to the head.  Reinforces shoulders, shoulder blades and scapulaire belt.   Stretches  arms, shoulders, hamstrings, calves and arches while strengthening the arms and legs.

 

Therapeutic Benenfits :   Relieves tension headache, mild depression, insomnia and sciatica. Also good for relieving menopausal symtoms.

 

Limitations :  To be avoided if you have high blood pressure, heart problems, slipped disc, vertigo, inflammation in the ears, myopia, asthma, cold or sinus problems.


How To Practice :

 Fold a blanket or sticky mat in four and place it in front of you on the ground. Place the formearms firmly on the mat with the elbows shoulder-width apart-no wider !!!. Interlock the fingers at the roots. The distance between the elbows should be equal distance from each elbow to the interlocked fingers forming an equal triangle. Place the crown of the head on the blanket just inside the cradled fingers. Lift the knees up and straighten your legs keeping the toes on the floor. Walk in to your elbows on your tippy toes as close as you possibly can.  Breathe 5-6 breaths and come back down into Vajrasana to recuperate. Repeat 3 times.

 

Tips : You can try lifting one leg up to the ceiling and then the other as this is a preparation for the full posture, Sirsasana. You can also walk into your elbows with your head lifted to intensify the movement in the shoulders, shoulder-blades and upper back. Make sure the crown of the head is centered firmly on the mat or blanket and you are not rolling too far onto the forehead or the back of the head.  Make sure the clasped hands are supporting the back of the head.

 

As this posture increases blood-circulation to the head and obliges you to breathe deeply, it can do wonders for tension headaches ! It also reinforces and opens up the shoulder girdle while giving the back of the legs a great stretch. This is a fun first step to the full handstand.

Inverted Staff Pose In A Chair : Viparita Dandasana

Type :  Inversion 

 Justification : backward bend 

Complimentary posture : Twists in a chair, supine or seated. Upward Bow Pose, Headstand

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Universal Spinal Twist : Supta Matsyendrasana or Jathara Parivartanasana

Type : Supine

Justification : twist, restorative twist

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Cowface Pose : Gomukhasana

Type : Sitting

Justification : Hip Opener, Shoulder Opener

Complimentary posture : Yoga Mudrasana in Vajrasana

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Half Handstand Against The Wall : Ardha Adho Mukha Vrksasana

Preparation For Full Arm Balance

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The Camel Pose : Ustrasana

Complimentary posture : Child’s pose (Balasana)

Justification :  Backbend

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Feet Up The Wall : Viparita Karani

Type : Inversion


Justification : Restorative posture

Self complimentary


 

Physical Benefits : Stimulates the digestive system and blood circulation . Relieves lower-back pain, jet-lag, constipation, urinary problems, high and low blood pressure, menstrual cramps, problems associated with menopause, head-ache and migraine.

Reinforces the muscles in the neck, arm and legs and relieves arthritus.

 

Therapeutic Benefits : Aliviates depression, fatigue and anxiety. Calms and cools the nervous system and re-establishes the breathing. Rebalances the hormones andimmune system.

Limitations : To be avoided if you have glaucoma, hypertension, hernia or have recently undergone surgery in the neck or back. There are two schools of thought for executing this posture during menstruation.

 


How To Practice :   Note : Depending on your flexibility the supports you use can be higher or lower. 

Using a bolster  (or 3 folded blankets, folded length-wise in accordion fashion) and a brick. Place the brick against the wall and then place the bolster flush against the brick. There are two ways (that I know of) to get into this : the first one is to hike your buttocks up the wall sittingsideways on the bolster, hip bone flush against the wall and then to gimmy your sitting bones up and against the wall. I find this a little awkward and somewhat difficult. The other way is do what we call in French, a galipette, or somersault. Kneel down in front of the bolster and place each hand at each edge of, but ON the bolster. Now place your head on the floor, just in front of the bolster. Straighten legs and lift knees and hips up into downward dog (adho mukha savasana). Roll the pelvis towards the wall, try to find the wall with your back and kick the legs up over the head and let the shoulders slide onto the bolster while flipping your legs and feet along the wall. Slide down and snuggle into the posture keeping your sitting bones and backs of your thighs against wallwith the legs straight. Your abdomen should be relaxed and soft as should your hip-flexors. Roll your shoulders slightly under your shoulder-blades to open up the chest. Place the arms along the sides of your torso, in a cross position, in cactus or place your hands on your lower abdomen.  Lengthen the cervical spine and totally relax and abandon yourself into the pose. Soften the skin of the face, the ears, eyes, nose and tongue.  Keep your teeth slightly apart and let the tongue rest passively along the bottom of your mouth. After 10-15 minutesyou can bend your legs and bring them into a cross-legged position. After a few minutes change the crossing of the legs. For pre-natal and menopausal women, widen the legs on the wall.

 

Stay for as long as you can- at least 10 minutes. To come out, bend your legs and using your feet, push out from the wall and slide back on the mat keeping just your feet on the bolster. Relax for a few breaths in savasana. Or, if you’re feeling really frisky and have no cervical issues, bring the legs back over the head into the plough pose(Halasana) and roll back (Chakrasana) into Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Savasana) and finally into Child’s Pose (Adho Mukha Virasana).

 

 

 

Child’s Pose With A Friend : Balasana/Adho Mukha Virasana

Prone Posture

Self complimentary

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Posing For Ease & happiness : Sukhasana

Sitting Posture

Self complimentary posture.


Justification :  Hip-opener

 

Physical Benefits : Stretches the spinal column, knees and ankles while opening the hips. Strengthens the back. Encourages grounding and a natural sense of ease.

 

Therapeutic Benefits : Eliminates stress, anxiety and mental fatigue. Calms the brain.  Encourages inner calm and happiness.

 

Limitations: To be avoided if if you have chronic pain, inflammation, a recent hip or knee injury or discal hernia


 

How to Practice :

 

Start by sitting in Staff pose (Dandasana). Depending on the openness of your hips, place one or two blankets under your sitting bones bringing the edge of the blanket just next to the sitting bones. Bend your knees and cross the shin bones (tibias) in the middle and bring your feet just under each knee. Flex both of feet, keeping them under the knees and observe the compactness in the hip area. That’s the feeling we want to keep active in the pelvis. Observe your hip flexors and the height of your knees in conjunction with your hip bones. If your knees are higher than your hips, you need to sit on a height of blankets or another support that will allow your hip flexors to release towards the floor. Now let the feet relax a little and fall open with the soles facing the sky as much as possible. Observe how your thighs and shin bones are now forming a small triangle. There should be a bit of space between your hips and your feet. Gently pull the flesh of the buttocks towards the sides to firmly place the sitting bones on the support. If you need to, place both hands at the sides of your hips and lightly lift the pelvis up bringing the sitting bones to the front edge of the blanket. Place your hands with the fingers in cups just next to your hips and draw the elbows back thus rolling both the shoulders back. Elongate the spine and both sides of the waist expanding the sternum but keeping the stomach and the throat soft and relaxed. Line the back of the head up with the coccyx and soften the hip-flexors. Let the thighs and knees melt down into the mat, keeping the buttocks firmly anchored towards the floor. Place your hands on your knees palms facing up or down and continue to elongate the spinal column and the two sides of the waist, keeping the shoulders rolled back and the chest open.  The pubic bone should be perpendicular to the floor and the tail bone untucked so that the chest can open. Keep the eyes soft and the gaze just in front of you. Breathe 10-12 breathsand then change the crossing of your legs and repeat on the other side.


 

Variations :

If your hips are very tight you can use several folded blankets or a chair. Sitting with both feet on the ground, bring one foot up onto the opposite knee in a half-crossed legged position and hold this for 10-12 breaths. Repeat with the other leg.

 

If your back is caving in then sit against a wall. You can also wedge a block between the shoulder-blades and the wall.

 

Note : Although this is called « The Easy Pose » it can be more complicated than one realizes, as is often the dycotomy in yoga. J  This is actually the ultimate posture in yoga for meditating. The purpose for the asana practice in yoga is to bring strength, flexibilty and discipline to the body ultimately so that you can hold a ‘simple’ posture such as this one comfortably for long periods of time, especially in meditation.

Although a major light-house posture in yoga, this seemingly 'Easy Pose' is not at all an evidence for alot of people. This is an incredible hip-opener for people just beginning their yoga voyage and will tell you alot about your pelvic region and it's limitations.

Thunderbolts & Lightning Shoulders

MORNING MINI SEQUENCE FOR SHOULDERS

Upward Bound Finger Pose (Urdhva Baddhanguliyasana)

Behind the Back Bound Finger Pose (Pashima Baddhanguliyasana)

Downward Facing Thunderbolt Pose (Adho Mukha Vajrasana or Yoga Mudrasana in Vajrasana)

 

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