Chest pose

Raised Knee to Chest Pose is a great pose for strengthening your abdominals and lower back. By stimulating your abdominal area, this pose can also help improve digestion and elimination. Regular practice of this pose can improve the flexibility in your hips. As you lift your upper body toward your knee in this pose, make sure that you lift your chest, not just your head, to avoid straining your neck. You should also make sure you do not round your shoulders forward when you lift your upper...

Five pointed pQse

You can perform Five Pointed Star Pose to energize and lengthen your entire body. This pose also opens your chest, which can help improve your circulation and capacity for deep breathing. Performing Five Pointed Star Pose can also help to correctly align your spine. You may want to use this pose as a starting position for Triangle Pose or Standing Wide Angle Forward Bend. As you hold Five Pointed Star Pose, visualize your body stretching and lengthening in all five directions at once through...

Guided Imagery and Guided Relaxation

Guided imagery and guided relaxation are relaxation techniques in which you listen to a message specifically designed for relaxation. You can work with a partner or use a recording of your own voice or another voice reading a relaxation script. You can also purchase guided imagery and guided relaxation audio recordings. To prepare for guided imagery or guided relaxation, you should make sure your environment is quiet and free from distractions. Begin in Relaxation Pose, as shown on page 242,...

Reclined warmup sequence continued

Extend your arms to your sides at shoulder height, with your palms facing down. 14 Lower your knees to the right toward the floor and move into Little Boat Twist. For information on Little Boat Twist, see page 60. Little Boat Twist helps release tension in your lower and mid spine and stretches your chest and shoulders. 18 Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. Bring your right knee toward your chest and loop a strap around the arch of your right foot. 20 Straighten your right...

Downwardfacing dog pose

Downward-Facing Dog Pose lengthens your spine and provides an intense stretch to the back of your legs, with an emphasis on stretching your calves. You can perform Downward-Facing Dog Pose to warm up your legs in preparation for other poses. While performing Downward-Facing Dog Pose, focus on shifting your weight back onto your legs. Resting most of your weight on your legs helps to relieve the pressure on your arms, which is especially useful if you have shoulder or wrist problems. As you...

Seated wide angle

Seated Wide Angle Forward Bend provides a stretch to your inner thighs and hamstrings. This pose can also help calm your mind and relieve stress. As you bend forward in this pose, you may be tempted to round your back. To prevent rounding your back, make sure you bend forward from your hips and lean forward with your chest, not your forehead. Lengthening your spine is more important than trying to bend forward as far as possible. In this pose, make sure your legs never form an angle greater...

Standing back bend

You can perform Standing Back Bend to open and stretch the front of your body. This pose also strengthens your abdominal muscles and back, with an emphasis on your lower back. You can perform Standing Back Bend to help you learn correct spinal alignment, which can alleviate problems with your spine. Standing Back Bend is a good warm-up pose for other standing poses, such as Dancer Pose. This pose is also commonly performed as part of Sun Salutation. As you hold the pose, do not allow your head...

Chair yoga practice continued

Interlace your fingers under your right thigh and lift your right knee up toward your chest to move into Seated Knee to Chest Pose. Position the right side of your body facing the chair back and hold the chair back with your hands at approximately shoulder height. For information on Seated Knee to Chest Pose, see page 113. Seated Knee to Chest Pose stretches your hips and thighs while strengthening your back. Perform Seated Knee to Chest Pose for your other side and then return to Seated...

Improved Circulation

Many yoga poses help to improve the circulation of blood throughout your body. Improved blood circulation helps flush out toxins and impurities from your body. Regular practice of yoga can also help lower your blood pressure and pulse rate. One of the most noticeable effects of yoga is that it can make your body strong and flexible, while improving the range of motion in your joints. The practice of yoga can also improve your balance, tone your muscles and increase your stamina. Some yoga poses...

Simpletwist

Parsva Sukhasana

Simple Twist helps to increase the flexibility of your spine and upper back. This pose is also useful for stretching your shoulders and upper chest. Performing this pose also massages your abdominal organs, which helps to improve digestion. Simple Twist is commonly used as a warm-up pose and as a counter pose after forward bends and back bends. As you perform Simple Twist, make sure you keep your hips even and your sitting bones in contact with the floor throughout the pose. Allow the twist to...

Eight popJse

Eight Point Pose provides a good stretch for the front of your neck and your upper back. This pose also strengthens your chest, upper back, shoulders and arms. As the name of the pose implies, eight parts of your body should be touching the floor as you hold the pose your chin, your chest, two hands, two knees and two feet. It is important that your abdomen does not touch the floor while holding the pose. With these parts of your body touching the floor, this pose provides a gentle upper back...

Supported reclining hero pose

Reclined Hero Pose Props

Supported Reclining Hero Pose opens your chest and rib cage, which helps to relieve breathing problems and can be beneficial for your heart. This pose also alleviates sinus pressure, reduces fatigue in your legs and relieves nausea and indigestion. If you are feeling stressed or anxious, you may want to perform this pose to soothe your mind and relax your nervous system. Supported Reclining Hero Pose requires the use of props, which allows you to hold the pose for a longer period of time. The...

TISt supta matsyendrasana

Supta Matsyendrasana

Knee Down Twist improves the flexibility of your spine. Performing this pose also opens your chest and shoulders, while stretching your lower back and hips. You may find Knee Down Twist useful for releasing tension in your spine, hips and abdomen. This pose can also relax your nervous system and calm your mind. If you have difficulty sleeping, you may want to perform Knee Down Twist to relax your body and mind before going to sleep. As you perform Knee Down Twist, only lower your knee as far as...

Stretch

Cat Stretch improves the flexibility of your spine and the circulation in your torso. While stretching your shoulders, back and hips, this stretch may also help improve many bodily functions, such as digestion and elimination. You may want to perform Cat Stretch as a warm-up pose or after more strenuous poses to help release tension from your body. Cat Stretch allows you to practice coordinating your movements with your breath. Exhale as you round and lift your upper back and inhale as you...

Beginner sun salutation continued

Step your right foot forward between your hands and move into Lunge Pose. Make sure your right knee is directly above your right ankle. 20 Bring your left foot forward next to your right foot. 21 Straighten your legs, lift your hips and raise your upper body until it is parallel with the floor. Keep your back flat and your head in line with your spine. Let your arms dangle straight down from your shoulders. beside your head, parallel to the floor. Your upper arms should be next to your ears and...

The baby

Rock the Baby is a warm-up pose that provides an excellent stretch to your hips. You may want to perform this pose to prepare for seated poses, such as Half Lotus Pose or Lotus Pose. Rock the Baby is also a good stretch to perform in preparation for Lunge Pose. As you rock your leg in this pose, make sure you focus on the movement in your hip, not the movement of your leg. It is also important to keep your spine as straight as possible in this stretch. If you find it difficult to place your leg...

Reclined warmup sequence

Yoga Warm Sequence

You should perform a warm-up sequence, such as Reclined Warm-Up Sequence, at the start of every yoga session. If you are a beginner or planning a long yoga session, you should perform a longer warm-up sequence. 10 Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor with your heels directly under your knees. 10 Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor with your heels directly under your knees. 11 Perform Pelvic Tilt to warm up your lower back and pelvis. For information on Pelvic...

Seated warmup sequence

Yoga Warm Sequence

You should perform a warm-up sequence, such as Seated Warm-Up Sequence, at the start of every yoga session. If you are performing a long yoga session, you should perform a longer warm-up sequence. If you are a beginner, you may also need to spend more time warming up. Perform neck stretches to relax your head and warm up your neck. For information on neck stretches, see page 42. Perform arm stretches to warm up your arms and improve circulation in your upper body. For information on arm...

Table balancing

Table Balancing Pose is an energizing pose that improves your balance and strengthens your entire body. This pose also stretches your arms and legs and helps to align your spine. By supporting the weight of your body on your hands and knees, Table Balancing Pose helps strengthen your bones. Building strong bones can prevent osteoporosis a bone disease that causes your bones to deteriorate, becoming fragile and prone to breaks. While performing this pose, you should keep your hips even and...

Pose

Plow Pose stretches and increases the flexibility of your spine, while providing an intense stretch for your neck. This pose also stretches the entire back of your body and stimulates the nerves in your spine. You may also want to perform this pose to calm, focus and rejuvenate your mind. As you perform Plow Pose, make sure you do not turn your head to the side. Your head should remain in a neutral position. If you want to stretch your inner thighs in this pose, you can perform Plow Pose with...

Ashwa sanchalanasana

Unmani Mudra

Lunge Pose stretches your legs and groin, with an emphasis on stretching the front of your thighs. This pose also lengthens your spine and helps to open your chest and hips. Increasing the flexibility of your hips in Lunge Pose can help you sit more comfortably in poses, such as Easy Pose and Bound Angle Pose. Lunge Pose can also make performing back bends easier by increasing the flexibility in the front of your thighs. Lunge Pose is often performed as part of Sun Salutation. For information...

Standing yoga mudra pose

Standing Yoga Mudra Pose provides an intense stretch to your shoulders. This pose also stretches your upper back and legs, while helping to increase the flexibility of your spine and hips. You can perform Standing Yoga Mudra Pose to help clear your mind, center your thoughts and become more aware of your feelings. As you move into the pose, try to keep your palms together to maintain the intensity of the stretch in your shoulders. Stretching your arms back and up in this pose can help correct a...

Inclined plane

Incline Plane Yoga

Inclined Plane Pose is an energizing pose that strengthens your entire body, with an emphasis on strengthening your upper body. This pose provides a good stretch to the front of your body, which helps to open your chest and improve the flexibility of your shoulders. You can also use this pose to relieve tension in your neck and shoulders. If you find it difficult to place your palms shoulder width apart in this pose, you can place your palms as close together as is comfortable for you. Once...

Seated yoga mudra pose

Kundalini Yoga Kneeling Pose

Seated Yoga Mudra Pose, also known as The Seal of Yoga, provides an intense stretch for your shoulders and upper back, which may help to relieve tightness in these areas. This pose also stretches your neck and stimulates your abdominal area. You may find that this pose not only clears your mind, but also reconnects your heart and mind to help you become more aware of your feelings. As you bend forward in this pose, your buttocks may lift off your heels slightly. With practice, you should be...

Seated knee to chest pose

Seated Knee Chest

Seated Knee to Chest Pose stretches your hips and thighs. You can also use this pose to strengthen your back and open your chest. Bringing your knee toward your chest in this pose stimulates your abdominal area, which can help improve digestion and elimination. If you spend most of the day sitting in a chair at work, you may want to use this pose to take a break and stretch. Like all chair poses, this pose is also a good alternative to seated poses if you do not feel comfortable sitting on the...

Sarvangasana

Soles Your Feet

Shoulderstand strengthens your entire body, while stimulating your spine and thyroid gland. Your thyroid gland, located at the front of your neck, is responsible for regulating many of your bodily functions, such as your metabolism and body temperature. Performing this pose also provides a calm energy that nourishes your body and soul. While performing Shoulderstand, make sure you do not turn your head to the side. You should also make sure that you keep your legs together without tensing your...

FiSt supta parivartanasana

Supta Parivartanasana

Reclined Thigh-Over-Thigh Twist can relieve tension in your spine and hips by twisting your spine and stretching your hips. This pose also helps to open your chest, shoulders and lower back. As you twist in this pose, you massage your abdominal organs, which helps to improve digestion and elimination. If you are having difficulty sleeping, you can perform this pose to help calm your mind and relax your body for sleep. You should feel calm and rejuvenated after performing Reclined...

Cam

Camel Pose is an advanced back bend that helps to open your chest and the front of your body. This pose also strengthens your back and spine, while providing an intense stretch to the front of your thighs. As you stretch backward into the pose, try to keep your thighs perpendicular to the floor. Also, be careful not to drop your head back because this can compress the back of your neck. Your neck should stay in line with the curve of your spine. If you feel any strain in your neck, you can tuck...

Crocodile

Crocodile Yoga Pose

Crocodile Pose is a passive back bend that is useful for relieving stress and tension in your body. This pose also helps to regulate your blood pressure, improve digestion and relax your body for sleep. You should feel calm and rejuvenated after performing Crocodile Pose. Since this pose massages the uterus, women can use the pose to relieve severe menstrual cramps. You can also use this pose to help alleviate pain in your neck and jaw. This pose is a good alternative to Relaxation Pose,...

Triangje

Stork Pose Yoga

Triangle Pose provides an intense stretch along the sides of your torso, hips and legs. With regular practice of this pose, you can increase the strength and flexibility of your hips, legs, ankles and feet. This pose also elongates your spine and opens your chest, which can help improve your breathing. It is important to be aware of the alignment of your body in Triangle Pose. Make sure your head, shoulders and hips are on the same plane. You must also keep your spine in a straight line from...

Illustrated

Jill Maran Dutfield

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Dan

Dancer Pose, also known as Lord of the Dance Pose, can help improve your balance and stability. This pose also helps to open your chest and strengthen your shoulders, arms and legs. You may want to perform Dancer Pose to stretch your shoulders, back, hips and legs after you have spent all day sitting in a chair. If you are feeling distracted or unfocused, you can perform Dancer Pose to help improve your ability to concentrate. Once you feel comfortable and balanced in the pose, you can try...