Energize: Postures to Build Strength and Endurance
On to the workout! Part 4 consists of energizing postures you can try, master, and incorporate into your workout. Standing poses build strength, endurance, and steadiness. Balance poses improve poise and self-possession. Backbends release the flow of energy through your body. Twists and inversions rejuvenate and revitalize you.
Vinyasa is a method of yoga that strings postures together in a sequence with deep breathing to create an active, flowing routine full of movement and energy. Depending on which postures you include in your vinyasa, you'll experience a mild to strenuous cardiovascular workout. We show you a few examples, including the well-known and popular sun salutation, then set you free to create your own vinyasa routines. Have fun!
What Do You Stand For?
In This Chapter
^ The importance of standing poses
^ Lots of fun standing postures to try: mountain, triangle, side angle stretch, warrior, and lightning bolt
^ Balance poses, too: tree, eagle, plank, and arm balance
So, are you ready to start moving? Great! You may be eager to jump right in and try the headstand or the full lotus position, but learning the basics first is important. You wouldn't be able to play an advanced piano concerto competently without first mastering the scales. In yoga, those "scales" can be likened to the most basic of poses: the mountain pose, from which many standing poses begin.
The mountain pose is an important basic pose to learn well. It is deceptively simple in that it appears as easy as standing, but it actually requires great concentration because the entire body must be equally balanced. Tada means "mountain," and sana means "straight," so tadasana (pronounced tah-DAH-sah-nah) means standing straight like a mountain. As you stand in tadasana, try to feel the firmness and stability of a mountain.
The mountain pose benefits your body in many ways. It helps to maintain balance and posture, which leads to internal balance, which leads to good health. You must have a clear understanding of this pose and be able to hold it well before you can hold any of the other standing poses well—including the headstand, which is really just an upside-down version of tadasana!
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