Archive for April, 2011

Arbor Day is here again, Let’s try some Tree Pose Variations…

April 28, 2011

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.  The next best time is now.  ~Chinese Proverb

Arbor Day: (Arbor is Latin for Tree) is an annual event in countries all over the world that encourages people to get out, plant and care for trees.

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After you are done planting your trees, honor them with Vrksasana!

TREE POSE (vrksasana) is a standing posture that focuses on Balance, it stretches and strengthens calves, thighs and ankles.

Begin in Mountain Pose (Tadasana).

Allow all of your weight to sink into your right foot.

Begin to raise your left foot into kickstand, (left heel on the right ankle, left toes on the floor) or bring your left foot onto your right calf, or bring your left foot all the way up to your right thigh.

When you find your balance (concentrate your attention onto a stationary object),

Grow your Branches (arms) anyway you like:
Hands together in prayer position at heart center
Hands together over your head
Arms over your head in a ‘V’ position
Interlace your fingers and press your palms to the sky
Bring your elbows parallel to the floor (Palm Tree).

Repeat on the opposite side.

Want to make it more challenging?  Try closing your eyes in balance poses.

Tree Pose Variations:

Swaying Palm Tree
Come to a Tree Pose
On your next exhale bend towards your bent knee and hold.
Repeat on opposite side

Twisted Tree 1
Come to a Tree Pose
Extend arms out in ‘T’ position at shoulder height.
Then, on your next exhale twist torso towards your bent knee. Hold
Repeat on opposite side

Twisted Tree 2
Come to a Tree Pose
Cross your arms into Eagle Arms (Bring your arms to shoulder height. Wrap your right arm under your left arm, elbows bent.  Try to bring the palms of your hands together).
Repeat on opposite side with Left arm Under Right arm.

Tumbling Tree
Tumbling tree is basically Warrior III with a chest Expansion
From Tadasana, take a step forward with your left leg
Come onto your Right toes
Interlace your fingers behind your back
Slowly transition your weight onto your left foot
Begin to raise your right leg into the air
Full expression:  Body is in ‘T’ position with arms raised into the air (fingers interlaced)
Repeat on opposite side

Tree Plank
Tree plank is a side plank with your top leg in Tree Pose
Begin in Down Dog
Roll onto the outside of your Right Foot
Raise your Left Arm into the air
Bend your Left Knee and place your Left Foot on your Right Calf or Thigh
Repeat on opposite side

Reclining Tree Pose
Corpse Pose
Bend Right knee, Right foot on the Floor
Exhale and open your Right Knee to the Right side
Hold for several breaths
Inhale Right knee to center
Switch Sides

 

Do you know of more Tree Pose Variations?  Please share.

How to plant a tree, CLICK HERE.

Become an Arbor Day Foundation Member ($10) and receive 10 FREE TREES!

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
~Joyce Kilmer, “Trees,” 1914

More Calendar Theme Yoga Poses

ARBOR DAY 2010 Post

See more POSE FOCUS posts HERE.

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Pyramid Pose for Passover

April 19, 2011

Passover is upon us, it’s the day when god helps the Israelites escape Slavery in Egypt.

Pyramid Pose – Parsvottanasana (Standing Runners Stretch, Intense Stretch)

Begin in Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Turn your Left foot out slightly, and step your Right foot forward (about the length of your normal stride).

*Hips remain square to your front leg.

Inahale

As you Exhale fold forward out over your front leg.

Your hands can be reaching towards the floor, your hands can be on the floor, or you can bend your front knee slightly and place your hands above your knee

Hold for several breaths

Inhale come back to standing

Rotate feet so that your Left foot is now forward, and repeat from *

Variation:  Interlace your fingers behind your back and add a chest expansion when folding forward


Modified Pyramid Pose: (Kneeling Pyramid, Kneeling Runners Stretch)

Begin in a tall kneel

Extend your right leg.  Leg is straight toes are pointed up

Exhale and fold forward out over your right front leg

Hold for several Breaths

Repeat on the Left

Camel Pose – Ustrasana

Begin in a tall kneel, knees are hip width apart

As you exhale Slowly lean back into a Back Bend

Bring your hands to your heals and hold for several breaths

Your Drishti (eye gaze) is at the ceiling

Inhale and come back to a tall kneel

Variation: Try bringing your hands to your hips if your heels are too far away.  You can also try half camel, one hand to heel and other arm raised (each side).

Release from Camel Pose with Child’s Pose, hold for several Breaths.

More Calendar Theme Yoga Poses

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Celebrate Palm Sunday with Palm Tree Yoga Pose

April 15, 2011

Palm Sunday 2011 is April 17.  Christians celebrate Palm Sunday the one-week before Easter.  It marks the day Jesus entered into Jerusalem. The palm tree was considered a symbol of victory and well-being. Before Ash Wednesday (of the next year), the Palm is burned and used as a symbol of penitence during Lent.

The Palm Tree was also sacred to the Greek god Apollo.

PALM TREE POSE
Palm Tree Pose is a great spinal alignment pose.  It lengthens your entire body.  It opens your heart and chest.  Palm Tree energizes and releases tension as it strengthens your arms and legs.

Palm Tree Pose (Talasana)

Begin in Mountain Pose

Inhale, raise arms over head (palms facing each other), and rise up onto toes

Breathe

Inhale and straighten your entire body reaching up

Exhale bend back slightly

Drishti (gaze) is on fingers

Hold for a few slow deep breaths

Exhale-lower arms and heels

Return to Mountain Pose

Palm Tree Variations…

Kundalini Palm Tree Pose

Same as above, but legs are wider than hip width apart, toes turned out slightly

Swaying  (or Swinging) Palm Tree Pose (Tiryaka Tadasana)

Palm tree with side stretch to each side

Tree Pose Variation-Palm Tree

Come to Tree Balance Pose

Inhale arms up

Exhale elbows down to shoulder height, arms at a right angle (upper arms parallel to floor).

Palms facing forward, fingers spread

Wall/Palm Tree Variation

Begin in Mountain Pose

Inhale arms up into the air

Exhale elbows down to shoulder height, arms at a right angle (upper arms parallel to floor).

Palms facing forward, fingers spread

Slowly walk backwards until your entire back is against a wall

Concentrate on aligning your body with the wall

More Calendar Theme Yoga Poses

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Yoga For Lower Back Pain

April 5, 2011

Yoga For Lower Back Pain

For the past couple of Months my lower back has been in pain.
Yoga has definitely brings some relief.

Back pain comes from a variety of reasons everything from Injuries to Bad Posture.

(Obviously, you should consult a Doctor before beginning any type of exercise.  Consult a Doctor for diagnosis and treatment of pain and injuries.)

Begin with a few moments of centering

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Today we are going to begin in Corpse pose
Full Supine Stretch

*Right Knee in to Chest
Straight Right leg in towards Chest
Open Right leg to Right side for Reclined Big Toe Pose
Straight Right leg in towards Chest
Right leg across body for Twist
Straight Right leg in towards Chest
Repeat from *

Active Bridge Pose

Bridge Pose

Both Knees in to Chest

Wind Relieving Pose

Knees to Chest

Spinal Rolls to Squat

Table

Cat/Cow

Down Dog

Plank

Cobra to Child’s Pose 5-11 x’s

Down Dog

Rag Doll

Mountain Pose

Right  Side:
Triangle
Pyramid with Chest Expansion
Side angle

Five Pointed Star
Wide Leg Standing Forward Fold
Wide Leg Standing Forward Fold twist (Each Side)

Left Side:
Triangle
Pyramid with Chest Expansion
Side angle

Eagle

Eagle at Rest

Sun Salutation to Belly

Locust

Locust with Chest expansion

Child’s Pose

Sit

Half Lord of the Fishes Twist

Forward Fold

Fish Pose

Knees to Chest

Bridge

Happy Baby

Spinal Twist

Corpse Pose

More Asanas for Ailments, Click Here.

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