Posts Tagged ‘inversions’

Welcome to the Year of the Dragon! Celebrate with Dragon Pose!

January 23, 2012

“Gung Hay Fat Choy!” (Happy New Year in Cantonese)

The Dragon is the 5th sign in the Chinese Zodiac, following the Rabbit.

If you were born in 1904, 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988 or 2000 your sign is the dragon.  Find your Chinese Zodiac Sign HERE.

Celebrate the New Year with Dragon Pose (Yin Yoga Variation of Runner’s Lunge)

Dragon Pose is great for the hips, groin, quads and can help with sciatica.

How to:

Baby Dragon (Modified Lunge)

Begin in Down Dog
Step your Right Foot forward, between your hands
Bring your Right knee directly over your right ankle.
Drop your Left Knee to the floor
Hold
Repeat on the Left

Variation:

If you want to go deeper….

Opt. 1:  Bring both hands to the Big toe side of your front foot
Opt. 2:  Bring your Forearms to the floor on the big toe side of your front foot: Baby Dragon Flying Low
Opt. 3:  Bring the top of your head to the floor on the big toe side of your front foot

Baby Dragon Flying High (Balancing Modified Lunge)

Begin in Baby Dragon
Bring your Hands to your Right knee
Hold
Repeat on the Left

Twisted Baby Dragon (Twisted Modified Lunge)

Begin in Baby Dragon
Bring your Left hand to the Big toe side of your right foot
Raise your Right Arm
Open your Right Arm out to the Right Side (twist to the side of the front leg)
Hold
Repeat on the Left

Variation:

Opt. 1:  Bend your Left Knee and hold your Left Foot with your Right Hand

Baby Winged Dragon (Modified Lunge with Hip Opener)

Begin in Baby Dragon
Bring both hands to the inside of the right foot
Allow your right knee to roll out to the right side
Come onto the little toe side of the Right Foot

Variation:

Opt. Bring your hands to Blocks

If you want to go deeper….

Opt. 1:  Bring your Forearms to the floor on the big toe side of your front foot
Opt. 2:  Bring your Forearms to the floor on the big toe side of your front foot, then use your right hand and apply a gentle pressure to your right knee, pushing out.

As always, BACK OFF IF THERE IS ANY PAIN!

Dragon Pose (Lunge)

Begin in Down Dog
Step your Right Foot forward, between your hands
Bring your Right knee directly over your right ankle.
Up on your Left toes, Left knee remains off the floor
Hold
Repeat on the Left

Variation:

If you want to go deeper….

Opt. 1:  Bring both hands to the Big toe side of your front foot
Opt. 2:  Bring your Forearms to the floor on the big toe side of your front foot-Dragon Flying Low
Opt. 3:  Bring the top of your head to the floor on the big toe side of your front foot

Dragon Flying Low (Balancing Lunge)

Begin in Dragon Pose
Bring your Hands to your Right knee
Hold
Repeat on the Left

Variation:

Opt. 1:  Bring your hands together in Prayer Position at Heart’s Center
Opt. 2:  Bring your arms over your head, interlace your fingers, index fingers pointing up
Opt. 3:  Begin in Opt. 2 and add a mini back bend

Twisted Dragon Pose (Twisted Lunge)

Begin in  Dragon
Bring your Left hand to the Big toe side of your right foot
Raise your Right Arm
Open your Right Arm out to the Right Side (twist to the side of the front leg)
Hold
Repeat on the Left

Variation:
Opt. 1:  Bend your Left Knee and hold your Left Foot with your Right Hand

Winged Dragon  (Lunge with Hip Opener)

Begin in Dragon Pose
Bring both hands to the inside of the right foot
Allow your right knee to roll out to the right side
Come onto the little toe side of the Right Foot
Hold
Repeat on the Left

Variation:

If you want to go deeper….

Opt. 1:  Bring your Forearms to the floor on the big toe side of your front foot
Opt. 2:  Bring your Forearms to the floor on the big toe side of your front foot, then use your right hand and apply a gentle pressure to your right knee, pushing out.  As always, BACK OFF IF THERE IS ANY PAIN!

Dragon Split
Begin in Baby Dragon
Slowly slid your Right foot forward, straightening out the Right Knee

Variation:
Opt:  Place a block under your right thigh

If you want to go deeper….
Opt: Slowly fold forward out over your Right Leg

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Today Begins the year of the Rabbit in the Chinese Zodiac! Celebrate with Rabbit Pose (sasangasana).

February 3, 2011

(In the related Vietnamese Zodiac, the cat takes the place of the rabbit)

People born in:  1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999 are Rabbits in the Chinese Zodiac.

Find out your Chinese Sign HERE

“Gung Hay Fat Choy!” (Happy New Year in Cantonese)

Celebrate the New Year with Rabbit Pose (sasangasana)
Rabbit Pose is the 23 pose in the
26 Poses of Bikram Yoga

Rabbit Pose is a gentle inversion that stretches and elongates your entire spine.

This pose helps relieve tension in the back, shoulders and neck.  It’s great for Posture and the Immune System.  It can alleviate symptoms of Colds, Congestion, and Allergies.  It can also assist with depression and Insomnia.

How to do the Rabbit Pose:

Begin in Child’s Pose.
(Prone position.  Low Kneel-bottom to heels.  Arms are at your sides, forehead to the floor)

Bring your hands to your Feet

Pull your Forehead toward your knees

Roll onto the top of your head

Exhale, Lift your hips (keep your forehead as close as possible to your knees)

Hold for 8 breaths

On your next Exhale, slowly lower your hips to your heels

Return to Child’s pose.

Rest for several breaths

Too much pressure on the top of your Head or under your Knees?
Double up your yoga mat (don’t go thicker than 2 layers under your head, it can make your neck unstable).

Some Rabbit Pose Variations:
Try Rabbit Pose with your arms crossed behind your knees or interlace your fingers and bring your arms into the air.

After you have completed your Rabbit Pose, Counter it with a back Bend like Cobra or Camel.

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Try some mood lifting, headache relieving, alertness and focus improving Inversions…

December 29, 2010

Shoulder Stand – Sarvangasana

Build up to Shoulder stand with Legs Up the Wall, or a wall supported Shoulder stand:  Begin with your legs up the wall, your bottom should be very close to the wall.  Bend your knees and bring your feet onto the wall.  Press your feet into the wall and lift your bottom from the floor.  Bring your hands to your upper back.  Try lifting first one leg, then the other off of the wall. Lay on your back with your arms resting on the floor over your head.  Roll Backwards, lifting your hips off the floor.  Bring your hands to your upper back and straighten your legs.  Slowly begin to lift your feet off of the floor, work your hands closer to the mat to straighten your pose.  There should be no neck pain.  When you are ready to come out of Shoulder Stand, carefully, lower your feet to the floor over your head and unroll.

Forearm Stand*– Pincha Mayurasana (Bent Arm Balance, Feathered Peacock)

Try Dolphin to build up arm and shoulder strength, then move your dolphin pose to the wall, and try to kick your legs up (head remains off the floor).  Kicking up takes practice, stick with it and you’ll achieve a Forearm stand in no time!

Handstand* – Adho Mukha Vrksasana

Build up some arm strength with a supported handstand.  Try coming into Down Dog with your heels at the wall.  Then, begin to walk your feet up the wall, eventually into a handstand with your toes on the wall.  When you are ready, turn your Down Dog around so that your hands and back of the head are near the wall.  Practice kicking your legs up (Head stays off the floor).

Headstand* – Shirshasana

Build up strength in Tripod.  When you are ready to begin headstand, try to come to a Forearm Down Dog, heels to the wall.  Walk your feet up the wall.  When you are ready turn your Forearm Down Dog around, hands near the wall, try to kick your legs up.  Be careful; try not to put your weight on your head.  You should be able to slide a credit card between your head and the floor.

*Try to remain in your inversion for 3-5 minutes. Rest in Child’s Pose when you come down from your inversion.

Not quite ready for head, hand or arms stands?

Try Down Dog, Dolphin, Tripod, Legs up the Wall, Rag Doll, Standing Split, or any pose where your head is lower than your heart.

SMILE!!!

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