Posts Tagged ‘poses’

2016 is a year of the Monkey! Celebrate with Hanumanasana (monkey pose)

February 5, 2016

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

2016 is the Year of the Monkey! Celebrate with Monkey Pose!

Monkey is the 9th sign in the Chinese Zodiac, following the sheep.
In Hatha Yoga, Monkey Pose is Hanumanasana (hah-new-mahn-AHS-anna).

Monkey Pose is named for the Hindu monkey god, Hanuman

Monkey Pose helps to stretch the groin, thighs, hips, and hamstrings.
Monkey_Pose
Monkey Pose (Hanumanasana) this is a basic split asana where your legs are ‘split’ forward and backwards.

Monkey Pose may be easier to do on a hard (uncarpeted floor) without a yoga mat – try it while wearing socks.
You may also want to place a cloth under each knee.

HOW TO:
Come to a tall kneel
Step right foot forward
On your next exhale lean your torso forward and bring your hands to the floor
Slowly slide your right foot forward and your left leg back
Stop before you feel pain, only go to where you are comfortable
Hold pose for about 30 seconds, then switch sides

FULL EXPRESSION:
Work towards having both front and back legs straight.
Your torso should be straight and your hands should rest comfortably on the floor

Modifications:
Not ready for a full split? Try placing a block under your front thigh.
This will help support your body

You can also place each hand on a block instead of placing your hands on the floor

Half Monkey  (this is also called Modified Pyramid or Kneeling Runner’s Stretch) – Keep back leg  at 90 degrees. Slide Front foot forward. Hands rest on either side of your calf.

TAKE IT FURTHER:
Variation 1:
When you have mastered the split and are comfortable,
raise your arms in the air (King Monkey)
Dristi or gaze is at your finger tips

Variation 2:
Come to Full expression of monkey pose
Fold forward out over your front leg

Variation 3:
Twisted Monkey – twist towords your front leg

Variation 4:
Open Hearted Monkey – Add a chest expansion

Variation 5:
Peaceful Monkey – Inhale arms into the air
If right leg is in front, lower left arm, left hand to left leg opening the heart chakra

Learn More Animal Poses Here
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Nervous about beginning a Meditation Practice?

March 5, 2013

BreatheI have a high-strung friend who messaged me recently. He was looking for ways to relax and let go.

He, like a lot of people find the thought of MEDITATING intimidating, but actually, most people are doing mini meditations all the time.

Think about when you are angry, do you count to ten? – meditation.
Do you count sheep to take your mid off of things so you can sleep? – meditation
Maybe you take a walk or ride a bike, these things can also be meditative

There is no reason to be scared, meditation is for everyone. Anyone can do it.

I started him off with one of my favorite meditations:  Easy Self Guided Bareh Count Down Meditation.

I do this one constantly. It’s easy to remember and simple enough to do it anywhere, anytime.

Learn More about MEDITATION, Click HERE
LEARN MORE Pranayama (Breath Control) HERE.
Dhyana-Perfect Contemplation

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Today is Makar Sankranti; Celebrate with Kite Pose!

January 14, 2013

butterfly kiteMakar Sankranti (Sanskrit: Shankramana = to begin to move) is a Hindu festival celebrated by many people to celebrate the New Year.  Sankrant, usually celebrated on January 14 is based on the solar calendar (most festivals are based on the lunar calendar). Makar Sankranti is the day when the Sun enters and begins to ascend into the Northern Hemisphere. The Sun represents knowledge, spiritual light and wisdom. During Makar Sankranti we are reminded to turn away from the darkness of delusion, and begin to enjoy a new life.  Our bright inner light begins to shine brighter and brighter as we gradually grow into purity, wisdom, and knowledge.

Kite Festivals are a popular way to celebrate Makar Sankranti.

KITE POSE 1 – Patangasana
(this asana is basically Warrior 3 with airplane wings)

HOW TO:

Begin in Tadasana (Mountain Pose).

Take a step forward with your Right leg.

Raise arms next to your ears as you transfer your weight into your Right leg.

Lift your left leg off the mat, and slowly hinge forward from the hips.

Your raised leg, torso and arms should be parallel to the floor. Arms back to sides like airplane wings

Drishti (eye gaze) is out over your front fingers.

(Repeat with the Left leg forward)

 

KITE POSE 2 – Falling Star (aka Soaring Eagle)

HOW TO:

Begin in 5-pointed star pose (legs 3-4 feet apart, arms at sides parallel to the floor)

Transfer your weight to your right leg

Hold for several Breaths

Return to 5 pointed Star

Repeat on the Left side

Makar Sankranti Blessing:
May the Makar Sankranti fire burn all the moments of sadness and bring you the warmth of joy, happiness and love”

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Crying

August 21, 2012

I seem to be an emotional mess.  Is it because in my family you could never show emotion?  Now I cry all the time.  How can anyone take me seriously when as soon as there is a difficult situation the tears come out.  I am frustrated and I am crying.  Something happened at work, and I only care about it a little bit. I’m not really upset about it, just frustrated.  As soon as I try to express my feelings to my boss, I begin crying.  It really sucks.

In general, I am really happy.  I love my life and my job.  I like where I am and where I am going.  So, why the tears?  How can I stop them?

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As the United States Celebrates it’s Independence, observe this holiday with a Patriotic yoga Practice.

July 3, 2012

Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better.  ~Albert Camus

Center-seated

Set an intention to be free:  Free from worry, free from hate, free from jealousy, free from whatever you need to let go of in your life.

We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.  ~William Faulkner

Warm ups:

Seated Figure Four (Eye of the Needle) toe separation, ankle roll.

Twist

Side Stretch

Repeat on opposite side

Eagle Arms – raise and lower

Table

Down Dog

Rag Doll

Tadasana:

Recenter, repeat Mantra

Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.  ~Abraham Lincoln

Soaring Eagle (Shooting Star – Acticve Balance)

Don’t quack like a duck, soar like an eagle.Ken Blanchard

Eagle Balance

Flow:
*Mountain
Inhale Arms Up
Exhale Fold Forward
Inhale, Look up, Flat back
Exhale, fold forward and step Right Leg Back
Side Angle, Windmill Arms to Reverse Warrior – Repeat 3 times
Step back leg in to Standing split
Look up with a flat back
Exhale fold forward
Inhale Reverse swan dive
Repeat from * on the opposite side

Eagle at Rest (Sleeping Eagle)

Flow to Table

Cat / Cow

Child’s Pose

Squat, Praying Mantis

Proposal Pose

Hip Flexor Stretch

Repeat on opposite side

Sit:
*Half Lord of the Fishes Twist
Lower Legs
Tangled Shoelaces
Fun Turnaround
Repeat From*

Roll back to Floor

Bridge

*Bridge with Figure Four
Lower hips, eye of the needle (legs into chest)
Legs Cross Twist
Repeat From *

Wheel

Both Knees to chest

Bear Pose

Savasana

“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”  ― Coco Chanel

Learn More Animal Poses Here

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Tension Tamers – Shoulder Solutions

June 6, 2012

As with all yoga, you should not feel pain.  If you are experiencing pain, back off from the asana.  Only go deep enough that you feel the stretch.

Shoulder Circles

  • Begin with your arms at your sides or your elbows bent
  • Bring your shoulders forward then, up, back and down
  • Moving in a counter clockwise direction
  • Breath
  • Repeat 3-5 times
  • Switch circles to a Clockwise rotation
  • Repeat 3-5 times

Shoulder Shrugs

  • Begin with your arms at your sides
  • Inhale, tense your muscles – curl your fingers into tight fists, bend your elbows and squeeze your shoulders up to your ears
  • Exhale, relax and release your shoulders, hands and body
  • Repeat 3-5 times

Shoulder Blade Pull Backs:

  • Begin In Mountain Pose, arms at your sides
  • Inhale, bring your shoulders to your ears
  • Squeeze shoulder blades together (while holding your breath)
  • Exhale, relax and release shoulders
  • Repeat 3-5 times

Bird Wings

  • Come to a low kneel
  • Arms at your sides, fingers touching the floor
  • Inhale, bend your elbows (arms at a 90 degree angle to the floor)
  • Exhale, squeeze your shoulder blades together
  • Inhale
  • Exhale and release
  • Repeat 3-5 times

Arm Swings

  • Begin in Tadasana, arms at your sides
  • Swing your right arm in an arc in front of you, into the air
  • Bend your elbow and pat your self gently on your back
  • Return your arm to your side
  • Repeat 10-12 times
  • Repeat with your left arm

Cow Face Arms

  • Inhale, raise your right arm into the air (forearm next to your ear)
  • Exhale, Bend you elbow and bring your hand to your back
  • Bring your Left arm behind your back
  • Bend your elbow (left hand up)
  • Clasp fingers-Bind (if you are unable to bind, use a strap:  hold the strap in your right hand. The strap dangles down your back.  Grasp the strap with your left hand)
  • Straighten your spin, right elbow pointing up
  • Hold for several breaths
  • Switch sides

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
  • Inhale, lift your arms
  • Exhale and lower
  • Repeat several times
  • Repeat on opposite side with Left arm Under Right arm.

Click here for more Asanas for Ailments

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Sun Flower Breath

March 30, 2012

I like to use this Active Breath as an energizer when I need a little lift or following a warm up in yoga.

SUNFLOWER BREATH

Take a nice wide stance (Feet 3-4 feet or so apart)
Turn toes out slightly
INHALE circle your arms up over your head
EXHALE circle your arms down and bend forward
I like to allow my fingertips to brush the mat
INHALE reverse swan dive up, arms over head
EXHALE fold forward circle your hands to the mat
Repeat several times.

You can do this active breath fast or slow; you can make these movements large or small.

Variation 1:  Bend your knees and you bend forward
Variation 2:  Just move your arms with your breath omit the forward fold)

LEARN MORE Yoga Energizers HERE

LEARN MORE Pranayama (Breath Control) HERE.

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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

Learn More Animal Poses Here

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Chandra Namaskara B (Moon Salutation B)

December 6, 2011

Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Inhale Arms up, Exhale fold forward, Inhale look up

Exhale, Step LEFT foot back into a lunge and drop your left knee, arms up, hands in prayer (modified Crescent lunge)

Exhale lower arms and step Right leg back into Down Dog

Inhale drop knees in Table (look up)

Exhale into child’s pose (balasana)

Inhale tall kneel, arms in the air (hips off heels)

Exhale child’s pose with elbows next to your ears and hands in prayer behind your head (Praying child’s pose) hold

Release your arms, palms to the floor

Inhale slide chest forward into upward-facing dog

Exhale into Down Dog

Inhale Left foot forward; drop right knee arms up (modified crescent lunge)

Step your right foot forward into a standing forward fold

Inhale look up, Exhale fold forward

Inhale back up into tadasana

Repeat on the other side.  One round of Chandra Namaskar B

See Moon Salutation A (Chandra Namaskar) Post Here

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If you have an open mind you will have an open heart, but to help the process along, let’s try some Openhearted Yoga

November 21, 2011

Start in a seated position for a few minutes of Centering

Set an intension for your practice.

Try this one from Pamela Leavey, “I am grateful for the new experiences in my life. My open mind and open heart reap many rewards.”

Climbing Stretch

Rock the baby (cradle the baby)

Switch the cross of your legs

Cat and cow (seated pose)

Rainbow Side Stretch

Chest expansion

Twist to each side

Chest expansion

Come to a low kneel , and Ride the Camel:
Inhale, tall kneel, cow
Exhale, low kneel, cat.
Continue to move at your own pace, moving with your breath- Inhaling into a tall keel Cow, Exhaling into      a low kneel cat, flowing from one pose to the other.

Transition into Table, curl your toes under and come to Down Dog.
Walk the Dog

Table

Child’s pose with chest expansion

Table

Down Dog

Openhearted modified lunge (each side)

Down Dog

Walk hands to feet,

Ragdoll

Roll up to Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Recenter, repeat your intention “I am grateful for the new experiences in my life. My open mind and open heart reap many rewards.”

Come to the top of the mat in Mountain Pose

*Beginning Sun Salutation to Lunge (left foot back)

Openhearted lunge

Chaturanga

Down Dog

Openhearted warrior 1 (right foot forward)

Release hands, windmill arms to the floor (lunge)

Chaturanga

Down Dog

Three Leg Down Dog (right leg into the air)

Right knee comes past the chest to ½ Pigeon

Openhearted pigeon

Release hands, hands to the floor, curl your left toes under

Three Leg Down Dog (right leg into the air)

Down Dog (recovery)

Right foot forward into lunge

Step left foot in, look up with a flat back

Exhale forward

Inhale reverse Swan Dive to standing

Repeat from * stepping back with the right foot

Dancer Pose Balance

Standing forward fold chest expansion

Inhale back to standing, little mini back bend at the top, release arms

Wide legged standing forward fold chest expansion

Release arms, hands to floor

Wide legged standing forward twist (each side)

Come to a Tall Kneel

Camel Pose

Rabbit Pose

Child’s pose

Inhale to a low kneel

Side Stretch each side

Staff Pose

Forward Fold

Staff Leg lift each side

Roll to back

Knees to chest, rock from side to side

Shoulder Stand

Fish

Knees to chest, twist to each side

Corpse Pose

Savasana
Repeat your intention “I am grateful for the new experiences in my life. My open mind and open heart reap many rewards.”

More Calendar Theme Yoga Poses

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