Posts Tagged ‘postures’

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”

More Calendar Theme Yoga Poses

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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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Surya Mudra for July

July 9, 2012

Surya (Ravi) Mudra Surya means sun. The sun is a source of energy. The Surya Mudra attracts energy of the Sun.  This mudra reduces the Earth (Prithvi) Element and increases the Fire (Agni) Element in the body.

The Surya Mudra helps with weight loss.  It is said to help lower bad cholesterol.  This Mudra also fires up the metabolism and body temperature.  Surya helps strengthen eyesight.

 How To:

Place the tip of your Thumb on the tip of your Ring finger.

This Mudra can also be done by placing the pad of your Thumb over the second section of your ring finger.

 

Practice his Mudra  daily at any time.  You can practice this Mudra while standing, sitting, or even walking.  You can practice this Mudra on each hand separately or together.

Shuni Mudra is used in various pranayama techniques as well as meditation, but try it in some other asanas:

Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
Vrkasana (Tree Pose)
Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I)
Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II)

Try using Shuni Mudra  during centering at the beginning of your Yoga Practice & during Meditation & Pranayama.

You can also try Mudras in your everyday life.  Try the Surya Mudra while watching TV or waiting in line.

Read More about MUDRAS here

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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

More Calendar Theme Yoga Poses

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Shuni Mudra for June

June 6, 2012

Shuni Mudra

Shuni, Saturn in Sanskrit, is the Seal of Patience.
(Saturn represents the taking of responsibility the thumb is ego)

This mudra can bring calmness and commitment.  Shuni Mudra helps with insomnia, depression and nausea.

How to:
Bring the tip of your middle finger together with the tip of your thumb.  This forms a circle.  This Mudra is like creating the ‘OK’ symbol with your middle finger (instead of your index finger).  You can keep your hands upright or rest the back of your hands on your knees.

Make the Shuni Mudra more active, bring your thumb to the nail of the index finger.

Shuni Mudra is used in various pranayama techniques as well as meditation, but try it in some other asanas:

Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
Vrkasana (Tree Pose)
Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I)
Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II)

Try using Shuni Mudra  during centering at the beginning of your Yoga Practice & during Meditation & Pranayama.

 

Read More about MUDRAS 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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Linga Mudra for May

May 1, 2012

The Linga Mudra, the upright mudra (Linga = thumb in sanskrit) increases your body’s inner heat (use this mudra when you are chilled).  It improves digestive health and boosts your immune system.  This is perfect for use when you are feeling under the weather.

Try LINGA MUDRA to help with allergies, colds, coughs and asthma.  Linga Mudra is said to help with weight loss.  Because of the heat this mudra generates, you can sometimes experience fatigue after it’s use.

HOW TO:

  • Interlace the fingers of both hands together
  • Raise your Right Thumb
  • Circle your right thumb with your left thumb and index fingers

Read More about MUDRAS here

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Color Therapy : What you wear can help your mood!

April 25, 2012

RED:
Need some Strength and Courage?  Are you trying something new?
Over come Negative Thoughts and Bring power and vitality into your life with the color Red.

ORANGE:
Feeling Socially Awkward? Are your feeling down?  
Become socially confident, resourceful cheerful and enjoy relationships with Orange.

YELLOW: Are you having difficulty concentrating?  Are you feeling negative?
Become more optimistic and gain mental clarity with Yellow.

GREEN:  Are you anxious and stressed?
Bring balance, peace, stress relief, calmness,and hope with Green.

AQUA/TURQUOISE:  Feeling insecure and angry?
Come to a place of openness, confidence, and relaxation with Aqua/Turquoise.

BLUE:  Do you have too much stuff going on, need a creative boost?
Bring a sense of mental relaxation, peace, creativity with Blue.

INDIGO:  Does your imagination need a boost?  Have insomnia or difficulty understanding something?
 Spark feelings of  serenity, imagination, accurate perception, understanding and sleep with Indigo.

VIOLET/PURPLE:  Angry, anxious and irritated?
Feel inspired, calm nerves, creative and  beautiful with Violet/Purple.

MAGENTA:  Feeling uneasy and disquieted?
Find relaxation and balance your emotions with Magenta.

PINK:  Are you hungry and feeling aggressive?
Find calmness and relieve stress and suppress your appetite with the color Pink.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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