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utkatasana

Lifestyle Yoga

Week 3 – What Balancing Asanas Teach You About Life

February 15, 2015

On the first day of this week lets practice balancing asanas.  The thing about balancing asanas is that they don’t teach you more than just balance.  They teach you how to balance with constraints.  Your legs may be weak, your arms may wobble a bit or your brain may not be able to focus because of the busy day you have ahead.  But, you have to harness your existing resources and do the asana.  It mirrors real life.  Give it some thought.  So start with the Natrajasana.

The Natrajasana or the Dancer pose.

IMG-20150209-WA0004[1] If you’ve been practicing this pose for a while then you are familiar with the basics.  If you want to push the work in this pose up a notch then reach forward with your arms simultaneously kicking the back foot up.  Hold this stretch.  This will ensure that the other leg also gets a deep stretch.  Try and extend your gaze in front of you, you can even try to keep your eyes on the fingertips.  Count to 10.  Slowly.  Both sides.

You can also try the below variation.

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Kakasana or the Crow Pose

Photo Collage Maker_0Dymy2[1]This is a pose we practiced on Thursday this week in my Acro Yoga group.  Have you fallen on your face in this pose?  Remember, that’s almost like a requisite to find balance in this pose.  Like in life.  Once you muster up your courage to face your fear, it ceases to have a hold on you.

Once you’ve fallen and realize that it’s no big deal then try and lift one foot up and then the other.  Beginners may notice that their knees are on the outside of their arms.  That’s ok.  Continue to tighten your core and arms.

Garudasana or the Eagle Pose

Once you’re comfortable with the basics of the pose, the try and bend the standing leg as much as you can.  IMG-20150209-WA0009[1]Try and push the shoulders down and forward.  Hold for a count of 10.  Slowly.  You can also try and apply the Moola Bandha.

On the second day of this week focus on twists.  Twists help in increasing the digestive fire of your system.  This in turn revs up your metabolism.  Along with this, twists help in maintaining the flexibility and mobility of the spine.

The Marichyasana or Sage Marichi’s Pose

2015-02-15 15.11.43[1]What most people forget when practicing this pose is that both feet must be alert.  One foot should be pointed in towards your face and the other foot should be pushed into the floor.  The hand on the floor should be active and participating in keeping the spine straight.  Both shoulders should be in one line.  The hand which is bent should push the knee back and the knee should push the elbow out.  This creates life in this pose.  Keep your fingers active as well.

The Ardhamatsyendrasana or the Half Lord of the Fish Pose

This is an advanced spinal twist.  There are many variations of this twist.  Opening up the chest and pushing the shoulders back gives length to the arms which helps in grabbing both hands behind your back.  Pull your stomach in.  Keep both hips on the floor.  Make sure the leg which is on the floor is flat on the floor.  The knee should not lift up off of the floor.

Photo Collage Maker_UYopz9[1]

The Chair Twist or the Utkatasana

In the Utkatasana try and reach forward with your arms2015-02-15 15.02.33[1] and sit back on your heels.  Reach down with your tailbone.  When you twist, join your hands together tightly.  Push your elbow against your knee, but make sure the knee is firm in its place.  Elongate your neck and push your shoulders down.  Expand your chest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Try these asanas and let me know how it goes!

 

 

 

Yoga

Getting Over That Hangover – Pose 2

October 23, 2013

Utkatasana (Chair Pose) with a Twist

How To:

  1. Start with your legs together, toes touching, knees touching, back straight, shoulders relaxed.
  2. Start to inhale and as you inhale bring your hands up and over your head making sure to align your arms with your ears.
  3. Lock your elbows.
  4. As you exhale sink down as though you were sitting in a chair.
  5. Make sure that you can see your toes and that your knees are not leaning too far forward and covering your toes.  Also make sure that your knees are together.  Your knees should be directly above your ankles.
  6. Hold your torso as erect as possible. [Note:  If you are new to this pose, you can stand with your feet hip-width apart.]
  7. Now bring your hands into the Namaskar mudra in front of your chest.
  8. Twist your torso to the right so that your left elbow makes contact with the outer edge of the right knee.
  9. Leverage the strength of your left arm to gently push your chest forward.  Look up at the ceiling.

Benefits

  • Great to increase flexibility of the spine.
  • Strengthens legs, hips and back.
  • Helps in alleviating flat feet.
  • Great to stretch the torso, shoulders and chest.
  • Stretches your abdominal muscles as well.
  • Great for sciatica and for arthritis of knees and ankles.
  • Tones the abdominal organs.

Contraindications

  • Practice with caution during menstruation.
  • Those with lower back problems should be careful when practicing this posture.
  • Avoid if you have a meniscus problem in the knee or any other knee problems.

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