Specialist teacher Shiva Rea is a pioneer in the yoga group, so it’s no surprise that she’s a fixture at the four-working day yoga and audio Wanderlust Festival, happening at numerous locations across North The us.
Even though the yoga daily life is a great one particular, Shiva recognizes that not everyone has the prospect to practice yoga for hrs each day. When we asked her for the amount a single pose for 9-to-5ers who sit at a desk, her reaction was the “all-about asana” Downward Experiencing Pet, considering that it truly is “an inversion, backbend, and forward bend” all rolled into 1.
For individuals who cannot fall to the floor and enjoy yoga freely at the place of work, Shiva gives a desk-accepted model of Downward Puppy. Keep looking through to discover the variation that will aid you launch pressure at operate.
Just contemplating about snakes could make your skin crawl, but Sunday’s Lunar New Year also begins the yr of the snake, creating it an opportune time to exercise Cobra Pose (Sanskrit: Bhujangasana). When you hop on your mat this weekend, celebrate the Chinese New Calendar year with Cobra, and obtain all of these well being rewards at the exact same time.
Stress reduction: Heart-opening poses like Cobra just take an emotional fat off the brain, elevating your mood and assisting to lessen stress and stress.
Construct upper-entire body energy: Having to keep the torso up for the duration of Cobra will support improve and tone the biceps, triceps, and deltoids. Just maintain in thoughts that this is a relaxing pose, so to stop functioning also hard, preserve a slight bend in the elbows.
Minimize neck and back discomfort: This posture stretches the muscles in the shoulders, chest, and neck, which can aid reduce tightness in the higher human body and back. Cobra is specially helpful for these who sit hunched in excess of a desk all day.
Avert harm: Runners, skiers, and cyclists all rely on their legs, which benefits in oh-so-tight hip flexors. Stretching this spot with Cobra Pose can hold hips versatile, decreasing the risk of harm. Cobra also enables the entrance of the entire body a chance to stretch and open up, which can lessen the threat of shoulder damage.
Stretches the stomach muscles: Just as you do hamstring stretches right after a operate, it’s important to stretch your stomach right after doing core-focused workout routines Cobra is the perfect pose to stretch your abdominal muscles.
Relieves sciatica: Limited muscle groups in the decrease back again, hips, and legs can lead to the pinching pain of sciatica, and performing Cobra Pose will aid enhance adaptability in this spot.
Looking for a challenging pose that will strengthen your upper arms, back, and abs? Then give this one a try. It may look like you’re all knotted up, but once you know the steps, you’ll be able to try out this fun pose.
|Sanskrit Name: Bhujapidasana|
English Translation: Arm Pressing Pose
Also Called: Shoulder Pressing Pose
To see the steps,
- Begin standing with your legs as wide as your mat. Fold forward at your waist and bring your arms and shoulders through your legs. Bend your knees and plant your palms firmly behind your heels.
- Put all the weight in your hands, bend your elbows, and lift your feet off the floor. Cross your right ankle over your left.
- Slowly lean forward and lower your head to the floor and bring your feet through your arms. Point your toes.
- Stay like this for five breaths, then lift your head up, lower your feet to the floor, and slowly stand up.
A wonderful way to start off any yoga practice is with a round Cat Pose to Cow Pose. Often abbreviated as Cat-Cow, the combination of these two poses helps warm up your spine and relieves back and neck tension after a long day. It’s an amazing addition to a solid home practice or a perfect way to loosen up before a studio class.
English Translation: Cat Pose to Cow Pose
- Begin with your hands and knees on the floor. Make sure your knees are under your hips, and your wrists are under your shoulders. Begin in a neutral spine position, with your back flat and your abs engaged. Take a big deep inhale.
- On the exhale, round your spine up towards the ceiling, and imagine you’re pulling your belly button up towards your spine, really engaging your abs. Tuck your chin towards your chest, and let your neck release. This is your cat-like shape.
- On your inhale, arch your back, let your belly relax and go loose. Lift your head and tailbone up towards the sky – without putting any unnecessary pressure on your neck. This is the Cow portion of the pose.
- Continue flowing back and forth from Cat Pose to Cow Pose, and connect your breath to each movement – inhale for Cow Pose and exhale on Cat Pose.
- Repeat for at least 10 rounds, or until your spine warmed up.
One of the first balancing poses you’re going to encounter in yoga is Vrksasana, or Tree Pose. It looks simple, but it can prove to be difficult if you don’t get the basics of balancing down pat. To plant strong roots in Tree Pose, a few small changes can make a huge difference in your practice.
- Feet first: You’ve got to build Tree Pose from the ground up. A solid foundation with your standing leg sets your body up for success. Spread your toes wide to get rooted; all four corners of your foot should have contact with your mat. Only after you’ve done this should you try to shift your weight into your standing leg and move into the pose.
- Keep calm: If you’re worried about falling out of Tree Pose the second you step up into it, it’s inevitable that it will happen. Release any unnecessary tension anywhere from your body. I like to open my mouth a few times to make sure I’m not holding any tightness in my jaw. Remember that there’s no need to rush into Tree or any other pose – take a few moments to breathe deep and get your bearings together. If you step up with calm confidence, you’re far more likely to stick with it.
You wouldn’t think balancing in Boat Pose would tone your abs, but it’s one of the most effective yoga poses for your core. It looks simple enough, but there are many ways you can do this pose incorrectly that will not only make the move less effective, but could also end up hurting you. Here are three mistakes to avoid when rocking it in Boat.
Rounding the spine: You’re working so hard to straighten your legs that you end up shifting your weight back and rounding your spine to make it happen. It’s not only tough to balance in this position, but you’re not really targeting your abs, and could end up straining your back. Make sure to sit up as tall as you can, straightening the spine, and bending the knees as much as you need to in order to hold Boat with a straight back. Even though your legs aren’t straight, you’ll still feel it in your core.
Scrunching the shoulders: While trying to focus on lengthening your spine, you try to gain some height by lifting your shoulders up toward your ears. You might feel like you’re sitting higher, but it’s actually causing unnecessary strain to your neck, shoulders, and upper back. Think about lifting with the chest instead, so you can relax the shoulder blades back and down away from your ears.
Holding your breath: Balancing on your backside is tough work, and you’ll really feel your abs working, so much so that you forget to breathe or are worried breathing might cause you to lose your balance. Concentrate on slow, even breaths, keeping your belly still and bringing your breath into the chest to expand and contract the ribs. Focusing on deep inhales and exhalations can actually make you feel more stable.
I was lucky enough to take a class taught by Manhattan-based yoga teacher Kristin McGee right here in San Francisco! Although one busy lady, Kristin traveled across the country to teach Vinyasa Vibes (a new offering at The Sports Club/LA), a flow-based, powerful yoga sequence enhanced by music. The most musical part of the practice? During Savasana, the class culminated in a live sax solo by Grammy-nominated musician Dave Koz. After class, Kristin and I chatted about her yoga journey, getting ready for bikini season, and what it’s like working with one of her famous clients, Bethenny Frankel.
FitSugar: Some of the moves in Vinyasa Vibes are Ashtanga-influenced. Is that what your yoga teacher training background was in?
Kristin McGee: My original background was really eclectic because I started in the early ’90s. I started taking [yoga] at NYU; some of my very early teachers were Jivamukti teachers who did study Ashtanga. Then I did study with Richard Freedman for a while, who is pure Ashtanga, and Cyndi Lee at OM Yoga. I wanted to get deeper into Iyengar classes and get into the alignment and the detail. Now in my practice I want to get more into Pranayama, more of the breathing, and maybe take some more Kundalini classes. I just feel like it constantly evolves.
FS: The Vinyasa Vibes class has live music during final relaxation. Can you elaborate on the experience of live music and yoga combined?
KM: In yoga practice, it’s a very intimate, immediate place. It’s almost like live theater or live music where it brings you right into the moment. Music is a universal language, just like our breath is a universal breath. I think the second we’re in this surrounding, in this environment with that live music and the intimacy of a live class, it brings it all together in one beautiful experience.
FS: You’ve collaborated with Bethenny Frankel on some projects. What’s her favorite pose?
KM: Bethenny’s all-time favorite pose is Straddle Forward Bend because she says it feels like the weight of the world is falling off of her shoulders. Someone like Bethenny Frankel has a million things going on, and I don’t know how she does it! But I think you also noticed it in the practice tonight. Right when we finally got to that Straddle Forward Hang, it was kind of just like, “Ugh! Such a release!” You feel like you could stay there for quite a while.
Keep reading for Kristin’s favorite snack before class and how to get your body ready for Summer.
After learning Ashtanga Yoga’s Sun Salutation A, it’s time to learn the poses in Sun Salutation B. It begins with a pose called Fierce, which may look easy but is a killer move for your thighs and glutes when done correctly. It also strengthens your core and stretches your calves, so it’s an essential move for runners and high-heel wearers alike.
English Translation: Fierce Pose
Also Called: Chair Pose
- Stand with your feet together in Mountain Pose. Bend your knees and lower your hips as you raise your arms overhead.
- Focus on sitting back into your heels to relieve pressure from your knees and to target the thighs and glutes. Tuck your tailbone in and engage your abs, keeping your spine straight. Roll your shoulder blades back and down away from your ears to release any tension in the neck or upper body, and gaze up toward the ceiling.
- Stay like this for five breaths.
Yoga is supposed to be about feeling open and blissful, but let’s face it, some pretzel-like poses don’t make us feel that way. It’s only natural to prefer certain poses and despise others, but not everyone agrees. While you might be a huge fan of inversions, your best friend might be petrified to go upside down. Keep reading to vote on which yoga poses are your faves.