Archive for ‘Yoga’

May 17, 2011

My Five Favorite Yoga Poses

Ah, yoga. Calming, energizing, and centering all at the same time. Sometimes there is nothing better than a nice yoga session. The effects felt after yoga can be addicting, hence the term “yoga junkie.” I’ve compiled a list of my favorite yoga poses (as of lately)…of course they’re subject to change through the course of my practice, and depending on my mood. :-) Here they are:

1) The Plow- This pose is so energizing. It loosens up the hamstrings and the back really well. It also brings blood and oxygen to the brain, making it very refreshing. It took me a few weeks to master this pose when I first started practicing.

2) Downward Facing Dog- Standard. Although it’s considered a beginner’s pose, there’s a lot to think about when going into the “Down Dog”. Your arms should be shoulder width apart, fingers evenly spaced, and the area between your thumb and pointer finger pressed flat against the mat. Legs should also be hip width apart, feet parallel. You should constantly be elongating your shoulders and neck by pressing into the ground. You will be surprised to know that downward dog is often used as a rest pose–it’s crazy how easy and comforting it becomes once you get into the higher level vinyasa flows!

3) Triangle- The Triangle is great for your abs and legs. Not only does it stretch and strengthen, since it’s a twist pose, it can aid your digestion and ease your anxiety. The biggest challenge with this pose is keeping your upper body and glutes on the same plane. As one of my instructors had us do to demonstrate this: stand against the wall and do the pose. If you’re like me, you’ll realize your back is arched and glutes stuck slightly out.

4) Pigeon-The pigeon is a great hip opener and really feels great. If you’re not challenged by the first pose, you could always lift your back leg up to get an even better stretch, felt in the quads.

5) Headstand- I’m currently obsessed with this pose. I’m not advanced enough to get into it without a wall behind me, but I’m working at it! To get to this pose against a wall, kneel with your hands in front of you, in a “V” shape. Put your head between your arms and slowly lift your legs above your head, using the wall if needed. The benefits of this pose are endless. It relieves stress, increases oxygen flow to the brain, and improves your balance. Mentally, the headstand is said to improve memory and awareness with continuous practice.

There ya have it, my 5 favorite poses. Try em out and let me know your thoughts! Namaste :-)