Posts tagged with: Foot

YPFW :: Tree pose

The Tree Pose is also known as Vrksasana (vrik-SHAHS-anna), vrksa meaning tree.

The Tree Pose helps strengthen your thighs, calves, ankles and back. It can also increase the flexibility of hips and groin area. With consistent practice, both your balance and your concentration can be improved. This pose is recommended for women with sciatica and flat feet.

To do the Tree Pose, begin in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Shift weight slightly onto left foot, keeping inner foot firm to floor, bend right knee. Reach down with right hand and clasp right ankle.

Draw right foot up and place sole against inner left thigh; if possible, press right heel into inner left groin, toes pointing toward floor. Center of pelvis should be directly over left foot. Rest hands on top rim of pelvis. Make sure pelvis is in neutral position, with the top rim parallel to floor.

Lengthen tailbone toward floor. Firmly press right foot sole against inner thigh and resist with outer left leg. Press hands together in Anjali Mudra (AHN-jah-lee MOO-dra). Gaze softly at a fixed point in front on the floor about 4 or 5 feet away. Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Step back to Tadasana (Mountain Pose) with an exhalation and repeat for same length of time with legs reversed.

This is one of my favorite yoga poses ever. It really works my brain because I have to keep myself balanced both physically and mentally!

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YPFW :: Warrior III Pose

Warrior III Pose :: (veer-ah-bah-DRAHS-anna)
Virabhadra = the name of a fierce warrior, an incarnation of Shiva, described as having a thousand heads, a thousand eyes, and a thousand feet; wielding a thousand clubs; and wearing a tiger’s skin.

Type of Pose :: standing and balancing
Benefits: Strengthens legs and abdomen, can improve balance

How to do Warrior III :: From Warrior I, bring hands onto hips. Bring weight forward into front foot as you gently kick up back leg. At same time, bring torso forward until it is parallel to floor.

Keep neck relaxed, as natural extension of spine. Keep both hips pointing toward floor as you bring the back leg in line with body. Flex raised foot and keep muscles of raised leg actively engaged. Bring arms back along sides. Repeat on other side.

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Extended side angle pose

Sticking with some great back stretching and posture-enhancing ideas, I’m bringing you the extended side angle pose today.

“The spine is responsible for sending messages throughout your body, and when you’re hunched, the pathway isn’t as smooth,” says Alison West, Yoga Union Center for Back Care and Scoliosis co-director.

Stand with your feet about four feet apart and turn your left foot out about 90 degrees.
Extend your arms, palms down, at shoulder height.
Bend your left knee until it’s over your ankle.
Flex from the waist to the left and place your left hand outside your left foot. (Can’t reach the floor? Place your elbow on your knee or your hand on the inside of your foot–as shown below–­instead.)
Reach your right arm over your ear and turn your chin toward your right armpit.
Look up and take five slow breaths.
Return to standing and switch sides.
Repeat 3 to 5 times.

New to yoga? Do the move with your back against a wall. “Using the wall takes the balance component out of it,” West says, “so you can concentrate on lengthening your spine and rolling your chest open.”

I can attest to the beauty of this move. I live with chronic back pain (thank you ankylosing spondylitis) and this both stretches my spine and invigorates me! I absolutely recommend this move!

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