Posts tagged with: Torso

YPFW :: Bridge pose

The Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana) – (SET-too BAHN-dah)
setu = dam, dike, or bridge
bandha = lock

The bridge pose is one of my favorite yoga poses. Too bad I’m still struggling to stretch to the side – there’s no way I could get myself bent over like this at all! There are so many benefits to using the bridge pose daily, it stretches your chest, neck and spine, it calms your brain, helps alleviate stress and mild depression, it stimulates your abdominal organs, lungs and even you thyroid. The bridge pose can rejuivinate your tired legs, improve digestion and help relieve the symptoms of menopause and menstrual discomfort.

To do the bridge pose: lie down face up on floor, and if necessary, place a thickly folded blanket under shoulders to protect neck. Bend knees and set feet on floor, heels as close to sitting bones as possible.

Exhale and, pressing inner feet and arms actively into floor, push tailbone upward toward pubis, firming (but not hardening) buttocks, and lift buttocks off floor. Keep thighs and inner feet parallel. Clasp hands below pelvis and extend through arms to help stay on tops of shoulders.

Lift buttocks until thighs are about parallel to floor. Keep knees directly over heels, but push forward, away from hips, and lengthen tailbone toward backs of knees. Lift pubis toward navel.

Lift chin slightly away from sternum and, firming shoulder blades against back, press top of sternum toward chin. Firm outer arms, broaden shoulder blades, and try to lift space between them at the base of neck (where it’s resting on blanket) up into torso. Stay in pose anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute. Release with an exhalation, rolling spine slowly down onto floor.

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YPFW :: Garland pose

While the Garland Pose (Malasana) looks a bit silly, it is a wonderful chance for your legs to rest during yoga sessions. It helps make your ankles supple, stretches your back, your lower legs and your neck muscles. When you think about it, the Garland Pose is actually just a simple squatting position that a lot of people worldwide use daily just to work!

To do the Garland Pose:
Squat with feet as close together as possible. (Keep heels on the floor; otherwise, support them on a folded mat.) Separate thighs slightly wider than torso. Exhaling, lean torso forward and fit it snugly between thighs.

Press elbows against inner knees, bringing palms together in Salutation Seal (Anjali Mudra), and resist knees into elbows. This will help lengthen front torso.

To go further, press inner thighs against sides of torso. Reach arms forward, then swing out to sides and notch shins into armpits. Press finger tips to floor, or reach around outside of ankles and clasp back heels.

Hold position for 30 seconds to 1 minute, inhale, straighten knees, and stand into Uttanasana.

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YPFW :: Fierce Pose

Utkatasana Fierce Pose (also known as the Power or the Chair Pose) :: (OOT-kah-TAHS-anna)
utkata = powerful, fierce

Benefits: strengthens the ankles, thighs, calves, and spine, stretches shoulders and chest, stimulates the abdominal organs, diaphragm, and heart and reduces flat feet by lifting through the arches

How to:
Stand in Mountain Pose (Tadasana). Inhale and raise arms perpendicular to floor. Either keep arms parallel, palms facing inward, or join palms.

Exhale and bend knees, trying to take thighs as nearly parallel to floor as possible, grounding through heels. Knees will project out over feet, and torso will lean slightly forward over thighs until front torso forms approximately a right angle with tops of thighs. Keep inner thighs parallel to each other and press heads of the thigh bones down toward heels.

Firm shoulder blades against back. Take tailbone down toward floor and in toward pubis to keep lower back long.

Stay for 30 seconds to a minute. To come out of pose straighten knees with an inhalation, lifting strongly through arms. Exhale and release arms to sides into Mountain Pose again.

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YPFW :: The Plank Pose

Plank pose ::

The plank pose is the bane of many athletes existences. It’s hard for your abs – it works your whole body, but is so good for you.

The Plank Pose

Start in Downward Facing Dog. Inhale and draw torso forward until arms are perpendicular to floor and shoulders directly over wrists, torso parallel to floor.

Press outer arms inward and firm bases of index fingers into floor. Firm shoulder blades against back, then spread away from spine. Also spread collarbones away from sternum. Press front thighs up toward ceiling, but resist tailbone toward the floor as you lengthen it toward heels.

Lift base of skull away from back of neck and look straight down at floor, keeping throat and eyes soft.

Plank Pose is one of the positions in the traditional Sun Salutation sequence. You can also perform this pose by itself and stay anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute.

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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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Yoga poses for women :: Child’s Pose

While I’m healing from herniagate*, I have realized that I really miss doing some basic yoga poses. There are ten yoga poses that have been “recommended” for women, and for the next few days, I’ll run through a few with my readers!

Child’s pose :: (bah-LAHS-anna) bala = child

Type of pose :: a resting pose. Stay anywhere from 30 seconds to a three minutes
Benefits :: stretches hips, thighs and ankles

How to do Child’s pose :: Kneel on floor. Touch big toes together and sit on heels, separate knees as wide as hips. Exhale and lay torso down between thighs.

Broaden sacrum across the back of pelvis and narrow hip points toward the navel, so they nestle down onto the inner thighs. Lengthen tailbone away from the back of the pelvis while lifting the base of skull away from the back of neck.

Two arm variations :: Either stretch the arms in front of you with the palms toward the floor or bring the arms back alongside the thighs with the palms facing upwards.

*See this post for more information on the beginning of herniagate!

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