All posts filed under: Yoga Poses

Yoga poses & Benefits

EXTENDED SIDE ANGLE POSE – UTTHITA PARSVAKONASANA

BENEFITS Strengthens your thighs, hips, knees, and ankles. Stretches your groin, back, spine, waist, ankles, lungs (intercostals) and shoulders. Massages and stimulates your abdominal organs. Increases endurance and stamina. CAUTIONS High or low blood pressure Knee injuries Headache Insomia Neck Problems – Keep your gaze in the same direction as the heart center or gaze down to the floor allowing your neck to be even on both sides. MODIFICATIONS For an increased stretch to your groin, perform this pose with the lower arm in front of the bent-knee thigh. As your fingertips or hand connect with the floor, bring the back of your right shoulder against the inner knee so that your shoulder can firmly press into the knee. For Beginners – Instead of placing the hand on the floor, rest your forearm on the top of your bent-knee thigh. Avoid resting on the thigh and collapsing into the right shoulder. Encourage the length to move between right shoulder and neck and to lightly lift the upper body weight away from the bent-knee thigh. Beginners …

WARRIOR III POSE – VIRABHADRASANA III

BENEFITS Strengthens your back, leg, shoulder and arm muscles. Stretches your hamstrings and out thighs. Expands your chest, lungs and shoulders. Improves your memory and concentration. Improves your core awareness, posture, balance and coordination. Tones and invigorates your whole body. Builds core stregth in your torso, abdomen, spine and pelvic floor. Quiets your mind, calms your nervous system and reduces anxiety. Stimulates your abdominal organs and digestion. CAUTIONS High blood pressure. Recent or chronic foot, ankle, knee, leg, or hip problems. Recent or chronic lower back injuries. If you are pregnant, support the pose with the hands on a chair or some other support. MODIFICATIONS For Beginners – If you find your balance is not steady, place one hand on a wall. If coming forward to parallel with the floor is too vigorous, hinge forward only part way while keeping your upper body and lifted leg in one energetic line. For more challenge, extend your arms forward with your arms in line with your head and neck. Hands can remain open, shoulder width apart, or …

BOAT POSE – NAVASANA

BENEFITS Strengthens your hips, thighs and abdominal muscles. Develops focus and concentration. Improves balance and coordination. Improves digestion. Stimulates your kidneys, thyroid and prostate glands. CAUTIONS Low back injuries or concerns Late term pregnancy and obesity (issues with balancing) Headache Medical conditions that affect balance Diarrhea Heart problems Low blood pressure Menstruation NOTIFICATIONS For easier variation, keep your knees bent and hold onto the back of your knees. For extended leg variation, lengthen legs as you hold onto the back of your knees or thighs.

CROW POSE – BAKASANA

BENEFITS: Strengthens the arms and wrists Strengthens and tones the core muscles Stretches the upper back Improves sense of balance Prepares the body and mind for more difficult arm balances CAUTIONS: Chronic or current wrist pain Carpel Tunnel syndrome Pregnancy MODIFICATIONS: If you are new to this pose, build strength and prepare for the pose by lifting one foot off the ground at a time, then alternating feet. If you are having trouble getting your hips high enough, try the pose with your feet elevated on a block.

WARRIOR II POSE – VIRABHADRASANA II

BENEFITS Strengthens your shoulders, arms, thighs, legs and ankles. Stretches your groins, thighs, and ankles. Expands your chest, lungs and shoulders. Stimulates abdominal organs and digestion. Increases stamina and endurance. Rlieves backaches, especially through the second trimester of pregnancy. Improves balance, concentration and core awareness. CAUTIONS High blood pressure Medical conditions that affect balance Diarrhea Neck problems. Keep your head and neck looking forward from the chest rather than over your front arm. MODIFICATIONS If you have difficulty balancing or find the pose to deep, decrease the distance between your feet several inches; ensure that your right knee is sill over your heel and not over your toes. For deeper variation, move your left heel back a few more inches and bring the right thigh parallel with the floor, ensure that your right knee is still over your heel and not over your toes and keep your tailbone reaching lightly under.

WARRIOR I POSE – VIRABHADRASANA I

BENEFITS Strengthens your shoulders, arms, thighs, ankles and the muscles of your back. Expands your chest, lungs and shoulders. Stretches your hip flexors, abdomen, and ankles. Develops stamina and endurance in your thighs and core muscles. Stimulates abdominal organs and digestion. Improves your balance, concentration, and core awareness. CAUTIONS Heart problems High blood pressure Medical conditions that affect balance Shoulder Problems (Tendonitis or Bursitis). As your arms are raised keep your hands open and arms parallel to avoid compression into the shoulder joint. Neck Problems. Maintain eyes forward and keep your chin parallel to the ground. MODIFICATIONS Beginners may find it difficult to keep the back heel grounded, therefore move your left foot a few inches to the left so your heels are staggered and not aligned. If you have difficulty balancing or find the pose to deep, decrease the distance between your feet several inches; ensure that your right knee is still over the heel and not over the toes. For a deeper variation, move your left heel back a few more inches and …

LIZARD POSE – UTTHAN PRISTHASANA

BENEFITS Lizard Pose is a versatile pose with many benefits: Opens the hips, hamstrings, groins and hip flexors Strengthens the inner thigh muscles on the front leg Opens and releases the chest, shoulders and neck Prepares the body for deeper hip openers such as Pigeon Pose and Hanuman Pose. CAUTIONS This is an intense hip stretch Sciatica or lower back pain. MODIFICATIONS You do not need to take all of the above variations listed; choose the stage of the pose that is best suited to your practice. You may use a block or a bolster to rest your forearms on. You may need a strap to grab hold of your foot in the quad stretch variation.