Handstandvariation-1024x658

Handstand

 

the-honest-co-logo

Handstand Variation

Adho Mukha Vrksasana

Level 3

Benefits:

Handstand strengthens your shoulders, arms, and wrists while improving balance and reversing the negative effects of gravity. This pose will also help to calm the brain and relieve stress.

Honest Tip:

When trying to find balance in this pose start by stacking from your hands up. Stack your shoulders over wrists, your ribs over your shoulders, and your hips over your ribs. If you can’t find the balance use a wall behind your legs for support.

honestcrescentpose

High Lunge Crescent Pose

 

the-honest-co-logo

High Lunge Crescent Pose

Level 1

Benefits: Crescent pose is one of those basic yoga poses that will always offer you the opportunity to grow and go deeper. It strengthens your legs, glutes, and triceps while stretching your ankles and psoas. Crescent Lunge helps tone and strengthen your core and side body, as you build balance and concentration.

Tip: This pose is not a backbend. To truly get the dynamic effects of this pose bend your back leg a little bit, lift your frontal hip points up, engage your core, and knit your front ribs together. Once you’ve built the integrity into your low back, straighten your back leg. If your balance is challenged, scissor your legs together and press through the heel of your back foot. To go deeper, try to bend the front leg so that the head of your front thigh bone is parallel to the ground.

Now go pause, pose, and find peace! Have a delightfully relaxing holiday weekend.

EPK2

One-legged arm balance

 

the-honest-co-logo

One-Legged Arm Balance

Eka Pada Koundinyasana II

Level 3

Benefits: Eka Pada Koundinyasana requires strength, courage, and a sense of adventure. This arm balance tones your belly and spine while strengthening your arms and wrists.

Honest Tip: To get up and stay up you have to reach your heart forward while you stretch your legs away from the midline of your body. When you reach your heart forward, you give yourself a bit of leverage to negotiate your back leg up and off the floor. To hold the balance, lengthen out in all directions. If you are having a hard time getting lift off, you can prop your back leg up on a bolster or get a trusted friend to give your back leg a little lift.

Now go pause, pose, and find peace!

ReverseWarrior

Reverse Warrior

 

the-honest-co-logo

Reverse Warrior

Viparita Virabhadrasana

Level 1

Benefits: Reverse Warrior is an invigorating pose that strengthens and stretches your quads, hamstrings, hips, and torso while opening your chest and shoulders. When practiced often, this pose builds stamina. It also keeps your legs strong and your spine healthy.

Honest Tip: When reaching up and back, engage your low belly, keep your shoulder head in its socket and descend your front leg parallel to the floor. If it feels like like you are pulling yourself in two different directions, then you are doing it right!

Now go pause, pose, and find peace. Enjoy these last few weeks of spring!

supported bridge

Supported Bridge

 

the-honest-co-logo

Supported Bridge Pose

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

Level 1

Benefits: Back bending unsupported requires strength, flexibility, and coordination. When you add a block to this pose you are allowed to open your back slowly and safely.

Honest Tip: Supported bridge is a wonderful way to practice the backbend rules without risk of injury. In all backbends engage your low belly, relax your glutes, and allow your inner thighs to soften toward the floor.

handsandkneesbend

Hands and Knees Back Bend

 

the-honest-co-logo

Hands and Knees Back Bend

Chapasana variation

Level 1

Benefits:

This pose strengthens your hamstrings, back, and core while stretching your chest, shoulders, and hips.

Honest Tip:

It is so tempting to dump in to your low back and hyper extend your elbow in this pose. Instead, pull your belly toward your spine, engaging your low belly, and bring a micro-bend into your elbows while you press the lifted foot into your hand. This will move the backbend into your upper back and heart chest.

Now go pause, pose, and find peace!

TigerslungeHonest

Tiger Lunge

 

the-honest-co-logo

Tiger Pose

Vyaghrasana

Level 1

Benefits: Tiger pose is a core strengthening lunge that builds heat fast. It helps strengthen your arms and core while stretching your back, ankles, and calves.

Honest Tip: Get your shoulders directly over your wrists, press the floor away, pull your belly button towards your spine, and let your shoulder blades slide off your back. Let your head hang and get your knee as close to your forehead as you can. Be strict with yourself and be sure to keep your shoulders directly over your wrists. Keeping the arms in that upper pushup position while you curve your spine is where you will find the amazing strength and endurance that this pose has to offer.

No go pause, pose, and find peace!

supported reclined hero

Supported Reclined Hero Pose

 

the-honest-co-logo

Supported Reclined Hero

Supta Virasana

Level 2

Benefits: Reclined hero pose can seem impossible if you have knee, back, or ankle problems. Once you add props to this pose it becomes accessible to most people. Sit on a block bolster or folded up blankets, lean back onto your forearms, and rest your head on a block. This version of the pose will stretch your quads, psoas, hip flexors, and abdominals. Use this pose for relief from menstrual cramps, or to counter intense workouts.

Honest Tip: This is intended to be a restorative pose, so add as many props as you need to make this comfortable enough to stay in it for 3-10 minutes.

Now go pause, pose, and find peace.

camelpose

Camel Pose

 

the-honest-co-logo

Camel Pose

Ustrasana

Level 1

Benefits: The benefits of Camel pose are truly full body. It stretches your chest, abdominals, neck, thighs, psoas, and ankles. Camel pose stimulates the organs of your abdomen and neck, while strengthening your back muscles. It can be used to ease mild backache, digestive discomfort, fatigue, and anxiety.

Honest Tip: The bad habit in Camel is the desire to tighten your glutes, thrust your hips forward and fall back to your ankles dumping into your low back. Bad alignment in this pose misses the point. It takes the work out of creating space in every disk in your spine and over stretches the already flexible parts of your spine. Instead, keep your glutes soft and your hips above your knees; engage your low belly while softening your inner thighs and back. You will find that building support in the lower half of your body will allow your upper spine to stretch, which is so crucial in keeping our mobility as we age. If your ankles feel too far away bring your hands to your lower back, fingers pointing up. Then stretch up and back as far as you can breath calmly.

Now go pause, pose and find peace.

BoundAngle

Bound Side Angle Pose

 

the-honest-co-logo

Baddha Utthita Parsvakonasana

Level 3

Benefits: This pose strengthens your legs, knees, and ankles; while stretching and opening your shoulders and chest. It builds strength, stamina, and flexibility all at once.

Honest Tip: This pose requires strength, flexibility, and balance, so be sure to build from the feet up. Make sure your weight stays in the heel of your front foot while you seal the back edge of your back foot to the mat. If the bind is too intense you can use a half bind or a strap. Try to keep your shoulder blades on your back and your spine long. Once you find your fullest expression of the pose, breathe deeply and practice often.

Now go pause, pose, and find peace!