Posts

honest awkward chair

Awkward Chair Pose

the-honest-co-logo

Awkward Chair Pose

Utkatasana Variation

Level 1

Benefits: This variation is usually found in Bikram yoga and it definitely delivers on its name! It is a tiptoed squat that builds heat by getting your whole body working. It’s challenging and can feel awkward at the very least, but it’s worth it! It strengthens your quads, hamstrings, calves, ankles, core and back muscles, while toning your arms and improving your balance all at once.

Tip: There is no way around working in this pose! The obvious work of this pose is in your legs, so focusing on your core might feel like your last priority, but it is important! When you engage your core in this pose you create support in your low back. This allows your upper body to do some of the work and helps to avoid injury. If your balance is challenged, practice by a wall and find a focal point out in front that isn’t moving.

Now go pause, pose and find peace.

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.

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!

popularstyles

The Popular styles of yoga

 

Yoga is everywhere today. While everyone thinks that they know what yoga is, it’s reality can be a bit elusive. So, Below, I’ve listed the very basic forms of the most popular styles of yoga and what to expect.

Hatha Yoga– Yoga, an ancient Sanskrit word that loosely translates as “union,” is a multifaceted system that has eight “limbs” which help the yoga practitioner lead a balanced and happy life. Some of the “limbs” relate to philosophy and ethics. When we think of Yoga today, it’s the limb of the Yoga tree named “Hatha”. Hatha describes the physical aspect of Yoga. So under the umbrella of Hatha Yoga there are particular innovations or ways to practice…the most popular are known as “Iyengar” and “Ashtanga.” When you see a Hatha yoga class on a studio schedule it usually means that it will be a yoga basics class at a beginner level.

Vinyasa– Vinyasa coordinates a series of movements (poses) with intentional breathing. Vinyasa style classes will use sun salutations and can often include a lot of movement. This is the style most popular in Los Angeles because it not only gives all of the benefits of yoga, it is also a great workout.

Ashtanga– Ashtanga yoga is a style of Vinyasa, but it is a set series of poses that don’t vary. There are six different Ashtanga yoga series. You move through the series at your own pace. The first series is 75 poses and takes about an hour and a half to complete. The second series is similar but is only available once you have mastered the first series.

Mysore– Mysore is a city in India, but is also a term used for the self-led practice of Ashtanga yoga done in the company of other students but without a teacher leading the class. You move at your own pace under the guidance of an instructor.

Power Yoga– Power yoga is one of the more popular styles of vinyasa yoga. It is essentially Ashtanga yoga except it is not a set sequence of poses.

Iyengar– Iyengar yoga is a very “alignment focused” practice. In this practice you hold poses for a longer period of time, around 5 minutes compared to the typical 30 second holds that you find in a vinyasa class. It is also very prop focused. This style of yoga encourages the use of blocks straps and blankets to assist in finding better alignment.

Bikram– Pioneered by Bikram Choudhury, this style is more generally referred to as Hot Yoga. It is practiced in a 95 to 100 degree room, which allows for a loosening of tight muscles and profuse sweating, which is thought to be cleansing. The Bikram method is a set series of 26 poses, but not all hot classes make use of this series.

Restorative– Restorative yoga is very passive. You will not get a workout in a restorative class but you will bring balance to fatigued parts of your body through this practice. It is very prop heavy, taught often with the lights low. It is a wonderful practice if you have aches, injuries and need to unwind.

Kundalini– Kundalini yoga is focused on releasing lower chakra energy through breath work and repetitive, intense movements. It often uses “breath of fire” which is a short quick belly breath to add cardio gain to the practice. Kundalini yoga kriyas are designed to purify using the breath and often last 5-10 minutes per kriya.

 

warrior 22

Pause and Pose, Warrior 2

 

the-honest-co-logo

[subheading]Level 1[/subheading]
Benefits:

Warrior two builds stamina and concentration. It stretches your hips, groins, and shoulders while strengthening your legs and abdominals.

Honest Tip:

Make sure that your right knee is still deeply bent over the right ankle. There is a tendency for the right knee to creep toward the left, so check that you can still see your right toes on the inside of your right knee.

Now go pause, pose, and find peace.