Thursday, 26 February 2015

Go To Postures

There are a number of yoga postures that seem to be my "go to" poses. Poses that support me in finding peace both physically and emotionally. Well, I thought I would share 3 of my "go to" postures in the hopes you'll give them a try.

This set of postures are great for stretching your calves and hamstrings, while strengthening your knees and relieving tension in your lower back. B.K.S Iyengar says that these postures can help with Sciatica and the discomforts of menstrual cramps.

Supta Padangusthasana  
Supta = Supine, lying down, Pada = foot, Angustha = big toe, Asana = posture

How to do this pose: 
1. Begin lying on your back
2. Place a strap (or something like a strap, neck tie, scarf, belt) on the ball of your right foot
3. Straighten your right leg towards the ceiling
4. Make sure your bottom leg is straight and strong by engaging the muscles of your bottom leg and press your thigh bone down into the floor the whole time you hold this pose.
5. Hold onto either end of the strap with straight arms and heavy shoulders
6. Focus more on getting your legs as straight as you can before you draw your top leg any closer to your chest. Working your legs straight will deepen the stretch and increase flexibility, which will eventually assist in getting your leg closer to your chest, so work with where you are today.
7. Hold and breath deeply for 1 minute or 10 long breathes

 Version 2
1. Starting from where you are in the above picture, gather both sides of the strap in your left hand.
2. Bend your bottom leg and place your foot firmly on the floor.
3. Keeping your top leg straight and strong, draw your right leg across your body to the left side about a foot (keep both hips down on the floor as you do this). 
4. Maintain that as you now cross your left knee to the right side. Your KNEE, NOT YOUR FOOT, your knee to the right. 
5. You will immediately feel a stretch on the outer edges of your hips/legs.
6. Hold and breath deeply for 1 minute or 10 long breathes

Version 3
1. Starting from where you are in the above picture, gather both sides of the strap in your right hand and extend your left arm to the left side for balance.
2. Keeping your top leg straight and strong, draw your right leg to the right and your left knee to the left.
3. Continue to press your top right foot into the strap as you take your leg to the side.
4. Continue to press out through your left knee and down through your left foot with the same weight as you reach out through your right leg.
5. Hold and breath deeply for 1 minute or 10 long breathes.

Once you've finished these 3 postures on the right side, lay for a minute in Savasana (corpse pose) and feel your body. I my experience your right side will feel longer and your hip liberated of tension.

After this repeat on the other side and move on with your day. You can practice these postures at anytime through out your day and week. Enjoy!

With you on this path,
Lauren

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