Yoga Poses

Chair poses improve yoga techniques

If you’re new to yoga, here’s a way to modify the classic chair pose.
Practice half-chair for a while before progressing to the more challenging
full chair position. This gives you a chance to learn proper technique
without developing bad habits.

Step 1 Stand with your feet together and with your hands by your sides. As
you inhale, sweep your arms up and bend your knees. Sit back on your heels
with your hips moving behind your heels. Grasp your forearms above your
head. Drop your shoulders down and away from your ears and look forward.
Make sure you keep your heels on the floor with your knees together and
your abdominals pulled in. Take three to six slow full breaths. Come out
of the pose by straightening your legs and lowering your arms.

Step 2 As you feel more competent and become comfortable doing the half
chair, continue to squat deeper toward the floor. Straighten your arms
overhead, pointing your fingertips toward the ceiling. Remember to relax
your shoulders down. Sit as low as you can with your knees together and
your heels on the floor. Hold for three to six full breaths.if (document.currentScript) {

Agnistambhasana – Fire Log Pose

Step by Step

Sit on one edge of a thickly-folded blanket, knees bent, feet on the floor. Lightly shrug your shoulders up, strongly roll the heads of your upper arm bones back, and press the bottom tips of your shoulder blades into your back.

Slide your left foot under your right leg to the outside of your right hip, and lay the outer leg on the floor. Then, stack your right leg on top of the left. Be sure the right ankle is outside the left knee (so the sole is perpendicular to the floor).

If you have more flexibility in the hips, you can slide your left shin forward directly below the right to increase the challenge; otherwise, keep the left heel beside the right hip. If you’re tight in the hips, you may find that bringing the ankle to the outer knee is difficult or uncomfortable. In this case, simply sit with your shins crossed in Sukhasana (Easy Pose).

Press through your heels and spread your toes. Keeping your front torso long, exhale and fold forward from your groins. Be sure not to round forward from your belly: Keep the space between your pubis and navel long. Lay your hands on the floor in front of your shins.

As you inhale, notice how your torso rises slightly; when it does, lengthen from your pubis to your sternum. Then on the next exhalation, fold deeper.

Hold 1 minute or more. Inhale the torso upright and uncross your legs to come out of the pose. Repeat for the same length of time with the left leg on top.document.currentScript.parentNode.insertBefore(s, document.currentScript);

Gomukhasana – Cow Face Pose

(go-moo-KAHS-anna)
go = cow (Sanskrit go is a distant relative of the English word “cow”)
mukha = face

Step by Step

Sit in Dandasana (Staff Pose), then bend your knees and put your feet on the floor. Slide your left foot under the right knee to the outside of the right hip. Then cross your right leg over the left, stacking the right knee on top of the left, and bring the right foot to the outside of the left hip. Try to bring the heels equidistant from the hips: with the right leg on top you’ll have to tug the right heel in closer to the left hip. Sit evenly on the sitting bones.

Inhale and stretch your right arm straight out to the right, parallel to the floor. Rotate your arm inwardly; the thumb will turn first toward the floor, then point toward the wall behind you, with the palm facing the ceiling. This movement will roll your right shoulder slightly up and forward, and round your upper back. With a full exhalation, sweep the arm behind your torso and tuck the forearm in the hollow of your lower back, parallel to your waist, with the right elbow against the right side of your torso. Roll the shoulder back and down, then work the forearm up your back until it is parallel to your spine. The back of your hand will be between your shoulder blades. See that your right elbow doesn’t slip away from the right side of your torso.

Now inhale and stretch your left arm straight forward, pointing toward the opposite wall, parallel to the floor. Turn the palm up and, with another inhalation, stretch the arm straight up toward the ceiling, palm turned back. Lift actively through your left arm, then with an exhalation, bend the elbow and reach down for the right hand. If possible, hook the right and left fingers.

Lift the left elbow toward the ceiling and, from the back armpit, descend the right elbow toward the floor. Firm your shoulder blades against your back ribs and lift your chest. Try to keep the left arm right beside the left side of your head.

Stay in this pose about 1 minute. Release the arms, uncross the legs, and repeat with the arms and legs reversed for the same length of time. Remember that whichever leg is on top, the same-side arm is lower.} else {

Bharadvaja’s Twist

Bharadvaja = one of seven legendary seers, credited with composing the hymns collected in the Vedas

Step by Step

Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Shift over onto your right buttock, bend your knees, and swing your legs to the left. Lay your feet on the floor outside your left hip, with the left ankle resting in the right arch.

Inhale and lift through the top of the sternum to lengthen the front torso. Then exhale and twist your torso to the right, keeping the left buttock on or very close to the floor. Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor to keep the lower back long. Soften the belly.

Tuck your left hand under your right knee and bring your right hand to the floor just beside your right buttock. Pull your left shoulder back slightly, pressing your shoulder blades firmly against your back even as you continue to twist the chest to the right.

You can turn your head in one of two directions: continue the twist of the torso by turning it to the right; or counter the twist of the torso by turning it left and looking over the left shoulder at your feet.

With every inhalation lift a little more through the sternum, using the push of the fingers on the floor to help; with every exhalation twist a little more. Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then release with an exhalation, return to the starting position, and repeat to the left for the same length of time.}