Friday
Sep222017

September Pose of the Month - Child's Pose on the Wall

 


BALASANA
(bal·AHS·anna)  
bala - child; asana = posture, pose or seat

FOCUS & INTENTION: The focus of this pose is on the thighs while helping to relax the back, shoulders and chest. It's a restorative resting pose useful as a break in between poses. Child's pose is a wonderful go to for physical, mental and emotional relief and great way to soothe your being. 

BENEFITS: 

  • Releases tension in the back, shoulders and chest
  • Helps alleviate stress and anxiety
  • Flexes the body’s internal organs and keeps them supple
  • It lengthens and stretches the spine
  • Relieves neck and lower back pain when performed with the head and torso supported
  • It gently stretches the hips, thighs and ankles
  • Normalizes circulation throughout the body
  • It stretches muscles, tendons and ligaments in the knee
  • Calms the mind and body
  • Encourages strong and steady breathing

PRECAUTIONS: 

  • Avoid if you have had a knee injury or hip surgery
  • Careful when pregnant or suffering from acid reflux 
Saturday
Jul012017

June Pose of the Month - Wide Legged Forward Bend

PRASARITA PADOTTANASANA
(pra·sa·REE·tah pah·doh·tahn·AHS·anna) 
 
prasarita - stretched out, expanded, spread, with outstretched limbs
pada - foot    ut - intense    tan - to stretch or extend 
asana = posture, pose or seat

Wide angle forward bend is an excellent position to stretch your hamstrings and open up your hips. This pose keeps you grounded and offers many variations to adjust the intensity of the stretch by stretching out you arms forward, holding on to one side of the leg, streching the arms behind the back or walking them down between the legs. Be careful of not spreading your legs too wide, keep back straight and slightly bend your knees.

FOCUS & INTENTION: Good stretch for legs, back, hips, spine, shoulders and chest. Helps to ground and calm the mind.  

BENEFITS:

  • Strengthens Legs and Back Muscles
  • Stretches Legs, Buttocks and Back
  • Decongests Abdominal Organs, Stimulates Circulation and Digestion
  • Relieves Headache and Sinusitis
  • Eases Stress, Anxiety and Mild Depression

PRECAUTIONS:  Be mindful if you've exprienced recent or chronic leg or back injury, inflammation or pain as well as disease of the eyes or ears.

Thursday
Jun012017

June Pose of the Month - Revolved Downward-Facing Dog

 

PARIVRTTA ADHO MUKHA SVANASANA
(
PAHR-ee-VREE-tah Ah-doh MOO-kuh shvan-AHS-uh-nuh)
Parivrtta — “revolved”   Adho — "downward"   Mukha — "face"
Svana — "dog"    Asana — "pose"

 

The support of the pelvic swing reduces pressure on your wrists and shoulders in this downward dog twist. The swing also adds gentle spinal traction, which relaxes your back and neck. Try this pose and many others in Malaika's Morning Glow Yoga Wall Class on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:00am - 10:15am.


FOCUS & INTENTION:
Balance, core activation, hamstring stretch and upper/mid back opener.  

BENEFITS: 

• Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression.
• Stretches hamstrings, calves, spine and hands.
• Reduces stiffness in shoulders
• Strengthens the arms and legs.
• Massages internal organs and improves digestion.
• Relieves back pain and fatigue.
• Increases blood flow

PRECAUTIONS: Be mindful of previous wrist and shoulder injuries or instability.

Monday
May012017

May Pose of the Month - The Wheel

URDHVA DHANURASANA AKA CHAKRASANA 
(
OORD-vah don-your-AHS-anna)
Urdhva - upward    Dhanura - bow

 

The Wheel, as it is commonly called, is one of the most beautiful and elegant yoga poses. A perfect balance of flexibility, strength and courage is required. It can produce exhilarating feelings. It is recommended by senior yoga teachers that this pose is practiced regularly, “ with love and persistence”


FOCUS & INTENTION:
Back strength and flexibility, chest expansion.


“In normal life the spine degenerates with age. The body becomes shorter and lacks vitality. Bending backward counteracts this process. The spine remains long and pliable and the inner organs open and stretch. The brain is energized through being inverted. The mind remains alert and cheerful.”

 ~ Yoga The Iyengar Way

 1990 Edition p. 139

 

BENEFITS: The Wheel “ strengthens the erectors, the hamstrings, and the quadriceps, as well as those muscles in the hips and buttocks, such as the gluteals and the external rotators. This pose stretches the abdomen and chest muscles; increases the flexibility of the upper back, shoulders, and wrists; and counters the effects of sitting for long periods of time. In addition, it can strengthen the bones in the back and help the spine retain its youthful freedom of movement. Research indicates backbends stimulate the bones of the back to retain their calcium, thus helping to prevent osteoporosis in these bones.”

~ 30 Essential Yoga Poses For  Beginning Students And Their Teachers
by Judith Lasater, 2003 Edition p. 115
 

 

PRECAUTIONS:

  • “ Wheel pose can be considered an inverted pose because your head position is below your heart. If you have high blood pressure you may want to limit your time in this pose and work into it slowly and gradually.

  • Limit your time in the beginning if you feel discomfort in your wrists and shoulder joints.

  • Do not perform the pose if you have recently had heart, shoulder, or back surgery.

  • If you feel discomfort in your lower back, do not lift as high up in the pose, and remember to keep your toes pointing forward, or turned slightly toward each other. “

~ Yoga at Your Wall
by Stephanie Pappas, 2009 Edition, pp. 107 - 108

 

FURTHER PRECAUTIONS: “ Avoid this pose and its variations during menstruation, and during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. If you have repetitive strain injury (RSI) in one or both wrists, then do not practice this pose or its variations.”

~ 30 Essential Yoga Poses For Beginning Students and Their Teachers
by Judith Lasater p. 115

 

 

Friday
Mar312017

April Pose of the Month - Eagle Pose

GARUDASANA
(gah-roo-DAH-sah-nah)
Garuda - king of birds

 

FOCUS & INTENTION: Leg strength and flexibility, balance, bringing energy toward the midline of the body

 

The Eagle articulates all the major joints of the body. Although challenging, the posture’s many benefits justify the discipline required to master it. Start by simply working with the arm position which braids the forearms like two strands of rope. If you cannot bring the palms together, grasp the wrist or thumb of the upper hand. Interlacing the fingers and wriggling the hands back and forth is one way to gradually join the palms. Circling the elbows with the arms in Eagle position offers a great arm or shoulder stretch. Work with the legs in a similar fashion. At first, simply cross the legs at the knees and don’t worry about wrapping the lifted leg around the calf of the standing leg. Explore wrapping the legs together when sitting in a chair at home or work. Gradually work to hook the big toe just above the ankle and just under the calf muscle.


~ Kripalu Yoga: A Guide to Practice On and Off the Mat
by Richard Faulds and Senior Teachers of Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health

 

BENEFITS:

  • Promotes shoulder, arm and upper back flexibility

  • Strengthens the muscles of your inner thighs, quadriceps and chest

  • Stretches the ankles


PRECAUTIONS: Don't force your ankles, arms or wrists into the wrapped position.