Pose Of The Month

Pose of the Month: Reclining Bound Angle / Supta Baddha Konasana

Supta Baddha Konasana or Reclining Bound Angle Pose can be modified for every student’s resistance needs by adding props & adjusting distance.

1 Exhale & slowly lower your back torso toward the floor. Support your head & neck on a blanket roll or bolster if you would like. (In the picture Krista is supporting her head with a block & opening her heart space with another block.)

2 Bring the soles of your feet together & seperate your knees. Customize this pose by bringing your feet closer or further from your trunk.

***Here is the resistance part: Not only can you bring your feet closer or further from you, you can also place your knees on props like  blocks or blankets to bring the earth up to meet you.  For a deeper expression you could put a block or blanket under the pinky edge of your feet too!

3 With your hands grip the tops of your thighs and rotate externally (away from your center). Lay your arms on the floor, angled at about 45 degrees from the sides of your torso, palms up or down or like the image; one hand on your heart & one hand on your belly.

4 Avoid the natural tendency to push the knees toward the floor. Use props to customize the shape & remain there for a few minutes. After a bit you may find moving or adjusting the props will increase sensation. Remember to stay in the sensation realm & stay away from pain.

To come out, use your hands to press your knees together & place your feet firmly on the earth, roll over onto one side and push yourself away from the floor, head comes up last.

Benefits
  • Stimulates abdominal organs, ovaries and prostate gland, bladder, and kidneys.
  • Stimulates the heart and improves general circulation.
  • Stretches the inner thighs, groins, and knees.
  • Helps relieve mild depression, anxiety, and fatigue.
  • Soothes menstrual discomfort and sciatica.
  • Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause.

SOUP-tah BAH-dah cone-NAHS-anna)
supta = lying down, reclining
baddha = bound
kona = angle

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Pose of the Month May: Dandayamana Janushirasana | Standing Head to Knee Pose

Standing Head-to-Knee engages all of your body’s major muscle groups as well as stretches and improves the flexibility of your hamstrings.

As you add this pose to your practice more often, you’ll notice a significant improvement in your concentration, and a better mind body connection.

A generous bend at the waist helps the functions of your digestive tract. Additionally, it’s a solid exercise for improving endurance and strengthening your abdominal muscles.

Before you begin, realize that most people will require months of regular training before they can reach the level of flexibility and mental focus required to perform this pose as perfectly as you see in the picture. But know that the benefits are not concerned with an instagram worthy picture & your body & mind will love it every step along the way.

  1. Begin by shifting the weight of your body onto your left leg and interlock all your fingers.
  2. Bend forward at the waist and lift your right knee towards your chest, until you can place your right foot onto the “basket” created by your fingers. Fingers should hug the ball mount of your foot & your hips remain in one line (don’t let the flying leg’s hip to pop up). This is step 1 and a perfect place to start introducing the pose to your body. Linger here.
  3. When you are ready to move further; with your fingers still below your right foot and your torso bent forward, straighten your right leg until it becomes parallel to the floor.  Do not try to force your leg into parallel position; simply extend your leg to your edge, and hold that position focusing on gaining strength and space. Bring your awareness to the inseam of your standing leg for balance and continue to keep hips parallel the earth.  A microbend in the standing leg is suggested for a Vinyasa practice, a locked knee for Traditional Hot.
  4. If your leg is parallel to the floor & you would like to move further slowly start lowering your elbows and the entire upper body towards the earth. The goal is to get your trunk & forehead as close to the lifted leg as possible.  Breathe into your lower back to find space.
  5. Hold for a few breaths, then slowly move your torso away from the leg, go back to first position, as if you were pressing rewind, slowly lower your lifted leg, pause, and repeat the pose for the other side.

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April 2020 POTM Revolved Half Moon

Revolved half moon

Hi there, yogis! Our April 2020 pose of the month is Parivttra Ardha Chandrasana or Revolved Half Moon.

This is a pose which engages the entire body requiring strength, balance and total awareness of the present. We learn to stay focused and calm even while twisted and challenged.

Here’s how!

1. Begin in a lunge with your right foot forward. Shift your weight into your right foot and press into grounded airplane with hands on the floor or blocks, right under your shoulders.

2. Lengthen through the crown of your head and reach through your lifted heel.

3. Place your left hand under your chest (use a block if needed), and place your right hand on your right hip to gently nudge your right hip back in space.

4. Rotate your chest open to the right, moving from your left rib cage as you extend your right arm to the sky.

5. If you are stable here, turn your gaze to your lifted arm.
Hold for up to 10 breaths.

6. Release to a forward fold for a few breaths then step back to lunge and repeat on the other side.

March 2020 POTM: Hanumanasana

Good morning dearest yogis! Our March 2020 POTM is Hanumanasa or full front splits.

Hanunanasana Pose

We’ve intentionally curated this pose during this challenging and unprecedented time, because it embodies the spirit of trust, devotion, a belief in miracles and a willingness to do what needs to be done to serve others.

Hanuman was a half monkey avatar of Lord Shiva. Out of devotion, he leapt from India across the ocean to Sri Lanka to comfort Lord Shiva’s wife who had been kidnapped. He also delivered Shiva’s ring to let her know she would soon be rescued.

In another instance, Hanuman leapt to the mountain to obtain a special healing herb for Lakshmanan. Because he’s a monkey, he wasn’t sure which herb it was! To save precious time, he just carried the entire mountain back down to save his life.

So as you can see, this is a very beautiful pose representing valor and devotion.

Here’s how!

1. From a kneeling lunge, start to straighten your front leg as you slide your back leg behind you.

2. You may use blocks on either side of your mat to help position yourself.

3. Lift the ball of your front foot up and slide you front leg as far as your hamstrings will allow. You might first want to stop at Ardha Hanumanasana, the Half Split Pose, take a few breaths there, and then continue.

4. As your front leg straightens, start pushing your back knee backwards so your back thigh is getting closer towards the floor. Make sure your back leg remains straight from the hip and is not extending towards either side.

5. Keep your hips square towards the front of the mat (warrior one hips) and focus on leveling your pelvis rather than reaching it to the ground. Press your inner thighs towards each other to help support your pelvis.

6. Once you become stable, recruit your core and adductors as you lift your arms to the sky. Hold for 5-20 breaths.

7. Remember yoga is a process not a destination!

February 2020 Pose of the Month: Utthita Tadasana or Five Pointed Star Pose

Happy February, oh dearest ones!

Do you want to feel like a superstar? Then this pose is for you!

Five pointed star pose or utthita tadasana is a heart opening and very grounding asana.

The five pointed star yoga pose facilitates deep breathing, improves posture and encourages joy. And when we do it in a squad, we feel both confident and connected to the earth and one another.

Here’s how:

1. From a standing position, step your feet out wide with feet either parallel or toes pointing slightly outward.

2. Extend your arms out wide at shoulder-height or slightly higher with your palms facing forward. Your feet and wrists should be about the same distance apart; adjust your stance if needed.

3. Drive down through your heels and straighten your legs fully, but do not lock or hyperextend your knees. Ground your feet firmly into the earth, pressing evenly across all four corners of both feet.

4. Draw the tops of your thighs up and back, engaging the quadriceps. Tuck in your tailbone slightly, but don’t round your lower back. Lift the back of your thighs, but release your buttocks.

5. Bring your pelvis to its neutral position. Do not let your front hip bones point down or up. Instead, point them straight forward. Draw your belly in slightly.

6. As you inhale, elongate through your torso. Exhale and release your shoulder blades away from your head, toward the back of your waist.

7. Spread your fingers and reach out energetically through your fingertips as you broaden across your collarbones. 

8. Press your shoulder blades toward the back ribs, but don’t squeeze them together. Keep your arms straight, fingers extended, and triceps firm. Allow your inner arms to rotate slightly outward.

9. Lengthen your neck. Your ears, shoulders, and hips should all be in one line.

10. Keep your breath smooth and even. With each exhalation, feel your body elongating in all directions: Up, down, left, right, forward, and backward. Softly gaze forward toward the horizon.

This is one of those poses you can do whenever you need a boost of energy or a shot of confidence!

December 2019 Pose of the Month: Malasana or Garland Pose

Hey, yogis!

This is our final POTM not only for 2019, but for the entire decade!

Our December 2019 pose is Malasana or Garland Pose, sometimes simply called a yogi squat.

I love closing the year with such a grounding and stabilizing pose!

Let’s do it!

1. Start in a standing position with feet mat with distance apart and hips externally rotated with heels in and toes turning outward.

2. Draw your hands to heart center as you bend your knees and lower your hips toward the earth.

3. Rock your weight back and forward a few times until you find stability and balance.

4. Drive your feet into the earth, wrap your core around your spinal cord, slurp your belly off your upper thighs and lift out of your waistline.

5. You’ll feel Apana vayu, the downward and outward flow of energy stabilizing as you experience Prana vayu through the upforce of energy lifting through your spine.

6. Placed your palms together at heart center and use your elbows to pry your hips open even wider.

7. Other variations include expanding chest by grounding one hand and reaching in opposition with the other hand.

Enjoy, yogis!



November 2019 Pose of the Month: Prapadasana or Tip Toe Pose

Hey yogis! Wow! Hard to believe that November is here!! We are in the last weeks of 2019! The end of a great decade.

Our  November 2019 POTM is Prapadasana or “tip toe pose.”

This pose, like life, requires focus, balance and a strong determination.

How to do Prapadasana / Tip Toe Pose?

1. Begin in Tadasana / Mountain Pose.

2. Exhale and come into Malasana / Garland Pose.

3. Bring your feet together and slowly lift your heels off the floor.

4. Balance your body on your toes and keep your back straight. 

5. Bring your palms together and focus in between your eyebrows.

6. Stay in this pose for 3 to 6 long breaths.

To come out of this pose, bring your heels down and come back into Tadasana / Mountain Pose.

Here’s why you should do it:

Improves concentration and sense of balance.

Strengthens the core, feet, ankles, calves, knees and thighs.

Stretches the hip flexors, hamstrings and groins.

Stimulates the Muladhara / Root Chakra.

Do it with a friend!

October 2019 Pose of the Month: Pincha Mayurasana or Feathered Peacock Pose

Happy October, yogis!

Our October 2019 POTM is Pincha Mayurasana. You may know Pincha Mayurasana or Feathered Peacock Pose by one of its common aliases: Forearm Stand or Elbow Balance.

Forearm stand is an advanced pose that opens your shoulders for backbends; builds arm strength for more-advanced arm balances; adds an uplifting quality to your spirit and practice and deeply connects to the entire abdominal sheath.

Here’s how:

Bring your mat over to a wall.

1 Come to your hands and knees facing the wall. Your fingertips should be pretty close to the wall. (An inch or two away is good. This is so when you kick up and your heels are on the wall, your spine is as vertical as possible).

2 Bend your elbows to bring your forearms and palms flat against the floor. Your upper arms should be perpendicular to the forearms. Your gaze should be down on your mat throughout this posture. 

3 Curl your toes under and lift your hips to come into a Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) position with your legs. This position is sometimes called Dolphin (Ardha Pincha Mayurasana).

4 Walk your feet in toward your elbows as much as possible. Ideally, your hips will come over your shoulders.

5 Lift your dominant leg (the one you like to lead with) to a Down-Dog Split (Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana) position. 

6 Exhale and bend the knee of the leg that is still on the floor. Swing your lifted leg for a little momentum as your bottom leg hops up. Try to land both heels softly on the wall. Note that the head stays up off the floor. Keep your gaze on the floor between your hands.

7 If you are able to get both legs up and invert fully, begin to work on engaging your core so you can remove your feet from the wall one at a time and balance independently. Remain in the pose one to five minutes, breathing slowly and deeply.

8 Take five breaths in balsana or child’s pose to counter.

September 2019 POTM: Anahatasana or Melting Heart Pose

Happy September, yogis!

Our POTM is Anahatasana, or Melting Heart pose (sometimes referred to as Extended Puppy pose). This beautiful backbend deeply opens the shoulders, pectoral muscles of the chest, thoracic spine, neck and lower back. Heart and lung meridians receive a fresh burst of prana. Try this yoga pose first thing in the morning to set the tone for the day ahead!

Here’s how:

From table top (hands and knees) position, slide your arms forward and begin to melt your heart towards the earth.

Listen carefully to your heart and body and move only to the degree that feels appropriate.

You can always layer a block under your sternum to help your heart meet the earth.

You can bring your forehead to your mat (or a block if necessary) and gently rock your forehead side to side, massaging your ajna or third eye chakra.

Ultimately your chest may lay on the ground, with the chin tilting up. This will compress and massage the back on the neck and must only be done if comfortable.

If your chest, throat and chin easily rest on your mat, you can tuck your toes, lift your knees off the mat and straighten your legs. Please note that this is an advanced variation, and should only be done if your chest can remain pinned to the earth.

Hold for 3-5 minutes, breathing deeply into the shoulders, neck, spine, chest and lower back. Always remember where your attention goes, energy flows and it is important in these more vulnerable yin, backbending poses to remain focused inwards and on your pranayama.

Observe the emotions rising in this yoga pose. Melting heart is particularly effective in releasing heavy, stagnant or sad feelings. It may trigger an emotional reaction and release, including the need to cry! By the end of the pose, you will feel joy and lightness.

Follow with Balasana, Child’s Pose.

July 2019 Pose of the Month: Paripurna Navasana – Boat Pose

Happy July, hotties! Our pose of the month is …. Paripurna Navasana or Boat Pose. Because where else do you want to be in July? Obvi on a boat or next best thing … on your yoga mat. (Or no mat, but in a yoga pose 🤣)

Let’s go for it!

1 Begin in a seated position with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. 

2 Lift your feet off the floor. Keep your knees bent at first. Bring your shins parallel to the floor. This is half boat pose. Ardha Navasana

3 Your torso will naturally fall back, but do not let the spine round. 

4 Straighten your legs to a 45-degree angle if you can do so without losing the integrity of your upper body. You want to keep your torso as upright as possible so that it makes a V shape with the legs.

5 Roll your shoulders back and straighten your arms roughly parallel to the floor with your palms

boom shaka laka! You’re in (not on) a boat! now, if you could do this while you’re on a boat, you are definitely living your best life! 🤣❤️🙏🏾