• How to do Standing Splits

    Do you want to learn how to do the standing splits? This challenging yoga pose is a great way to improve your flexibility and open your hips. In this post, you’ll learn more about the pose and step-by-step instructions that will get you started today.

    Benefits of standing splits

    There are a few benefits to doing this pose, including:

    • opening the hips
    • lengthening the hamstrings
    • increasing the blood flow to the brain
    • strengthening the legs
    • calming the nervous system
    • improving balance

    Contraindications of standing splits

    You should use caution or even avoid this pose if you have:

    • hip and knee injuries
    • low back problems
    • shoulder injuries
    • high blood pressure
    • low blood pressure

    How to do standing splits

    Stand on your mat with your feet together and your legs straight.

    Bend forward putting both hands on the ground with the palms flat on the floor.

    Push your weight into your right leg, raising your left leg behind you.

    The key to getting a good standing split is to engage your right glute, lifting your right sitting bones to power your left leg up.

    Lift with your left leg as high as you can, pointing your left toe toward the ceiling.

    Push weight into your arms and drop your head down so your forehead is toward the shin.

    Stay here for five breaths and slowly release it. For more details about the pose watch this video lesson from Kino.


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  • How to do Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana (Compass Pose)

    Do you want to improve your balance and strengthen your core? If so, parivrtta surya yantrasana is the pose for you! This pose is also known as compass pose. It can be a little tricky to get into at first, but with practice, you will be able to do it like a pro.

    This is a good hip opener that combines strength and flexibility. It’s a good pose to practice in preparation for putting your leg behind your head. Before we get started, let’s look at the benefits and contraindications of compass pose.

    Benefits of parivrtta surya yantrasana

    • Strengthens the core muscles
    • Stretches the shoulders, chest, and hips
    • Improves balance and coordination
    • Increases spinal flexibility
    • Improves posture

    Contraindications for parivrtta surya yantrasana

    • Shoulder injury
    • Low back pain
    • Slipped disc
    • Sciatica
    • Groin injury

    Now that we know a little bit more about parivrtta surya yantrasana, let’s get into it!

    How to do compass pose

    Sit on your mat. Bend your left knee and bring your left foot in close to your groin.

    Bend your right knee, so the foot is in front of your left foot.

    Bring your right leg up, and while supporting it with your hand, pivot the hip joint into external rotation.

    The key with this pose is to get your thigh as close to your shoulder as possible. So grab hold of your calf muscle and pick up your leg and place it on the shoulder.

    Settle your right sitting bone into the ground.

    Stack your right knee onto your right shoulder and bring the right hand out to the side, so the arm is straight and the hand is resting on the ground.

    Reach up with the left hand and grab your right foot.

    Bring your head behind the ankle like you’re going to put your leg behind your head, but instead straighten the leg.

    Bring your leg into your body with your left hand. Push your right shoulder against the right leg. Tighten your core.

    Stay here for five breaths and come out of the pose slowly.

    Watch this video with Kino for more detail about doing the pose.

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  • How to do Tittibhasana (Firefly Pose)

    Tittibhasana or firefly pose is a pose in the Ashtanga yoga second series. In this post, you’ll learn how to do tittibhasana and discover the benefits of doing the pose.

    This powerful arm balance gives you practice lifting your body off the ground. It’s fun to try because it requires both flexibility and endurance.

    Benefits of tittibhasana

    The benefits of firefly pose include:

    • Strengthening the shoulders, arms, and wrists
    • Stretching the chest and front of the body
    • Stimulating the abdominal organs

    Contraindications of tittibhasana

    The contraindications of firefly pose include:

    • Wrist injury
    • Shoulder injury

    If you have any wrist or shoulder injuries, please consult your doctor before doing this pose.

    How to do firefly pose

    Here’s how to do tittibhasana:

    Traditionally you would jump into this pose, but because we’re just starting out, we’ll move into it slowly from standing.

    Stand with your feet a little wider than hip-width. Fold forward and put your hands on the ground.

    Bring your shoulder between your legs.

    Bend your knees so your thighs are resting on top of your upper arms. Your hands are flat on the ground with the fingers pointing forward.

    Engage your core and inhale and straighten your legs.

    Squeeze your thighs toward each other into your body.

    Keep your collarbone broad.

    Lift from your core.

    Stay here for five breaths before slowly coming out of the pose.

    For more detail about how to do the pose watch this video with Kino.

    Now you’re ready to give firefly pose a try. Remember to be patient with yourself and keep trying. These poses come with practice. You might have to work on your flexibility and strength before you can get into this pose. That’s okay. No one was born doing this pose. We all had to practice.

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  • How to do Upavistha Konasana (Wide Legged Seated Forward Fold)

    Upavistha konasana, or wide angle seated forward fold, is a perfect illustration of why the balance between muscle relaxation and activation is so important in yoga. This deep hip opener is a great way to stretch the hamstrings. In Ashtanga yoga, it comes in the second half of the primary series.

    Benefits of upavistha konasana

    This pose doesn’t just stretch your inner thighs, groin, and hamstrings. It has other benefits as well including:

    • calming the mind
    • stretching shoulders
    • opening the chest
    • relieving fatigue
    • energizing you

    Contraindications

    If you have any injuries in your knees, back, groin, or shoulders this pose might not be for you. If you are pregnant, this is also a pose to avoid.

    How to do upavistha konasana (wide legged seated forward fold)

    Start by sitting on the floor with your legs spread as far as your shoulder girdle will allow.

    Reach forward and hold the outsides of your feet.

    Inhale and lift your chest forward.

    Suck your lower belly in and fold forward.

    Pay attention to what’s going on in your lower back. Your lower back should be neutral. Don’t round it or overarch it.

    Exhale and bring your chest toward the floor. Rest your chin on the floor.

    Stay here for five breaths.

    Watch this video with Kino for more detail about this pose.

    Reach your thighs toward the ground.

    Watch this video with Kino MacGregor for more details about doing this pose.

    So there you have it, how to do upavistha konasana and all the benefits and contraindications to be aware of. I hope you give this pose a try on your mat soon.

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  • How to Do Purvottanasana (Reverse Plank Pose)

    Looking to add a challenging new yoga pose to your practice? Look no further than purvottanasana, or reverse plank pose. This intense posture offers a range of benefits for the body and mind, from improved strength and flexibility to better focus and concentration. Before you get started, it’s important to understand the contraindications of purvottanasana and how to safely perform the pose. With proper preparation and execution, however, you are in for an amazing experience!

    Benefits of Purvottanasana

    There are many benefits to be gained from practicing purvottanasana. This pose is excellent for building strength in the arms, shoulders, and core muscles. It also helps to improve posture and increase flexibility in the spine. Additionally, purvottanasana can help to calm the mind and relieve stress.

    Contraindications of Purvottanasana

    While purvottanasana offers many benefits, there are some contraindications to be aware of before attempting the pose. People with wrist injuries or carpal tunnel syndrome should avoid this posture. Additionally, those with high blood pressure should not practice purvottanasana. If you have any concerns about whether or not this pose is right for you, be sure to consult with a qualified yoga instructor.

    How to Do Purvottanasana (Reverse Plank Pose)

    Now that you know the benefits and contraindications of purvottanasana, it’s time to learn how to do the pose! Follow these step-by-step instructions to safely perform reverse plank:

    This pose works with the internal rotation of the thighs. It’s important that you pay attention to what’s going on with your feet.

    Sit on your mat with your legs stretched straight out in front of you.

    Press the base of your big toes into each other.

    Point your toes and roll them into each other. Don’t let your ankle bones touch but make sure they’re spiraling in toward each other.

    Keep your legs active by lifting your kneecaps and spiraling your thighs in toward each other. Don’t squeeze the thighs together.

    Lean back so your sacrum is on the ground.

    Place your hands behind you on the floor with your fingers pointing toward you.

    Your shoulders and elbows are reaching back. Bring the shoulder blades together.

    Inhale and lift the chest, bringing your hips up and forward.

    Lift through the pelvis and bring your body up into a straight line.

    Engage your core muscles and continue to press into your palms and feet to lift your hips higher. You should now be in a reverse plank position with your body in a straight line from head to heels.

    Hold the pose for 5 breaths, then slowly lower your hips back to the ground and release.

    purvottanasana is a great way to build strength and flexibility while also calming the mind. Be sure to practice this pose safely and with proper guidance from a qualified yoga instructor. With regular practice, you will soon be enjoying all the benefits that purvottanasana has to offer!

    Watch this tutorial with Kino for more detail about how to do the pose.

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  • How to Do Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (Pigeon Pose)

    Do you want to learn how to do eka pada rajakapotasana? This yoga pose is also known as pigeon pose. It is a great pose for stretching the hips and thighs. It comes at the end of the third series in Ashtanga yoga, so that should let you know that it’s a pretty advanced pose. The benefits of this pose include improved flexibility, better circulation, and reduced stress. Let’s take a look at how to do this pose step by step!

    Benefits of Eka Pada Rajakapotasana

    Pigeon pose has many benefits, including:

    • opening the chest
    • stretching the shoulders
    • releasing the hip and groin
    • eases sciatica and low back pain
    • improves overall flexibility
    • reduces stress.

    Contraindications for Eka Pada Rajakapotasana

    If you have any hip or knee injuries you should avoid this pose or modify it, so it doesn’t aggravate your injury. If you have previous health conditions, please consult your doctor before attempting this pose.

    Step by Step Instructions for Eka Pada Rajakapotasana

    Before we start make sure you warm up and that you are in a season in your practice where this pose is appropriate for you to try. You don’t want to twist your body in ways that could be damaging if you’re not ready.

    Start in downward dog. Guide your right knee forward and settle the hips down so you’re in a half split. Your front knee is bent.

    If your left hip is popping up off the ground you’ll need to work on opening your hips before you continue.

    Inhale and lift the ribs away from the hips coming into a backbend.

    Raise your arms over your head.

    Bend your right knee, bringing your foot up.

    Catch your right foot with your hands, holding the top of the foot. If you have the flexibility to grab your ankle do that.

    Exhale and drop your head back.

    Slowly release the pose and repeat it on the other side.

    Watch this class with Kino for more detail about how to do the pose.

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  • How to Do Virabhadrasana B (Warrior II)

    Virabhadrasana B or Warrior II brings you into the spiritual heart of what it means to be a warrior. It is a popular yoga pose that offers many benefits. It helps to improve balance and stability, strengthens the legs and ankles, and stretches the hips, groin, and shoulders.

    According to Hindu mythology, Virabhadra was a warrior created from a lock of Shiva’s hair. He was thrown down to the Earth and landed in the stance of Virabhadrasana A, holding the sword of Dharma above his head. Upon his landing, he held out his sword, switched his gaze, and changed his stance to what we now know as Virabhadrasana B.

    Benefits of Virabhadrasana B

    • Strengthens the legs and ankles
    • Improves balance and stability
    • Opens the chest and shoulders
    • Stretches the hips and groin
    • Opens the lungs for improved breathing
    • Energizes the whole body

    Contraindications of Virabhadrasana B

    If you have any injuries or conditions that affect your legs, ankles or feet, you should avoid this pose or modify it to protect your joints. This includes conditions such as Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and bunions. If you have high blood pressure or are pregnant, avoid this pose or do it with caution.

    How to do Virabhadrasana B (Warrior II)

    Start standing in mountain pose. Exhale and step your left leg back behind you.

    The distance between your feet will depend on your height. It should be the same as the length of one of your legs.

    Align your right heel to your left arch. Your right foot points to the front of your mat and your left foot is at a 45-degree angle.

    Open your pelvis so your front (right) hip moves into external rotation.

    Keep your hips level. Don’t let one hike up. Your pelvis should be square.

    Don’t let your butt stick out. Think of your tailbone as heavy.

    Pull your right femur into the sock and bend your right knee so it stacks over your ankle. Don’t let your knee jut out beyond your toes. Your knee should line up with your ankle.

    Think about your hip creases pulling back and down, so your inner thighs are spreading.

    Remain strong through the legs.

    Lift your ribcage away from the pelvis.

    Now lift your arms, so they’re parallel to the floor. Your right arm is pointing straight out in front of you and your left arm is straight behind you.

    The torso is stacked along the centerline. Your shoulders are relaxed.

    Stay here for five breaths. Then repeat on the other side.

    Watch this video with Kino to learn more about how to do the Virabhadrasana B.

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  • How to do Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)

    Do you want to learn how to do trikonasana (triangle pose)? Triangle pose is a great way to stretch your body and improve your balance. It also has many other benefits, which we will discuss in this blog post.

    Benefits of Trikonasana include:

    – Stretching the muscles of the legs, hips, and chest

    – Strengthening the muscles of the back and shoulders

    – Improving balance and coordination

    – Reducing stress and fatigue

    Contraindictaions for Trikonasana

    Trikonasana is generally safe for most people. However, there are a few contraindications to be aware of. If you have any of the following conditions, please consult your doctor before practicing this pose:

    – High blood pressure

    – Back injury

    – Neck pain or injury

    Now that we know the benefits and contraindications of Trikonasana, let’s learn how to do triangle pose.

    Step-by-step instructions for Trikonasana

    Stand with your feet about three to four feet apart. A good gauge to see how far apart your feet should be is the length of one of your legs. Your feet should be as far apart as that distance.

    Turn your right foot out 90 degrees and your left foot in about 45 degrees.

    Align the right heel with the arch of your left foot. The position of the feet is important because it determines the alignment of the hips. You want your pelvis to be even.

    Extend your arms out to the sides, parallel to the ground.

    Inhale and as you exhale pull the right thigh bone into the socket and bend down to your right. Don’t let your hips move forward or back. Reach down and wrap your right fingers around your right big toe.

    Stretch your left arm up so your hand is pointing straight up. Gaze up at your left hand.

    Engage your core. Your legs are firm. Squeeze your inner thighs toward each other.

    Stay here for five breaths. Come out slowly and repeat on the other side.

    There you have it! Now you know how to do trikonasana. Give it a try and see how you feel.

    Watch this video with Kino for more details about the pose.

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  • How to do Sirsasana (Headstand)

    So, you want to learn how to do sirasana or headstand. Sirsasana, or headstand pose, is a challenging yoga pose that offers many benefits. If you don’t succeed the first time you try, that’s to be expected. With practice, you’ll learn the alignment necessary and get the shoulder and core stretch you need to support yourself in this posture.

    This post will teach you how to do Sirsasana properly with step by step instructions and alignment tips. We’ll also discuss the benefits of the pose and some contraindications. If you’re looking to improve your practice, this is a great pose to learn!

    Benefits of Sirsasana

    Sirsasana is an inversion, meaning that it reverses the blood flow in your body. This has many benefits including improving circulation, energy levels, and concentration. Inversions are also said to be helpful in relieving stress and tension headaches.

    Contraindications of Sirsasana

    If you have high blood pressure or any other health conditions, please consult your doctor before practicing sirsasana. Pregnant women should also avoid this pose.

    How to do a Headstand Step-by-Step

    Now that we’ve gone over the benefits and contraindications of Sirsasana, let’s learn how to do a headstand!

    When attempting headstand it’s important that you place the right part of your head on the floor. That’s the flat part at the very top of your head.

    Start in a tabletop position on your hands and knees. Make sure your wrists are directly under your shoulders and your knees are directly under your hips.

    Bend your elbows so your forearms are on the floor and interlock your fingers. You’re forming a triangle with your forearms. Your head is going to go right at the top of that triangle between your hands.

    Place the top of your head on the ground.

    Straighten your legs bringing your hips up and back like you’re going into a down dog position. Firm the shoulders. The weight of your body will be supported by your shoulders, not your head.

    Walk your legs forward. Shift your weight back so you come up onto your toes. Engage your core muscles.

    Now lift your legs, using your core strength, up through the centerline of your body. Your legs stack over your shoulders. Your toes are pointed.

    Keep your shoulders and elbows strong. Stay for five breaths. Come out of the pose slowly and go into child’s pose to recover.

    There you have it! Now you know how to do Sirsasana, or headstand pose. Watch this video with Kino for a better understanding of the pose.

    Remember to practice with caution and listen to your body. With time and practice, you’ll be able to master this challenging but rewarding pose!

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  • How to do Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog)

    Adho mukha shvanasana, or downward facing dog, is a yoga pose that is often used in sun salutations. It is a great pose for stretching and strengthening the body. Adho mukha shvanasana is repeated so often in your yoga practice that it holds the foundation keys for good forward bending and good alignment in your shoulders for all arm balances.

    Before we look at how to do downward facing dog, let’s look at the benefits of downward dog.

    Benefits of Adho Mukha Shvanasana

    Downward dog is a great pose for stretching the hamstrings, calves, and Achilles tendon. It also helps to strengthen the arms and shoulders.

    This pose can help to relieve back pain by lengthening the spine. Additionally, downward dog is a good pose for improving digestion and relieving stress.

    Contraindications for Downward Dog

    If you have any injuries in your shoulders, wrists, or arms, be careful with this pose. You might want to avoid this pose when you have a headache. A

    How to Do Adho Mukha Shvanasana

    To come into downward dog, start from all fours. Tuck your toes and lift your hips up to the sky. Keep your feet hip-width apart and your hands shoulder-width apart.

    Press into your hands and lengthen your spine. Draw your navel towards your spine to help with this.

    Press into your hands and feet to gently lift your hips up and back. You want about a 45-degree angle at your hips.

    Roll your shoulders down your back.

    Root down through your feet with your heels reaching to the mat.

    Your back is straight and your navel is drawn in.

    Try to evenly distribute your weight between your hands and feet.

    Let your head relax downward.

    Look at your navel or the top of your thighs.

    Your arms should be engaged. Your shoulder girdle is firm but open.

    Stay here for five even breaths.

    To come out of the pose, lower your hips back down to all fours and release your feet.

    There you have it! A simple guide on how to do downward facing dog. Be sure to listen to your body and only go as far as you feel comfortable. Watch the video with Kino for a more detailed description of the pose.