• How to do Vashistasana (Side Plank)

    Vashistasana, or the Side Plank Pose, is a powerful pose that strengthens the entire body and especially works on strengthening your core. Asymmetrical poses like this are excellent for discovering which side of your body is weaker than the other and for building symmetrical strength.

    Despite how challenging this pose looks, it can be performed by almost anyone with some practice.

    Before looking at how to do the pose, let’s look at the benefits and contraindications.

    Benefits of vashistasana

    • Improves your posture and balance
    • Strengthens your core, arms, wrists, legs and glutes
    • Increases muscle tone in the body
    • Helps to improve circulation throughout the body

    Contraindications of vashistasana

    • Wrist or shoulder injuries
    • High blood pressure
    • Pregnancy (after the first trimester)

    How to do side plank

    Now let’s take a look at how to do this pose. Here are step-by-step instructions:

    Begin in plank pose. Walk your right hand a little bit forward and shift your weight onto your right side.

    Rotate your leg so you are on the outer edge of your right foot and your legs are stacked on top of each other.

    Bring your left arm up towards the sky and stack it on top of your right arm so that both arms are parallel to each other.

    Lift through your hips and press your feet firmly into the ground.

    Engage your core muscles and keep your head in line with your spine, looking straight ahead or slightly up at the ceiling.

    If this is difficult for you and you feel unstable, stay here. If you feel like you are ready, you can raise your left foot.

    To do so, externally rotate your left hip joint and raise your leg.

    Grab your big toe with your left hand.

    Hold for 5-10 breaths and slowly come out of the pose.

    Repeat the same steps on the other side.

    That’s how you do vashistasana! With a little practice, this pose can become an integral part of your yoga practice, helping to bring strength and balance to your body and mind.

    Watch the classes below with Kino for more detail about how to do the pose.

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  • How to do Pigeon Pose

    Do you want to learn how to do pigeon pose? This popular yoga pose can provide a number of benefits for your body and mind. It is a great way to stretch your hips, thighs, and groin. Pigeon pose is also known for its ability to relieve tension in the lower back and calm the mind. In this blog post, we will give you a step-by-step guide on how to do pigeon pose safely and effectively.

    Benefits of pigeon pose

    There are many benefits that you can experience from doing this pose. Here are some of the most notable ones:

    • Stretches the hips, thighs, and groin
    • Releases tension in the lower back
    • Calms the mind
    • Improves digestion
    • Stimulates the appetite

    Contraindications

    There are a few contraindications that you should be aware of before doing this pose. If you have any of the following conditions, it is best to avoid this yoga pose:

    • Pregnancy
    • Knee injuries
    • Lower back injuries
    • Shoulder injuries

    Step-by-step guide on how to do pigeon pose

    Now that you know the benefits and contraindications let’s get into the step-by-step guide. Here is what you need to do:

    From plank pose, step the right leg forward. Place your right knee on the mat behind your right hand. Turn the shin bone parallel to the top of your mat. Your right ankle is behind your left hand. Your right hip is externally rotated. The right foot is flexed.

    Your left leg is stretched out behind you with the left toes pointed and the top of the left foot on the ground.

    Sit up and settle into your hips. Keep them even. Don’t tip to one side or the other. Try to keep your pelvis square.

    If your hips are too far off the ground because your hips are tight, you can put a block under the right side of the pelvis for added support.

    Fold your upper body over your right leg and breathe deeply.

    Hold this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

    Repeat on the other side.

    Now that you know how to do the pose, you can practice it on your own.

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  • How to do Halasana (Plow Pose)

    Do you want to learn how to do halasana (plow pose)? Then you’ve come to the right place.

    Halasana is part of the closing sequence in Ashtanga yoga. The posture is about relaxation and turning your energy inward. It is a posture that is about self-reflection more than striving and achieving.

    When you attempt the plow pose you might find yourself rounding your back to achieve the pose, but instead of rounding the back you want your hips to be lifted.

    Practicing halasana offers a host of benefits, such as improved circulation and increased energy.

    We will provide step-by-step instructions on how to do this pose, as well as discuss the contraindications for doing it. So, if you are interested in learning this pose, keep reading!

    Benefits of halasana

    • Stretches the spine and neck
    • Improves flexibility
    • Stimulates the abdominal organs
    • Reduces stress and fatigue

    Contraindications

    • Neck injuries
    • High blood pressure
    • Glaucoma

    How to do halasana

    Lie down on your back

    Place your palms on the floor beside you with your fingertips pointing toward your feet.

    Inhale and use your abdominal muscles to lift your legs off the floor so they are perpendicular to your torso. Your feet are pointing toward the ceiling. Take a moment here to make sure your pelvis is aligned and to activate the muscles in your pelvic floor and core.

    Place your palms on the ground at your sides and continue to lift your legs and pelvis, bringing your legs over your head. Your toes should touch the ground over your head.

    If you can’t touch your toes to the ground, bring your hands up to support your low back.

    If your toes touch the ground, interlace your fingers and press your shoulders into the ground to help you lift up through the hips. Try not to round your back.

    Don’t press your neck into the floor. There should be space between your neck and the floor.

    Hold this posture for about 8 breaths before slowly coming out of it.

    Watch this video with Kino for more details about how to do this pose.

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  • How to do Supported Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose)

    Do you want to learn how to do a supported supta baddha konasana? This is a great yoga pose for beginners. It is a relaxing and restorative pose that can help relieve stress and tension. In this blog post, we will show you how to do the pose step by step. We will also discuss the benefits and contraindications of the pose.

    Benefits of supta baddha konasana

    There are many benefits of supta baddha konasana, including:

    • Relieves stress and tension: This pose is very calming and relaxing. It can help to relieve stress and tension from the mind and body.
    • Stretches the inner thighs and groin: This pose helps to stretch the inner thighs and groin muscles.
    • Opens the hips: This pose helps to open up the hips and release any tightness in the hip area.
    • Improves digestion: This pose massages the digestive organs and can help to improve digestion.
    • Relieves back pain: This pose can help to relieve back pain by stretching the back muscles.

    Contraindications of supta baddha konasana

    There are a few contraindications to be aware of before doing this pose, including:

    If you have any injuries to the knees, hips, or back, please consult your doctor before doing this pose.  If you are pregnant, please consult your doctor before doing this pose.

    How to do Supported Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose)

    For this pose, you’ll need a bolster, a rolled-up blanket, and two yoga blocks to support you.

    To begin, sit up tall on your yoga mat with your legs straight out in front of you.

    Bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together. Allow your knees to fall out to the sides. If they don’t touch the floor, place yoga blocks under your knees to support them.

    Place a bolster behind you. The bolster will support the length of your spine, so have one end of it close to your tailbone. The other end of it points behind you. Gently lay back on the bolster.

    You can place a rolled-up blanket or towel beneath your neck to support your head.

    Place your hands at your side or wherever they feel comfortable.

    Stay in this position for 5-10 minutes, breathing deeply and relaxing into the pose.

    In conclusion, the supported supta baddha konasana is a great yoga pose for beginners. It is a relaxing and restorative pose that can help relieve stress and tension. This pose can also help to stretch the inner thighs and groin muscles, open up the hips, and improve digestion. If you have any injuries or medical conditions, please consult your doctor before doing this pose. Otherwise, give it a try and see how you feel!

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  • How to do Dandasana (Staff Pose)

    Do you want to learn how to do dandasana? This is a great pose for beginners because it is simple, yet effective. Dandasana strengthens the spine and helps improve posture. It also stimulates the abdominal organs and improves digestion. In this blog post, we will provide you with all the information you need to know about this pose, including step-by-step instructions on how to do it!

    Benefits of dandasana

    • Strengthens the spine
    • Improves posture
    • Stimulates the abdominal organs
    • Improves digestion

    Contraindications of dandasana

    If you have any injuries or conditions that affect your spine, please consult your doctor before doing this pose.

    How to do staff pose

    Sit on the ground with your legs extended in front of you. If tightness in your hamstrings or hips makes this difficult, you can elevate your hips by sitting on a folded blanket or pillow.

    Flex your feet, drawing your toes toward you.

    Engage the thighs, pulling the kneecaps up toward you without hyperextending the knees.

    Pull your navel up and in engaging the core and pelvic floor.

    Lift your chest and roll your shoulders back. Let your shoulder blades relax down the back.

    Place your palms on the ground next to your hips.

    Draw your chin toward the chest and gaze at the tip of the nose.

    Curl the corners of the mouth to create a soft smile.

    Hold for five breaths and slowly come out of the pose.

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  • How to do Supported Bridge Pose

    Do you feel stiff and tight in your hips? Then you need to know how to do supported bridge pose. This pose offers a host of benefits, including improved flexibility and range of motion, increased blood flow and better circulation, and relief from tension in the hips and lower back. Plus, it’s easy to do!

    Read on for step-by-step instructions on how to perform this pose safely and effectively, but first let’s look at the benefits and contraindications for the pose.

    Benefits of supported bridge pose

    The benefits of this pose include the following:

    • Improved flexibility and range of motion in the hips
    • Increased blood flow and circulation
    • Relief from tension in the hips and lower back

    Contraindications for supported bridge pose

    Pregnancy

    • High blood pressure
    • Glaucoma or other eye conditions
    • Neck injuries or pain

    How to do supported bridge pose

    Now that you know the benefits and contraindications of supported bridge pose, let’s look at how to do the pose.

    To begin, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.

    Then slowly raise your hips up off the floor and place a block under your sacrum (tailbone). You can use the block on the first or second position, but if you want it higher, use two blocks. One block in third position won’t give you enough stability in the pose.

    Once you feel stable, straighten your legs and let your arms relax at your sides.

    This is an amazing way to open the front of the hips. Once you’re in position, simply relax and breathe deeply for up to five minutes.

    To release the pose, remove the block and slowly lower your hips back down to the floor.

    And that’s how to do supported bridge pose! Give it a try next time you’re feeling stiff and tight in your hips. You’ll be amazed at how good it feels.

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  • How to do Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog)

    Learning how to do urdhva mukha svanasana or upward facing dog is important because it is part of many vinyasa flows. It is a back-bending posture that you will return to again and again in your practice.  This posture brings you into spinal extension while lifting the thighs off of the ground. If you need help lifting up off the ground you can practice a modified up dog with blocks.

    Let’s look at the benefits and contraindications for the pose before practicing it.

    Benefits of urdhva mukha svanasana

    There are many benefits of upward facing dog. Here are a few:

    • Strengthen back muscles
    • Stretches and strengthens the wrists
    • Encourages articulation and length in the spine
    • Opens the chest
    • Stimulates the internal organs
    • Improves posture

    Contraindications for urdhva mukha svanasana

    Not everyone should practice this pose. Let’s look at the contraindications for upward facing dog.

    • Wrist injury
    • Carpal tunnel syndrome
    • Low back injuries
    • Shoulder problems

    If you are pregnant, you should avoid this pose.

    How to do urdhva mukha svanasana (Upward Facing Dog)

    Lay face down on your mat. Your legs are active and straight out behind you. Engage your quadriceps and lift your kneecaps off the ground.

    Suck your belly in and engage your core.

    Place your hands on the floor next to your body at the center of your ribcage. Your fingers are facing forward.

    Lift your chest up and squeeze your elbows in toward your body.

    Keep your pelvic floor and core strong as you inhale and lift your hips and thighs off the ground by straightening your elbows.

    Don’t squeeze into your back. Instead, lift the pelvis up and forward.

    Send the center of your chest up and forward.

    Keep your glutes relaxed.

    Watch this short tutorial with Kino to better understand how to do the posture.

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  • How to do Uttana Padasana (Raised Leg Pose)

    So you want to know how to do uttana padasana or raised leg pose. Well, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, you’ll learn about the benefits and contraindications of the pose, and you’ll get step-by-step instructions teaching you how to do raised leg pose. At the end of this post, there are video instructions you can follow.

    Some people find this pose to be very challenging, but understanding the alignment will make it more accessible to you. This posture combines strength and flexibility. You’ll be in a spinal extension with the arms and legs raised. While doing the pose the weight of your body should be distributed in your core. You’re not dumping weight into your head. Instead, you’ll be lifting through the chest and core.

    Before going into more detail about how to do raised leg pose, let’s look at its benefits and contraindications.

    Benefits of uttana padasana

    • Strengthens the spine
    • Improves spinal flexibility
    • Tones the abdominals
    • Strengthens the legs and hips
    • Stretches the shoulders
    • Boosts your energy

    Contraindications of uttana padasana

    Even though this pose has a lot of benefits, there are people who should be cautious when attempting it or even avoid it completely. Avoid this pose if you have:

    • Back pain or back injury
    • Neck problems
    • High or low blood pressure
    • Injury of the pelvis
    • Severe spondylitis

    You should also avoid the pose if you are pregnant.

    How to do Uttana Padasana (Raised Leg Pose)

    Lay down on your mat.

    Bend your elbows and lift through the core, arching your back and bringing your spine into extension.

    The top of your head is on the ground, so your neck is also in extension.

    Don’t dump weight into your head and neck. Instead, lift through the core to raise your spine off the floor.

    Suck in your belly and press your sitting bones into the ground.

    Inhale and lift your legs and arms. Lift all of your weight up and forward.

    Bring the palms of the hands together. Press the big toe mounds together. Internally rotate the thighs and press the elbows toward each other.

    Stay here for eight breaths. When you’re done, slowly exit the pose.

    Watch the video with Kino for more details.

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  • How to do Utkatasana (Chair Pose)

    Do you want to learn how to do utkatasana or chair pose? Well, you’ve come to the right place. This strengthening posture is part of many yoga sequences. It helps realign your body, creating both physical and mental stability. Specifically, this posture corrects imbalances in the pelvis. Before we look at how to do the pose let’s look at its benefits and contraindications.

    Benefits of Utkatasana

    Chair pose quite a few benefits, including:

    • Correcting imbalances in the pelvis
    • strengthening the core, legs, shoulders, and arms
    • Stretching the lower back
    • Toning the hips and lower abdomen
    • Stimulating circulation
    • Building endurance

    Contraindications of Chair Pose

    Utkatasana is a useful posture, but as with most postures, if you have certain conditions, you shouldn’t do it. People with these issues should avoid the pose or use caution when attempting it.

    • Knee injuries
    • Hip injuries
    • Ankle injuries
    • Back problems
    • High or low blood pressure
    • Headaches

    How to do utkatasana

    Start by standing in mountain pose with your feet together. The bases of your big toes are touching. Your hands are at your sides.

    Lift your kneecaps and engage your pelvic floor. Suck in your low belly.

    Use your fingers to find the creases at the front of your hips. Now bend through your hip creases by pulling the heads of your femurs into their sockets.

    Squeeze the knees toward each other.

    Sink down as far as you can in this position. Spiral the thighs toward each other and keep your belly sucked in.

    Lift your ribs slightly forward without letting them splay out.

    Bring your hands in front of your chest in prayer position.

    Inhale and raise your hands above your head, squeezing the elbows toward each other.

    Look up at your thumbs.

    Don’t bend the elbows and bring the hands back, and don’t hold the hands too far forward.

    The more you sink down into your hip joints, the more you’ll be able to lift through the arms.

    Stay in this pose for five breaths, and then slowly release it.

    For a more detailed explanation of the posture watch this video from Kino.

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  • How to do Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide-Legged Forward Bend)

    This pose might seem simple at first glance, but knowing how to properly do prasarita padottanasana or wide-legged forward bend will lay a solid foundation for the other forward bends in your practice. It’s natural to look at the simplicity of this posture and dismiss it, but the standing poses in the Ashtanga primary series are healing and therapeutic. They should be done with intention. In this post, we’ll look at the benefits and contraindications of wide-legged forward bend and give you step-by-step instructions on how to do it.

    Benefits of prasarita padottanasana

    This pose functions as a forward bend and an inversion and has many benefits, including:

    • Stretching and strengthening the legs
    • Stretching and releasing the spine
    • Easing backaches
    • Strengthening the feet and ankles
    • Toning the abdominal organs
    • Calming the mind
    • Opening the hips

    Contraindications of prasarita padottanasana

    If you are pregnant, you should use precautions doing this pose and avoid it during the later stages of pregnancy. People with the following conditions should not do this posture:

    • Hernia
    • Herniated disc
    • Groin injury
    • Ankle injury
    • High or low blood pressure
    • Glaucoma
    • Detached retina
    • Sinus congestion

    How to do wide-legged forward bend (prasarita padottanasana)

    Start by standing in mountain pose at the front of your mat.

    Inhale and step out to the right. So you’re facing the long edge of your yoga mat. Your feet are parallel, and your toes point straight in front of you.

    Put your hands on your hips.

    Exhale and lift your kneecaps by slightly pulling upward with your quadriceps.

    Engage your pelvic floor.

    Inhale and look up, creating length through the center line of your body.

    Exhale and fold forward, hinging from your hips.

    Place your hands flat on the floor between your legs.

    Inhale, and keeping your hands on the floor, look up. Keep your back straight and lift the chest to look forward.

    Don’t let your sitting bones spread apart. If you do, you’ll overstretch your hamstrings. Instead, keep them in a neutral position. The fold comes from hingeing from the hips and pulling your pubic bone back.

    Exhale and fold. Shift your weight forward so you can rest your head on the floor.

    Keep your thighs active by squeezing them in toward each other.

    Your shoulder blades are down your back, and your shoulders are away from your ears.

    Take five breaths here and then slowly come out of the posture.

    Watch this video with Kino for more details about how to do prasarita padottanasana.

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