• 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 Lolasana (Pendant Pose)

    Do you want to know how to do lolasana or pendant pose? In this pose we’ll show you how to do this powerful pose and tell you all about the benefits of practicing it.

    Lolasana is a pose that requires arm and core strength. If you are practicing Ashtanga yoga and need help learning how to jump through and jump back pendant pose is essential to mastering that skill.

    Strength comes with time and practice. Just because you can’t get into pendant pose now doesn’t mean you never will. It may take time to get that true feeling of lifting that comes with the pose.

    Before we look at how to do this powerful pose let’s look at the benefits and contraindications.

    Benefits of lolasana

    • Increases spinal flexibility
    • Increases hip flexibility
    • Strengthens the core
    • Strengthens the shoulders
    • Improves wrist flexibility
    • Helps improve focus

    Contraindication of lolasana

    You shouldn’t do this pose if you have the following conditions:

    • Hernia
    • Wrist injury
    • Shoulder injury

    You should also avoid this pose if you’re pregnant.

    How to do lolasana

    Sit on your mat with your legs folded beneath you.

    Put your hands on the ground next to you so your fingers are lined up with your knees. Your palms are on the ground with your fingers facing forward.

    Lean into your hands, bringing your shoulders forward.

    Lift your hips up and back.

    Squeeze your knees up into your chest and bring your feet up toward your glutes so you lift completely off the ground.

    Engage the core and press into the shoulders.

    If you have a hard time getting off the ground, you can use blocks to help yourself get more lift.

    Pendant pose requires strength. It takes practice to get off the ground, so keep trying. You learn more about lolosana in this class with Kino.

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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 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.

  • How to do Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana (Seated Bound Half Lotus)

    Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana, or Half Bound Lotus Forward Bend, is one of the seated poses in the Ashtanga primary series. It stretches the hamstrings and hips. It also opens the chest and shoulders.

    Benefits of Seated Bound Half Lotus

    There are many benefits to this pose.

    • stretches hamstrings and hips
    • opens chest and shoulders
    • eases lower back pain
    • stimulates internal organs
    • relieves constipation
    • improves posture

    Contraindications for Seated Bound Half Lotus

    If you have knee, hip, or shoulder injuries you shouldn’t do this pose. This pose is not recommended during pregnancy.

    Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana Step by Step

    Start in Dandasana, or Staff Pose. From there, bend your right knee and bring the sole of your right foot to the inside of your left thigh.

    Externally rotate your hip letting your knee drop to the floor.

    Lift your leg and place the top of your right foot on your left hip crease.

    Now bring your right hand around your back and grab your right foot for the bind.

    Exhale and lift the ribcage before folding forward.

    Stay here for five breaths. Then exit the posture in the same way you entered it.

    Watch Kino’s video about how to do Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana.

  • How to do Simple Bridge Pose

    Backbending is an important part of your practice because it gets the energy flowing through your spine. Backbends help increase spinal flexibility and can even lift your mood.

    Simple Bridge pose is a good introductory pose to help you incorporate backbends into your practice. It is beneficial for your spine and hips.

    Benefits of Simple Bridge Pose

    When you perform bridge pose, you are working to strengthen your hips, glutes, and hamstrings. This is a great pose to help improve flexibility in your spine and can help relieve back pain. Bridge pose also helps to open up the chest and shoulders.

    Here are some of the benefits of doing simple bridge pose:

    -This yoga pose strengthens your back and spine.

    -It can help relieve pain in the neck and upper back.

    -It stretches hip flexors.

    -It can help improve circulation.

    -It is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety.

    Contraindications for Simple Bridge Pose

    If you are suffering from high blood pressure, bridge pose is not recommended. If you are pregnant, avoid this pose or speak with your doctor before attempting it.

    How to Perform Simple Bridge Pose

    Step One: Lie flat on your back with your feet hip-width apart and parallel to each other. Your knees are bent and the soles of your feet are flat on the floor.

    Step Two: Move your feet so they are as close to your buttocks as you can comfortably get them. Your arms are at your sides with your palms down. Try to get your fingertips to touch your heels.

    Step Three: Inhale and press into your feet to lift your hips off the ground. Send your hips up and forward. Do not squeeze your glutes.

    Step Four: Roll your shoulders under and let your spine lift. If you are comfortable here you can roll your shoulders under even more and grab your ankles.

    Step Five: Hold for five breaths, then release and lower your hips to the ground.

    So, if you are looking for a simple yoga pose that offers many benefits, give simple bridge pose a try! You won’t be disappointed. Watch this video with Kino for more details about how to do simple bridge pose.

  • How to do Triang Mukha Eka Pada Paschimottanasana

    Today we’ll look at one of the seated postures in the Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series, Triang Mukha Eka Pada Paschimottanasana. This posture is different than the other postures you’ve done up until this point in the Primary Series because it is the first obvious internal rotation of the hip.

    This energetic pose loosens up your hips and hamstrings while releasing the tension in your back muscles. Like other forward folds in the series, Triang Mukha Eka Pada Paschimottanasana calms the nervous system while toning the internal organs. It is a good posture to do when you need to relieve stress.

    We’ll look at the simplest way to get into this posture. This is a good way to approach the pose if you have knee sensitivity.

    Start by sitting on your mat with your legs straight out in front of you.

    Bend your right leg so the sole of your right foot is on the floor and your thigh is drawn into your chest.

    Now rock onto the left side of your sit bones.

    Internally rotate your hip joint and bring your foot back so your foot is pointed straight behind you.

    Your knees are next to each other with your right knee pointed straight out in front of you.

    As you get into the position pay close attention to how your knee feels. If you need to you can sit on a block to help you get into the position more comfortably and decrease any pressure on the knee.

    Send energy down into your sit bones to create a firm foundation. Make sure your weight is evenly distributed between the left and right hip. Find balance in the centerline of your body. It is important to keep centered.

    Inhale and lengthen, drawing the spine up out of the pelvis and lifting the chest.

    Exhale hinge forward from the pelvis, folding over the left leg. Catch your foot, ankle, shin or wherever you can reach. Keep your shoulder blades on your back and your shoulders relaxed and away from your ears.

    Inhale and lengthen through the back even more. Exhale and fold, relaxing your back and bringing your forehead toward your shin. Stay here for five breaths and repeat on the other side.

    Click here to see how to do Triang Mukha Eka Pada Paschimottanasana in more detail.

    By Omstars

  • Weekly Pose Tutorial: Ustrasana (Camel Pose)

    Ustrasana or Camel Pose is a nice easy backbend from the Ashtanga Yoga Second Series. This is a very therapeutic backbend that can help you create space between the vertebra, building strength and flexibility in the spine. When in this pose, you must try to find the balance between openness and steadiness.

    Let’s take a look at how to do this pose with a healthy technique.

    Come to your knees with your knee joints at 90-degree angles. Your feet are pointed behind you, and your thighs are hip-width apart.

    Inwardly rotate your thighs while pressing your knees into the ground.

    Lift up through your pelvic floor and tighten your core.

    Draw your energy up through the centerline and lift your spine out of your pelvis, creating space in your back.

    Now take your hands on your iliac crests on the front of your pelvis.

    Send your hips forward. Gently lift your chest and roll your shoulders down your back to prepare for the pose.

    Now move your hands to the back of your hips and place your thumbs on your sacrum.

    Squeeze your elbows together and inhale.

    Press your hips forward with your hands and let your head fall back.

    Try to keep your glutes relaxed and your thighs moving forward. If you feel any pinching in your spine, come out of the pose.

    From here, you are ready to move deeper into the backbend for the full expression of the pose.

    First, inhale and lift through the spine even more to create the space you need for the pose.

    Exhale and dangle your arms back behind you. Let them hang loosely at first.

    Now inhale, lift your spine further out of the pelvis and find your feet with your hands.

    Let your cervical spine extend backward. Gaze at the tip of your nose. Keep your core strong, and be careful not to stick your belly out.

    When you’re ready to come out of Ustrasana, don’t collapse. Instead, use your strength to press into your knees and lift yourself back up. Follow this posture with child’s pose.

    Watch Kino’s tutorial below for a better understanding of the pose.

    By Omstars

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  • Weekly Pose Tutorial: Bakasana (Crane Pose)

    Bakasana or Crane Pose is an arm balance done with your arms straight as opposed to the crow pose which is a bent elbow arm balance. It is a foundational arm balance in your yoga practice. Once you get this pose and are able to do it well, you’ll be able to take the same strength tools and apply them to any arm balance.

    Arm balances require strength, pressing up from the shoulders and pulling up from your core. So let’s approach this arm balance from those two perspectives. One of the things with this pose is that there is a lot of pressure on the wrist. So the more you bring your shoulders away from your hands the more space you’ll create in your wrists.

    From a squatting position, your hands come forward flat on the mat.

    Place your knees as close to the armpits as possible.

    Send your shoulders forward and lift your feet off the ground.

    Your arms are straight not bent.

    One of the main differences between the Crow Pose and the Crane Pose is the positioning of the knees. For the Crow Pose your knees are on the outside of your shoulders and for the Crane Pose your knees are in your armpits.

    Watch this video for more detailed instructions.

    By Omstars