• 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.

  • How to do Shalabhasana (Locust Pose)

    Do you want to learn how to do Shalabhasana or locust pose? This is a great yoga pose for beginners. It helps strengthen the back and spine and can provide relief from stress and fatigue.

    Shalabhasana or locust pose is back bending pose that increases strength and flexibility in your whole spine. It helps you create endurance and stamina. In every backbend, we think about creating space between the vertebrae. How you practice your alignment in this pose will set you up to be able to do deeper backbends will and increase the health of your whole spine.

    Before we look at how to do the pose let’s look at its benefits.

    Benefits of Shalabhasana

    • Strengthens the back and spine
    • Provides relief from stress and fatigue
    • Increases flexibility in the whole spine
    • Helps create endurance and stamina
    • Strengthens muscles in the pelvic bowl
    • Relieves sciatic nerve pain
    • Strengthens hip muscles

    Contraindications of Shalabhasana

    If you are pregnant, avoid this pose. If you have a back injury, consult with your doctor before practicing this pose.

    Now that we know the benefits and contraindications of Shalabhasana or locust pose, let’s look at how to do it.

    The following is a step-by-step guide on how to do Shalabhasana or locust pose.

    How to Do Shalabhasana

    Lie down on your stomach with your forehead resting on the floor. To figure out how to do the pose properly, place your hand between your pelvis on the floor and find the bony place at the front of her hip. This is called the iliac crest. Remove your hand and think about pressing your iliac crest into the floor as your leg lifts off the ground.

    Make sure your knees remain straight as you do this. Instead of thinking about lifting the leg off the floor think about reaching your leg back.

    Practice doing this a few times to get used to the idea of sending your legs back instead of up to lift them from the ground.

    You want to think of the same concept for the front of your body. So instead of lifting your sternum off the ground think about sending your sternum forward. It’s almost like you’re trying to pull your body apart.

    Pressing your iliac crests into the ground provides the lift as you make space in your spine by sending your legs back and your sternum forward.

    Now that you know the proper technique let’s do the pose.

    Lay on your stomach. Place your hands beside your chest, with your palms facing down. Inhale and lift your head, chest, and legs off the floor, keeping your hips on the floor. Hold for a few seconds, then exhale and slowly lower your body back to the starting position.

    Here are some tips for beginners:

    – If you find it difficult to lift your chest and legs off the floor, start by lifting your head and chest first, then gradually add in your legs.

    – Don’t overarch your back.

    – Hold for a few seconds and then slowly lower your body back to the starting position.

    That’s how to do Shalabhasana or locust pose! This pose is a great way to start your yoga practice. It helps you strengthen your back and spine, and can provide relief from stress and fatigue.

    Practice this pose regularly, and you will see a difference in your strength and flexibility. Watch the video with Kino for more detail about how to do the pose.

  • How to do Pincha Mayurasana (Feathered Peacock Pose)

    The yoga pose Pincha Mayurasana or feathered peacock pose is a challenging asana that requires strength and balance. The benefits of doing this pose include improved posture, increased flexibility, and strengthened muscles. This inverted posture is difficult, so remember to never rush the journey. Celebrate the body you have and all it can do for you. With time and practice, you’ll be able to do this pose. Before we teach you how to do the pose let’s start by looking at some of its benefits.

    Benefits of Pincha Mayurasana

    Pincha Mayurasana requires both strength and flexibility. When you practice this pose, you open up your shoulders, chest, and core while also lengthening your spine. As a result, you improve your posture and increase your flexibility. Additionally, this pose strengthens the muscles in your arms, wrists, back, and legs.

    This inversion is also said to be therapeutic for the mind and body. It can help to improve your focus and concentration while also relieving stress and fatigue. If you suffer from anxiety or depression, this pose may also help to ease those symptoms.

    Now that we’ve looked at some of the benefits of Pincha Mayurasana, let’s look at contraindications.

    Contraindications for Pincha Mayurasana

    Pincha Mayurasana is not recommended for those with the following conditions:

    – Shoulder injuries

    – Wrist injuries

    – High blood pressure

    – Glaucoma

    – Pregnancy

    If you have any of these conditions, please consult your doctor before practicing this pose.

    Now that we’ve gone over the benefits and contraindications, let’s look at how to do Pincha Mayurasana.

    How to do Pincha Mayurasana

    Begin in forearm downward facing dog.

    Make sure your elbows are stacked under your shoulders. Don’t allow them to wing out.

    From here, exhale and walk your feet forward until your hips are stacked over your shoulders.

    Press down into your palms to lift your hips and use your core strength to bring your legs up.

    Use the strength of your arms to begin to lift your hips off the floor. You want to stack your legs over your hips and your hips over your shoulders to create a vertical line with your body.

    Don’t let your legs and hips overshoot the verticle line. You don’t want the pose to be banana-shaped. You want your whole body to be in a straight line.

    Keep your gaze focused on a spot between your hands as you continue to press down into your palms and straighten your arms.

    Keep your legs straight and press down evenly into both palms.

    To exit the pose, bend your knees and place your feet back on the floor. Then, press down into your hands and come back into downward facing dog.

    There you have it! Now you know how to do Pincha Mayurasana. Remember to practice this pose often to reap all its benefits. Stay safe and have fun!

    Watch this video with Kino to find out more about Pincha Mayurasana.

  • How to do Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)

    If you’re looking to improve your flexibility, Paschimottanasana is a great pose to try. This seated forward fold can help elongate the spine and release tension in the back and neck. In addition, Paschimottanasana has many health benefits that you can enjoy! In this tutorial, we will show you how to do Paschimottanasana safely and effectively. We’ll also provide some tips on how to get the most out of this pose.

    Before we look at how to do Paschimottanasana let’s look at some of the benefits of the pose.

    Benefits of Paschimottanasana

    There are many benefits of Paschimottanasana, some of which include:

    • Stretching the back and shoulders
    • Stretching the hamstrings
    • Lengthening the spine
    • Improving circulation in the abdominal organs
    • Stimulating the nervous system
    • Reducing stress and anxiety
    • Stimulates the internal organs

    Contraindications for Paschimottanasana

    Paschimottanasana is generally a safe pose for most people. However, there are a few contraindications to be aware of:

    If you have a hernia, Paschimottanasana may aggravate it.

    If you have a slipped disc it’s best to avoid this pose.

    If you have high blood pressure, Paschimottanasana may not be the best pose for you.

    If you are pregnant, Paschimottanasana may not be the best pose for you.

    If you have any other health concerns, please consult your doctor before doing Paschimottanasana or any other yoga poses.

    How to do Paschimottanasana or seated forward bend

    Now that we know some of the benefits and contraindications for Paschimottanasana, let’s look at how to do the pose.

    Paschimottanasana is a seated yoga posture so you will need to sit on your mat with your legs straight out in front of you. Your feet are flexed. Think of pushing your heels away from your sitting bones.

    Draw your belly in and imagine emptying the inner space of the pelvis.

    Lengthen through the spine and take a deep breath in. On an exhale, begin to fold forward from the hip joints, keeping the spine long. Don’t round your back to bend forward.

    You can place your hands on your knees, ankles, or feet. If you can’t reach your feet, place a strap around the soles of your feet and hold onto the strap.

    Keep the spine long as you fold forward, letting the head hang heavy. Breathe deeply and hold the pose for five breaths. To release the pose, slowly roll up to seated on an inhale.

    Tips for Paschimottanasana

    Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of Paschimottanasana:

    Keep the spine long as you fold forward. This will help to lengthen the spine and release tension in the back and neck.

    Engage your quadriceps to help release your hamstrings.

    Don’t hyperextend your knees.

    Breathe deeply into the posture. This will help to relax the body and mind.

    Paschimottanasana is a great pose for improving flexibility and releasing tension. With some practice, you’ll be able to get deeper into the pose and enjoy all the benefits it has to offer! Watch the video with Kino to find out more about the pose.

  • How to do Pasasana (Noose Pose)

    Pasasana or noose pose is the first pose of the Ashtanga yoga intermediate series and is a combination of a deep twist and a deep squat. You’ll need a good grasp of both of these elements to begin.

    Just like other twisting poses, pasasana helps detoxify the internal organs. It also helps prepare the shoulders and back for deep back bending.

    Doing a twist in a deep squatting position gives you stability in your legs, providing the foundation you need for more challenging poses.

    To get into the twist needed for this pose, you will need flexibility and articulation of the thoracic spine. Many twists require you to raise through the centerline and pivot along the body’s central axis. Pasasana is different because it requires a lateral stretch that moves your body off the centerline so you can bind around both of your legs.

    Benefits of Pasasana

    This twisting pose has many benefits. They include:

    • Strengthens your thighs
    • Strengthening your ankles and knees
    • Detoxifies and stimulates internal organs
    • Stretches back muscles
    • Stretches shoulders
    • Relieves back and neck pain
    • Increases lung capacity
    • Helps with digestion

    Contraindications for pasasana

    Avoid doing pasasana if you have ankle injuries, knee injuries, back injuries, or herniated discs.

    How to do pasasana with a block

    To get a good idea of how to do the pose you can practice it while sitting on a block.

    Sit on a block with your knees bent in front of you and your soles on the floor.

    Shift your knees slightly to the right while keeping your heels down on the floor. Your chest is forward close to the thighs.

    Suck your belly in and move your torso to the left. Place your left hand on the ground and move your entire torso to the side.

    Fold your chest down on the outside of the left thigh. Next, drop your right shoulder down around the outer edge of the left knee.

    You can stay here with your hands in prayer or go for the bind.

    When you are ready to bind, you’ll know because your elbow is past the plain of your shin.

    Reach your right arm around the legs and your left arm around your back. Catch your hands, grasping them together. Look over to the left.

    Use the block as your foundation to prevent twisting of the hips.

    Release slowly and repeat the pose on the other side.

    Pasasana without a block and the heels up

    This version of pasasana will work on balance and help you develop the strength you need to do the full version of the pose. If you have a problem with your ankles, you can use a rolled-up towel or even roll up your mat to support your heels.

    You’re not on the balls of your feet in this pose. Your weight is still pressing down through your heels even if you cannot get your heels onto the ground.

    Just like when you were sitting on the block, shift your torso to the side to get that lateral stretch.

    Make sure your chest comes all the way around to the outside of your thigh.

    Bring your right hand down and around your legs. When you’re first trying to do this, you can place your hand on the ground to the outside of your right leg to make sure you’re balanced before going into the bind.

    Pivot slightly forward. Lift the left arm and bring it around your back.

    Lift your right hand off the ground. Bring your fingers toward each other to do the bind.

    If you can, drop your heels to the floor.

    Strengthen through your legs and through the pelvic floor. Hold the pose for a few breaths before slowly coming out and repeating it on the opposite side.

    How to do pasasana with flat feet

    Starting from a squat with your legs together and your feet flat on the floor, bring your left hand to the ground to study yourself and bring your torso to the left side of your legs.

    Take your right shoulder down to the outside of your left thigh.

    Your right hand reaches around your legs using the internal rotation of the shoulder.

    Your left hand reaches behind your back.

    Bring your hands together and look over your left shoulder.

    Suck your belly inside. Firm your pelvic floor. Stay firm through your legs. Balance and breathe.

    Now slowly come out of the pose and repeat it on the other side.

    Pasasana is a very challenging pose. You can work on it for years and still feel like you need to work on some more.

    Never fight or force the body. All flexibility is about patience. Wait for your body to release and be ready for the pose. You can’t rush the body. If you want to know more about the noose pose, watch this video with Kino.

  • How to do Parighasana (Gate Pose)

    Parighasana or the gate pose is in the Ashtanga yoga second series. This pose is a very important integration posture that allows you to really work on your side body stretch. Side body stretches help integrate the muscles of your back and align your pelvis.

    If you have misalignment of your sacrum or iliac crest or if you feel like your pelvis is a little bit out of whack, side body stretches are really wonderful to help get those areas back into alignment.

    The shoulder position in this pose allows you to work on the deep core strength of the body. The pose gives you an awareness that routes down into the center of your pelvis.

    Symbolically the gate represents the opening of your spiritual eyes. This pose helps you turn your attention inward and focus on your inner journey that is yoga.

    Benefits of parighasana or gate pose :

    When done correctly, parighasana can be a very beneficial pose for your body. It is important to focus on alignment and make sure you are doing the pose correctly in order to reap all of its benefits. Here are a few benefits of doing this pose.

    • Stretches the muscles of your back and aligns your pelvis
    • Helps integrate the muscles of your back
    • Allows you to work on the deep core strength of the body
    • Gives you an awareness that routes down into the center of your pelvis
    • Opens up the hips and groin area
    • Stretches calves and hamstrings
    • Opens shoulders
    • Stimulates abdominal organs

    Contraindications for parighasana or gate pose

    If you have any injuries or conditions in your shoulders, arms, groin, or hamstrings, parighasana may not be the best pose for you. The same goes for if you’re pregnant. If you have neck pain, it’s best to keep your head in line with your spine and look straight ahead rather than turning it to the side.

    To do parighasana or the gate pose:

    Sit on your mat with your right leg extended.

    Bend your left knee. Drop your left knee to the floor so your calf muscle is out to the side and your foot is pointing behind you. You’re using a little bit of internal rotation of your hip here. You want your thigh bones to make it 90-degree angle.

    Activate the inner thigh of your right leg to form the foundation of the posture.

    Gently roll the pelvis slightly forward.

    Keep the left hip spiraling in.

    Activate your thighs squeezing the thigh bones into their sockets.

    Suck your belly in.

    Drop your pubic bone back and allow your sitting bones to come slightly off the ground.

    Walk both of your hands forward, so you’re almost doing a forward fold between both of your legs.

    Exhale as you fold over to your right side, so your right shoulder is on the ground and your left shoulder is up.  Your torso is on the inner edge of your right thigh with your head and shoulder down.

    Push your left hip down.

    Reach your hands up and grab your right foot.

    Pull your sternum forward and away from the pubic bone.

    Keep your belly deeply in and your mind calm.

    Stay here for five breaths and then slowly come out of the pose by releasing your foot, dropping forward and rising all the way up.

    Watch this video with Kino to see how to do Parighasana in more detail.