• 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 Surya Namaskar B (Sun Salutation B)

    Learning how to do Surya Namaskar B isn’t as difficult as you might think. In this tutorial, we give you video lessons that break down the individual poses, so you know exactly how to do Sun Salutation B. You’ll learn how to do each pose in the sequence correctly, and then follow along with the video that ties all of the poses together for you at the end of this post.

    If you already know how to do Surya Namaskar A, you’re well on your way to knowing how to do Surya Namaskar B. Sun Salutation B adds a few more poses to the sequence to ignite that inner fire and build heat in your body.

    In the beginning, you’ll take time to learn each individual pose. Once you can flow through the poses from memory, you will be able to do the poses with the corresponding breaths.

    Let’s start from the beginning and take you through each pose in Surya Namaskar B in order. Follow along with the video instructions to give you a better understanding of the pose. At the bottom of the post, you’ll find a full practice of the sequence that you can practice with.

    Samasthiti (Mountain Pose)

    Stand at the top of your mat with your feet together and your arms at your sides.

    Utkatasana (Chair Pose)

    From mountain pose inhale and sink down into chair pose by bending your knees like you are going to sit down. Bring your palms together over your head and look up at your thumbs.

    Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)

    Exhale and straighten your legs. Fold your torso forward over your thighs into standing forward bend pose. Bend from your hips. You can bring your hands to the floor, or if you can’t reach the floor, place your hands on your shins.

    Ardha Uttanasana (Half Forward Bend)

    From uttanasana, inhale and straighten your back, coming up onto your fingertips if your hands are on the floor and look forward. You can bend your knees slightly if you need to.

    Chaturanga Dandasana (Four Limbed Staff Pose)

    Exhale and place your palms flat on the floor. Step back into plank pose and lower down like you are going to do a push-up. This is chaturanga dandasana. Keep your elbows close to your body and stay broad through the collarbone.

    Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog)

    Inhale and point your feet behind you and straighten your arms to come up into upward facing dog. Your legs are engaged. Your knees and pelvis are off of the ground.

    Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

    Exhale and roll your toes over. Send your hips back and up to downward facing dog. Straighten your legs and bring your heels down into the ground.

    Virabhadrasana A (Warrior I)

    Inhale and step your right foot forward between your hands. Rise up into warrior I pose.

    Chaturanga Dandasana (Four Limbed Staff Pose)

    Exhale and step back to chaturanga dandasana.

    Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog)

    Inhale and move into upward facing dog again.

    Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

    Exhale and return to downward facing dog.

    Virabhadrasana A (Warrior I)

    Now inhale and repeat warrior I but on the left side, so step your left foot forward.

    Chaturanga Dandasana (Four Limbed Staff Pose)

    Exhale and step back to chaturanga dandasana.

    Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog)

    Inhale and move into upward facing dog again.

    Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

    Exhale and return to downward facing dog. Stay in this pose for five breaths. Allow yourself to settle into the pose. Check in with your breath and make sure it is steady and even.

    Ardha Uttanasana (Half Forward Bend)

    Inhale and step forward, returning to half forward bend.

    Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)

    Exhale and bend from your hips into standing forward fold. Now that you’re warm, you’ll find that you’re a bit more flexible.

    Utkatasana (Chair Pose)

    Inhale and return to chair pose.

    Samasthiti (Mountain Pose)

    Exhale and end the sequence by returning to mountain pose.

    Repeat this sequence of poses as many times as you like. You can follow along with this video to see how all of the poses fit together.

  • How to do Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge)

    Do you want to learn how to do Anjaneyasana? Low lunge or crescent moon lunge is a great way to release the front of the hips and give a good stretch to your quads. This makes the posture great to practice if you are learning how to do front splits. It’s also excellent for opening up your hips after you’ve been sitting all day. The posture is one that you’ll come across often in yoga sequences, so whether or not you want to get into a front split eventually, it is still a good pose to be familiar with.

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

    Benefits of anjaneyasana

    Here are just some of the benefits of crescent lunge pose.

    Releases the hips

    • Opens the chest
    • Stretches quads and hamstrings
    • Stretches and strengthens core muscles
    • Heart opening
    • Strengthens the legs
    • Stretches the shoulders

    Contraindications for anjaneyasana

    There are some contraindications for crescent lunge. If you have these conditions, you should avoid the pose.

    • Knee injury
    • Hip injury
    • Groin injury
    • Low back problems
    • High blood pressure

    How to do anjaneyasana

    Starting from downward facing dog, step your right foot forward between your hands.

    Place the sole of your foot on the floor between your hands and bend your right knee to a 90 degree angle. Stack the knee over the ankle, so you’re in a runner’s lunge.

    Place the back knee on the ground with the foot pointing behind you.

    Square your hips and engage your core as you raise your torso up along the centerline of your body.

    Bring your hands together overhead and look up at the thumbs.

    Your legs and core should remain active in the pose. Your shoulders are down the back, and your ribcage is lifted.

    Stay here for 5 breaths before slowly coming out of the pose and repeating it on the other side.

    Watch this video with Adrian for more tips about how to do anjaneyasana.

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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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  • How to do Urdhva Dhanurasana (Wheel Pose or Upward-Facing Bow Pose)

    Are you ready to learn how to do urdhva dhanurasana or wheel pose? The purpose of back bending is to stimulate the nervous system, so you can feel energy rising in your body. Then you can learn to make peace with that feeling and integrate that energy into your body. So as you practice this pose, think about energy rising up your spine.

    In back bending, it is important that you’re not shortening your back. Instead, you want to engage the muscles of the spine to lengthen and increase the space between the vertebrae. As you attempt upward-facing bow pose think about lengthening and lifting.

    Before we get started, let’s look at some of the benefits of wheel pose.

    Benefits of urdhva dhanurasana

    • Opens the chest
    • Opens the abdomen
    • Stretches the hips and quads
    • Strengthens the legs
    • Strengthens the shoulders
    • Increases your energy
    • Stimulates circulation
    • Expands the lungs
    • Helps you build mental strength

    Contraindications of urdhva dhanurasana

    While back bending can be beneficial, not everyone should do them. Here are some contraindications of wheel pose.

    • Back injuries
    • Neck problems
    • Wrist injuries
    • Shoulder problems
    • High blood pressure

    How to do urdhva dhanurasana

    Lay down on your mat. Bend your knees and place your feet on the floor about hip-width apart or even slightly wider. Make sure your knees are tracking over your ankles.

    Bring your arms up and place your palms on the floor beneath your shoulders near your ears. It’s important not to have your elbows winging out too wide. Instead, keep them tracking over your wrist. This will help your shoulder blades drop down your back and keep your upper back open for the backbend.

    Inhale and shift your hips forward. Activate your pelvic floor and back muscles to lift up onto the crown of your head. Rest the top of your head on the mat. Push your hands and feet into the mat, lifting your torso upward.

    Check your shoulder alignment here to make sure your wrists are still in line with your elbows.

    If your shoulders are stable, you can lift your body up into the full pose. Press through your hands and feet to lift your head off the ground and your entire torso upward. Straighten your arms. Keep your shoulder girdle open and maintain the space between your shoulders and your ears.

    Use your back muscles to lift yourself into a spinal arch. Once you’re up shift your weight, so your chest comes over your hands. This will open your chest and allow you to breathe more easily in the pose.

    Gaze between the hands.

    Stay here for five breaths. Slowly come out of the pose.

    Watch this video with Kino for a better understanding of wheel pose.

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  • 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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