• 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.

  • How to do Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

    In this yoga tutorial, we will be discussing how to do parsvakonasana (extended side angle pose). This is a great pose for beginners because it helps to stretch the entire body. It also helps to improve flexibility and balance. This standing pose builds a sense of foundation through the centerline of your body. It energizes the whole spine and is wonderfully therapeutic.

    The best part about this pose is that it can be done virtually anywhere! All you need is a little bit of space to extend your arms and legs. Before we get started let’s look at some of the benefits of parsvakonasana.

    Benefits of parsvakonasana:

    • Stretches the entire side body
    • Stretches the groin and hamstring muscles
    • Improves general flexibility
    • Tones the thighs
    • Builds balance and stability
    • Strengthens the ankles
    • Strengthens the core
    • Energizes the spine
    • Therapeutic for the whole body

    Contraindications for parsvakonasana:

    There are a few contraindications for Parsvakonasana. Pregnant women should avoid this pose, as well as people who have knee injuries. Those with high blood pressure or migraine headaches should also avoid this pose.

    Now that we know a little bit about the benefits and contraindications of Parsvakonasana, let’s get started!

    Parsvakonasana tutorial:

    Start in mountain pose. Stand with your feet together, legs straight, and arms by your sides. Take a deep breath in.

    As you exhale, step your left foot back about four feet, then angle your left foot out to the side at a 45-degree angle.

    Bend your right knee. Stack your knee over your ankle. Don’t allow your knee to jut out beyond your toes. Ideally, you want your thigh to be parallel to the floor.

    Place your right forearm on your right thigh.

    Reach your left arm up by your ear.

    Your left leg is straight. Try to make a straight line from your left fingertips all the way down to your left foot.

    Your chest is open. Her shoulders are down your back. You’re strong through the legs.

    Look up at your left hand and hold for five breaths.

    I To come out of the pose, inhale and return to mountain pose. Step back to the left foot, and then repeat on the other side.

    That’s how you do Parsvakonasana! This pose is a great way to improve your balance and flexibility. It also helps to stretch the entire body. Watch this video with Kino to find out more about the pose.

  • How to do Marichasana B

    Marichasana B is a seated yoga posture found in the Ashtanga yoga tradition. The name Marichasana B comes from Marichi, the name of a Hindu sage and asana (posture).

    Benefits of Marichasana B

    The Marichasana B yoga posture offers a variety of benefits to practitioners. 

    • stretches and strengthens the spine
    • releases the hips and groin
    • stimulates and detoxifies the abdominal organs
    • improves digestion and elimination
    • strengthening the intercostal muscles by stretching them, allowing for more effective breathing.
    • improves posture
    • opens the shoulders

    Contraindications for Marichasana B

    The contraindications for Marichasana B are few but important. People with high blood pressure or heart problems should avoid Marichasana B. Also, avoid the posture if you have a knee or ankle injury.

    How to modify Marichasana B

    Start seated on the floor on a folded blanket.

    Close your left knee joint and drop it out to the side.

    Place your left foot under your right thigh.

    Bend the right knee up toward the chest. Your right foot is in front of your left foot.

    In this modified position, you can gently bend forward.

    Move the right knee to the outside of the chest.

    Draw your navel in and exhale and fold.

    Wrap your shoulder around the right knee and your left arm around your back on the left side so you can bind your hands behind your back. If you can’t reach, use a strap to complete the bind.

    Inhale prepare.

    Exhale fold.

    Stay for five breathes and then do the pose on the other side.

    Full version of Marichasana B

    Do not attempt this if you don’t have a good half lotus pose. Continue to do the modified version of the pose until you’re comfortable with your half lotus.

    Start seated on the floor.

    Close your left knee joint and drop it out to the side. Bring your foot up into the crease of your hip on your right side.

    Bend the right knee up toward your chest.

    Lean your body weight forward, picking your pelvis up off the ground.

    Drop your chest forward and down to the inside of the right thigh.

    Bring your right arm around the right leg and your left arm around on your left side to bind your hands behind your back.

    Inhale prepare.

    Exhale fold with your forearm touching the ground.

    Stay for five breathes and then do the pose on the other side.

    Marichasana B can be challenging, but with practice, it will become easier and more enjoyable over time. Watch this video with Kino for more detail about the pose.

  • How to do Kapotasana (King Pigeon Pose)

    Kapotasana, or king pigeon pose, is a deep and challenging yoga pose that offers a multitude of benefits. This pose strengthens the inner thighs and glutes, opens the hips and chest, and encourages feelings of peace and stillness.

    The benefits of Kapotasana are:

    • Strengthens leg muscles
    • Stretches hip muscles, abdomen, thighs, and ankles
    • Opens chest and shoulders
    • Strengthens back muscles
    • Calms the mind

    Contraindications:

    Kapotasana is a deep backbend that opens the heart and chest. It can be quite intense, so it’s important to approach this pose with caution if you have any of the following conditions:

    • spinal injury
    • hip injury
    • Shoulder injury

    You should also avoid it if you’re pregnant.

    How to do king pigeon pose

    Start by kneeling on your mat. Lift through your chest, pulling your ribcage away from the pelvis and lengthening through the spine. Find the spaciousness between your vertebrae.

    Keeping your natural lumbar curve, drop back. Keep your shoulders down your back and reach your arms out behind you. Go down slowly allowing gravity to open the spine.

    Bend more at the knees so you can bring your hands to the ground. Your shoulders and legs are supporting you in the backbend so don’t let your head come down to the floor.

    Now walk your hands back and find your feet. Once your hands are on your heels, spiral the elbows in and bring them slowly to the ground.

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

    Kapotasana is a powerful pose that can help you find inner strength and peace. Because this is an intense backend, so be sure to take your time getting into the pose and use props if needed.

    Watch this video with Kino for further instructions.

  • How to do Hanumanasana (Yoga Splits)

    If you’re looking to improve your flexibility, look no further than the hanumanasana yoga pose! This challenging pose is great for stretching out the hamstrings and improving overall flexibility.

    In Ashtanga yoga,  you don’t start to integrate hanumanasana into your practice until the later part of the third series. So it is considered an advanced posture.

    This pose is dedicated to Hanuman, the monkey deity. It’s a powerful pose because according to tradition Hanuman bestows many blessings. The blessing of doing Hanumansana is more flexibility in your back and hips.

    If you have tight hamstrings and hip flexors you’ll need to work on your flexibility in those muscles before giving this pose a try. It’s important to make sure you’ve properly warmed up before attempting this pose.

    What are the benefits of hanumanasana?

    Hanumanasana is a deep forward bend. Practicing it will increase your flexibility in your:

    • Hamstrings
    • Groin
    • Hips
    • Pelvis
    • Low back
    • Calves

    Hanumansana stimulates the abdominal organs and activates the core. It strengthens the spine, improves digestion, and relieves stress. Additionally, it can help relieve symptoms of fatigue, anxiety, and depression.

    What are the contraindications for Hanumanasana?

    Avoid Hanumanasana if you have any knee, ankle, groin, hip, or hamstring injuries. Pregnant women should avoid the pose because it puts pressure on the pelvis and groin.

    How to do Hanumanasana.

    Traditionally you move into hanumanasana from downward dog. Make sure you are warmed up before you start. Do a few sun salutations to generate some internal heat.

    From downward dog, look forward as you inhale and lift your right leg.

    Exhale and bring your right leg out in front of you between your hands. Your leg is straight and your toe is pointed. Orient your pelvis forward.

    Lower yourself to the ground with both your front and back legs straight. Opening through the hips, groin, and pelvis.

    Make sure your hips are square forward when you are in the pose. It’s important to do the pose correctly so you don’t get into bad habits.

    Use the strength of your legs. You want to keep your engaged. Don’t just sink into the floor.

    Point your toes.

    Bring your hands overhead, palms together and look up at your hands.

    Stay for five breaths before repeating it on the other side.

    The secret to doing any difficult posture is figuring out where you need to work and working on that with patience and kindness. You can’t rush the journey. Your body will open when it’s ready to. Watch the video with Kino for more details about doing this pose.

  • 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 Parsvottanasana (Pyramid Pose)

    Parsvottanasana or Pyramid Pose is the final standing pose for the Ashtanga Primary Series.  The standing asanas are sometimes called the foundational poses because they create the foundation for your practice. Sometimes it’s easier to work on forward bends and flexibility poses from a standing position because gravity is working with you.

    The main foundation of this posture is a pretty intense forward bend. There’s a little bit of an internal rotation into the hip joint that you are bending into. Because of that, you need to understand the dynamics of your hip joints in the pose.

    Lastly, the shoulder position is important. If you’re newer to the practice you might want to do this pose your hands on your hips or the floor for balance. If you are more experienced with the pose you can use the shoulder position we’ll look at here.

    If you’re uncomfortable holding your hands in prayer position behind your back you can grab opposite elbows or wrist or clench your fist and press the fists together behind your back.

    Now let’s begin the pose. From Samasthiti, internally rotate your shoulders to get into the correct hand position. That can be either holding opposite elbows, holding opposite wrists, fists together, or in prayer position behind your back. When you internally rotate your shoulders be sure to pay attention to your collarbones, keeping them broad.

    Step your right foot back. Your feet should be about 2 ½ to 3 Pete feet apart. This will change depending on how tall you are.

    Your front foot is pointing forward and your back foot is at 45-degree angle. Line your heels up with each other or line your heel up to your arch. Draw all the muscles of the low blow belly in.

    Square your hips. Inhale and exhale and pivot through the hip joints. Relax your back muscles and let your torso drape over your front leg. Stay here breathing deeply into the pose for five breaths. Slowly come out of the pose and repeat on the other side.

    To find out more about Parsvottanasana watch this video with Kino.