• 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.

  • How to do Padchimottanasana (Seated Forward Fold)

    Padchimottanasana is the basis of every forward fold in your practice. It’s important that you establish a healthy technique from the beginning. Think about opening your hips and hamstrings as you try this pose.

    Start out sitting on the mat with your legs straight out in front of you. Keep your shoulders rolled down the back and your belly sucked in. Lift your spine up out of your pelvis.

    Activate your thighs by squeezing them toward each other. The quadriceps should be completely engaged.

    Now think about your forward fold coming from deep inside your pelvis. Exhale slowly fold, lifting your torso over your thighs and hinging at the hips.

    Suck your belly in, creating a hollowness there. Now reach down and hold onto your toes. If you can’t reach your toes you can reach for your shins or even put your hands next to your legs on the floor.

    Inhale and lift your head to look up. Make sure to continue to suck your belly in. Now exhale and relax your back so you fold in toward the top of your legs.

    Stay here for five breaths. Every time you exhale try to fold a little further into the spaciousness of the body. Every exhalation should take you deeper into the posture.

    If you need to deepen the posture wrap your hands around the soles of your feet and hold onto your wrist with one hand.

    You don’t want to force yourself into this posture because you could risk injuring your hamstrings. Instead, allow yourself to melt into the pose. Flexibility is a journey that takes time. Be patient and allow your muscles to lengthen and release on their own.

    To come out of the posture, slowly come up.

    Healthy technique in this pose requires three basic things: active firm strong legs, finding the hollow space in the pelvis, and elongation of the torso. Get those three components and you can do this pose. Your flexibility will increase over time as you practice the pose.

    Watch this video with Kino for more details about doing Padchimottanasana.

     

  • How to do Virabhadrasana A (Warrior 1)

    Virabhadrasana A or Warrior 1 is an important pose for the cardiovascular system. Your heart rate goes up, increasing your circulation when your arms are raised above your head and your legs are firmly pressing into the ground.

    Warrior 1 also helps strengthen the legs and back while increasing space between the vertebrae. It prepares you for back bending which requires that same strength in the legs and articulation through the spine. Warrior 1 is a very important pose for energizing the body. It can be mildly therapy when you’re experiencing light states of depression.

    This pose helps you build a firm foundation for the legs. It is originally considered a balancing pose because you are gazing up at your thumbs as you maintain the solid foundation of your legs.

    Start by standing at the front of your mat. Now step back with your right foot. It is important to have an appropriate distance between your feet. You want to have the distance of about the length of one of your legs between your feet. Doing that tailors the pose to your own height.

    Externally rotate your back foot at a 45° angle. Your front foot is pointed forward. Ideally, your front heel will align with your back arch. If you find it too hard to balance this way you can align your heels with each other to give you a slightly wider stance.

    Bend your front knee at a 90° angle, so your thigh is parallel to the floor.

    Square your pelvis forward without torquing your knee. Keep as much forward direction in your pelvis as possible.

    Strengthen through your legs. Think about pressing your big toe little toe and heel evenly into the mat. Push back from your belly button through your hip. Allow the natural curve curvature of the lower back while keeping the tailbone in a neutral position.

    Rise up through the centerline of your body from the emptiness in your pelvic bowl. Pull the femur of your front leg in. Never let your knee jut forward. Let your energy sink down. Your back heel should remain on the ground. Root down.

    Hold your hands in front of you in prayer. Now rise up through the centerline of your body. Bring your hands straight up overhead with the palms continuing to press together. Now, look up at your thumbs.

    If it’s uncomfortable for your neck you can open your hands and look forward.

    To come out of the position lower your hands. Straighten your front leg. Step out of the position.

    Watch the video with Kino for more details about how to do Virabhadrasana A.


    By Omstars

  • How to do Padmasana (Lotus Pose)

    Padmasana or Lotus Pose is one of the most iconic traditional yoga positions. Most find that their first attempt of getting into it proves that the pose isn’t as easy as they might’ve initially thought.

    A lotus is a beautiful flower that grows up out of the muddiest waters. The image of the lotus symbolizes our spiritual journey on the yogic path. The bud of the lotus symbolizes the awakening that is planted in the heart of each yoga practitioner.

    Just like a lotus flower coming into bloom Padmasana has its own time and its own logic. You can’t rush the progress of being able to get into this pose. Instead, you have to be patient and let the pose develop.

    Your test to see if you’re ready to try the Lotus position is if you are comfortable sitting on the floor in a basic cross-legged position. If you aren’t, you’re not ready to try this pose.

    If sitting on the floor in a cross-legged position is uncomfortable for you, there are a few things you can do to make it better. Try sitting on something to elevate your hips. Once you do that draw your belly in and try to sit forward on your sitting bones. Work on sitting like this and do some hip opening poses to build up the flexibility you need to be comfortable sitting cross-legged on the floor, so you can work your way up to doing this pose.

    If you have a knee or ankle injury you shouldn’t attempt this pose. Also if you feel pain in the hip joint, knee, or ankle joint in this pose you should slowly and carefully get out of the posture. You don’t want to cause injury to your joints trying to do lotus.

    If you are already comfortable sitting cross-legged on the floor you’re ready to work your way up to Padmasana.

    Traditionally in the Ashtanga method, we always put the right foot up first when we enter Padmasana. Start out by sitting on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Bend your right knee and bring it all the way into your body making sure the joint is completely closed.

    Externally rotate your hip joint and drop your knee to the side. Keep your knee joint completely closed so your calf muscle is against your thigh muscle. Now place your right hand under your right knee and your left hand under your right foot and lift your right leg to bring your right foot into your left hip crease.

    Don’t let your knee torque.

    Demi point your right foot. Hold onto your foot and your shinbone and reposition your right foot so the heel is pressing in toward the navel.

    If you need support under your knee here you can place a block beneath it. If you feel any sharp pain in the knee it’s important that you back off.

    If your knee is off the ground do not try to push it down. It will go down to the floor when it is ready.

    Make sure your foot is high enough into the hip crease to make a straight line from your foot through your shin to your knee. If there is sickling of the foot you will experience ankle pain.

    If you aren’t ready to get into a full lotus work on half-lotus position.

    From half-lotus position bring your left leg in by closing the left knee and preparing to enter the pose completely. Cradle the left foot and the left knee and slide the left foot over the right leg and up into the right hip crease.

    The tops of your feet are resting on your thighs so the soles of your feet are up. Your feet are demi pointed to keep activation in your ankles.

    Now draw your belly in and lift your sternum. Avoid rounding your back. Place the tip of your thumb to the tip of your index finger on both hands and rest the back of your hands on your knees. Your arms are straight. Your chin is pulled in. Your gaze toward your nose.

    To have a deeper understanding of Padmasana watch this video with Kino.


    By Omstars

     

  • How to do Navasana (Boat Pose)

    Navasana is an important core strengthening pose. It gets its name because your body mimicks the shape of a boat when you’re in the pose.

    Start by coming to a comfortable seated position. Bend your knees up in front of you, so the soles of your feet are on the floor.

    Lift up through the spine and find the space between your sitting bones and your tailbone. This will be the space you will balance on when you’re in the pose. If you’re balancing on your tailbone, you’re too far back. If you’re on your sitting bones, you’re too far forward. You’re looking for the space in between.

    Draw your low belly in and tone the pelvic floor. Create a sensation of lift through your spine. If you feel a lot of strain in your core muscles sitting in this position and activating your pelvic floor, this might be as far as you should go into the pose for now. You’ll need to develop more strength before you try to get further into the pose. If you feel good here, then you’re ready to move forward.

    If you’re ready for the next step, come up onto your toes and place your hands under your thighs just above your knees.

    Lean back a little bit to bring your toes off the ground. Lift your feet, so they are even with your knees. Now let go of your legs and straighten your arms, so you’re reaching them forward. This is the second version of boat pose. If you are comfortable with this, you are ready to move on to the next version.

    To get into the full expression of the pose, start from sitting with your knees bent and your feet on the floor again. Now lean back slightly to bring your feet off the floor. Instead of lifting your feet even with your bent knees, straighten your legs. This requires hamstring flexibility as well as strenght.

    Pull the heads of the femurs into the sockets. Stay lifted through the pelvis. Don’t round the back. Keep your core strong. Send the center of the chest up and forward.

    This pose is all about stamina and strength. It’s natural to shake, that just means your muscles are working.

    To find out more about Navasana, watch this video from Kino.