Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose)

Krishnamacharya shows us how it's done

Krishnamacharya shows us how it’s done

This posture helps to build both strength and focus.  It requires and develops balanced upper body strength, especially in the arms and wrists.

Remember to keep your elbow tight into the body, use your hands and the full power of your legs.

Focus on hugging the leg muscles into the bones and press back through the heels while pressing the floor away with your hands to keep your body parallel to the floor.

This will build stability and strength in the legs, arms and core of the body.

Be sure to protect your lower back by tucking the tailbone and engaging the core.

Until you build enough strength to hold the full variation of the pose you can modify and keep your knees on the floor.

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Upward Facing Dog – Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

Upward Facing Dog – Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

An invigorating backbend to build strength in the wrists, arms and shoulders while building flexibility in the spine. Benefits: Stretches chest, shoulders, abdomen and hip flexors Therapeutic for asthma as it opens the accessory muscles of respiration. Strengthens shoulders and … Continue reading

Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog

Kermit does Adho Mukha Svanasana - Downward Facing Dog

Kermit does Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog

Downward Facing Dog is a fundamental yoga asana, but a surprisingly complex one.  It is both an arm balance and an inversion.

Benefits include:

  • Elongates and releases tension from your spine
  • Stretches your hamstrings, calves, arches, and hands
  • Strengthens your arms, shoulders, and back
  • Improves mobility of your digestive system
  • Relieves back pain, headaches, insomnia and fatigue
  • Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
  • Helps calms the nervous system and relieve stress

If you have wrist problems you can come to your forearms.

Letting go…. #time for change

We cannot become what we what by remaining what we are

Max DePree

“Letting go allows new projects and people to fill the space you have created. The key is not to fear change, stay in the comfort zone, or avoid the inevitable. If your heart is calling you to a path during this moon, however irrational, follow it without judgement. All great and wonderful things ever created by people, came from a single thought, a belief in the impossible and focused action to create their dreams.”    Rebekah Shaman’s Lunascope

Marichasana C

Photo of Marichyasana C

Marichyasana C – Seated Spinal twist

A seated spinal twist which helps to lengthen and strengthen the spine.  Other benefits include:

  • Open muscles along the back and shoulders
  • Cleanse the digestive system
  • Helps to build awareness of the link between breath and bandhas
  • Massages abdominal organs, including the liver and kidneys
  • Relieves mild backache and hip pain

Be attentive to your breath and lower belly as you enter the posture.   To twist safely first lengthen the spine, draw in the lower belly and twist from navel upwards.

Keep your breath free and deep.

Check out these 2 videos from a great workshop I did last year with Kino MacGregor where she talks us through the movements to get safely into Marichasana C.  If you’re quick you can spot me 20 seconds into the first video… up front like a true yoga nerd!  😉

Parivrtta Utkatasana – Twisted Chair / Prayer Twist

Parivrtta Utkatasana – Twisted Chair / Prayer Twist

Parivrtta Utkatasana is a standing twist which strengthens the legs and back whilst creating flexibility in spine and cleanses the inner organs. It’s benefits include: Strengthen the hip flexors, the thighs and glutes. Stretches and strengthens the calf muscles. Opens … Continue reading

Bhujapidasana – Arm Pressure Pose

Bhujapidasana – Arm Pressure Pose

Bhujapidasana – Arm Pressure Pose

Bhujapidasana is an arm balance similar to Bakasana, it requires patience and strength, stamina.

Benefits of Bhujapidasana include: 

  • Strengthening of the wrists and arms
  • Toning of the abdominal muscles
  • Great for improving concentration, balance and will power

However, this pose should be avoided if you have elbow, wrist, shoulder or lower back injuries.

Navasana – Boat Pose

Navasana – Boat Pose

Navasana is a challenging seated balancing posture that helps to strengthen the abdominal muscles, hips, thighs and spine. It improves digestion and aids detoxification the body. Practicing Navasana will help you to develop focus and concentration. For easier variation, keep … Continue reading

Utthita Hasta Padangustasana – Extended Hand-To-Big-Toe Pose

Utthita Hasta Padangustasana

Utthita Hasta Padangustasana - Extended Hand-To-Big-Toe Pose

Utthita Hasta Padangustasana – Extended Hand-To-Big-Toe Pose

This pose requires a combination of strength, flexibility and balance.

Benefits of this pose include:

  • Strengthens the legs and ankles, hips flexors and upper body
  • Stretches the backs of the legs, especially the hamstrings
  • Improves sense of balance
  • Encourages flexibility in the hip joint
  • Develops core strength

Alternatives:  If the hamstrings are too tight to extend the leg completely take hold the knee instead of the big toe.

Focus and Balance – Crow Pose

Bakasana, Crow Pose

Yoga posture Bakasana - Crow Pose

Crow Pose  is one of the more accessible arm balances.  It requires more focus and confidence than strength.

It helps to strengthen  the wrists and arms, stretches the upper back and tones the abdominal muscles.  It also helps you to find your balance and concentration.

To prepare for this posture it is important to spread the fingers wide and focus straight ahead… Don’t look down!