So you’ve been doing yoga for a pretty long time, feel fairly strong and are ready to take things up to the next level. Enter arm balances. Arm balances provoke us to find just the right balance between what we call sukham (ease) and sthiram (effort). They strengthen the arms and wrists, engage and tone the core, and challenge us to find our breath when we feel like we want to panic and hold it in.
You might know how to perform several yoga poses, but do you know how to string them together in a way that not only feels comfortable, but also creates strength throughout the entire body and builds heat? Enter Vinyasa flow.
Sitting all day causes the hip flexors to contract and become tight, making full hip extension difficult or painful. The result? One can develop chronic lower back pain, experience limited range of motion for key movements in the gym like squats and have difficulty fully activating the glutes.
Surya Namaskar A, or Sun Salutation A, is a sequence of movements done in yoga that are linked with breath. Performing this sequence of poses requires strength and stamina, but also a sense of mental calm and focus to remain steady as things get a little more challenging.
Practicing twists is a great way to rev-up circulation and flush out toxins, as well as increase flexibility of the spine. When performing a twist, we promote blood flow and massage the internal organs, promoting rejuvenation of the whole body.
Yoga is a journey, though, one that never ends. Once you can tackle one yoga pose, step up your game and try something new—something that keeps the challenges coming. Enter baby crane!
Sure, you know push-ups, but do you know Chaturanga Dandasana? This widely done yoga pose, also known as Four-Limbed Staff Pose, is yoga’s version of a traditional push-up. Unfortunately, there are many ways to foil this move, and I’ve seen it all!
According to yoga philosophy, warrior 2 (Virabhadrasana II) pose is named after a fierce warrior—an incarnation of Shiva—described as having a thousand heads, a thousand eyes and a thousand feet; wielding a thousand clubs and wearing a tiger's skin.
Boat pose, or Paripurna Navasana, is an excellent example of finding such a balance. In Sanskrit—the ancient Indian language of yoga— “paripurna” means entire, full, or complete; “nava” means boat and “asana” means pose. Despite the effort and many actions involved, finding stability in this posture can help calm and align your body, mind and emotions.
Try this: Stand on one foot while wrapping the other leg around the straight leg. Now do a full squat all the way to the ground. Difficult? Now do it in a room that’s 105F degrees and 40% humidity. Sound like fun?