I’ve been practicing yoga for a little more than 4 years now. At first, I started slowly, taking a class here and there as it was convenient. About 2.5 years ago, I started an at-home practice. Now, I practice a little every single day, and it’s made a world of difference in my life.
The Daily Yoga Challenges by KinoYoga and BeachYogaGirl have helped keep me on track with my daily yoga goal.
If you’re thinking of starting a yoga practice, I’ve put together a few tips!
Of the many, many benefits from yoga (increased mindfulness, awareness, balance, strength, flexibility), the one I love most is that my yoga practice challenges me. Not only do I challenge myself to make time for it everyday, but I also try to achieve postures that don’t come easily to me. That takes patience, willingness to fail, and a strong desire to succeed.
I thought I’d share 5 postures that I love for this week’s Fitness Friday. I love them now, but most of these postures have taken time and lots of practice to achieve.
Bow Pose. I love the playfulness of this posture. It reminds me of being a kid. Maybe it’s because you’re on your stomach and holding your feet. When I pull out this posture in PiYo classes, people usually get excited. It takes hip flexibility to reach the feet, and core strength to push the torso off the ground.
I love this posture because while this position pictured is challenging, there’s always a new level to work toward — like flipping the grip in the hold.
Chaturanga. I’ve never, ever felt stronger than when I can hold a chaturanga for a minute. It’s a challenge. This posture is so important for practice, for building shoulder strength, and managing patience.
This is the one posture I always, always recommend when clients tell me they want to increase upper body strength. It will be a tough journey, but once you can properly execute a chaturanga, and once you can successfully hold a chaturanga for a minute (oh boy give that a try), doors to inversions and balances will begin to open to you.
Wheel Pose. This is the one posture I get the most requests to demonstrate in class. Wheels are playful and challenging in the best possible way.
For most clients, I’ve found that the biggest challenge to wheel is in the head. When the head goes upside down, fear starts to strike. What if I fall? What if I hurt my back? Serious things.
I spend tons of time warming up the back and shoulders before even attempting this posture. That should be a good rule of thumb for any posture in yoga — warm up the body!
Pigeon Pose. There’s always so much happiness in PiYo class when I say “bend the right knee and place it by your right hand for a pigeon.” This posture is great because it stretches the hips so well. It’s also accessible at many levels. You can increase the intensity with a forward bend, or by positioning the shin parallel to the body.
Along with pigeon comes mermaid, which is a posture that helps stretch the hips, open the chest, stretch the back & shoulders. This is a great example of the levels of yoga postures.
Dancer Pose. Oh my beloved dancer pose. This is my “go to” for great stretching, for peace, for balance. There’s a great deal of balance in this posture and, as I teach my students, you can start with the foot barely off the ground. Any level of balance in this posture is great!
Do you have a favorite yoga posture?