Category Archives: How-To: Beginner Poses

Rest Your Way to Self-Love

Try this variation of Savasana to give your mind, body, and spirit a break from everyday stress and a view into contentment.

When I took my first yoga class, I did not like Savasana. Not even the tiniest bit. I had enjoyed the active stretching poses, and when asked to lie down on my mat at the end of class, I felt confused about what we were doing and why we were doing it. I had negative judgments about “lying here and wasting time.” Needless to say, I was soon sold on the absolute value of being still. Now, I fly all over the world teaching people to do nothing—and I’m here to show you how it’s done.

See also Tempted to Skip Savasana? 10 Top Yoga Teachers Explain Why It’s the Most Important Pose

This pose…

  • Is familiar to almost all yoga students. 
  • Creates the potential for very deep relaxation. 
  • Can be practiced with a variety of setups, with or without props, depending on the circumstances. 
  • Is the most basic pose of Restorative Yoga and thus the most important. 
  • Lowers blood pressure. 
  • Effectively slows heart and respiratory rates. 
  • Remains a good choice for practitioners with no lower-back issues.

Avoid this pose if you…

  • Cannot easily get up from or down to the floor. 
  • Are past the first trimester of pregnancy. 
  • Have experienced some form of trauma that makes you anxious or uncomfortable to lie on the floor in a vulnerable, open position.

Props…

  • 1 sticky mat 
  • 1 bolster 
  • 1 block (If you are using a round bolster, you do not need a block.) 
  • 5 firm blankets, including a covering blanket (not shown) 
  • 1 eye bag or hand towel to cover your eyes 
  • 2 large eye bags, one for each hand (optional, not shown)

See also The Best

Try This Shaking Exercise Before You Start Your Yoga Practice


Forero Puerta starts her workshops with a shaking practice, which she leads to the beat of up-tempo, rhythmic music.

Stand and close your eyes if it feels safe, or soften your gaze, relaxing your eyelids. Forero Puerta starts her workshops with a shaking practice, which she leads to the beat of up-tempo, rhythmic music. Wiggle all of your fingers, rotate your wrists, and raise and drop your shoulders. Shake your arms and legs. Start jumping and continue for the length of a song while tapping (head, collarbone, or another area) to invite more sensation to various parts of your body.     

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Master Warrior 1 Pose (Plus Four Adaptions)

Warrior Pose I Virabhadra = a hero or warrior from the Mahabharata asana = pose

Virabhadrasana I

Move with Ease

Stand with one foot a comfortable distance forward, and your back foot at a slight angle to the front (45 degrees or less). Your hips and shoulders face forward. On an inhalation, bend your front knee, placing your chest slightly ahead of your pelvis as you arch your back, and lift your arms. On an exhalation, straighten your front knee and lower your arms, moving back to the starting position.

KEEP YOUR CHIN LEVEL

So you avoid compression in your neck.

BRING YOUR CHEST SLIGHTLY PAST YOUR PELVIS

So you avoid compression in your low back.

KEEP YOUR KNEE OVER YOUR ANKLE

Make sure to protect your joints; don’t let your knee move past your ankle.

See also Warrior I Pose

 Virabhadrasana I Adaptations 

About our Author

Yoga therapist Gary Kraftsow evolved this approach to yoga from the teachings transmitted by T. Krishnamacharya and T.K.V. Desikachar of Madras, India. Gary is the director and senior teacher of the American Viniyoga Institute; the author of two books: Yoga for Wellness and Yoga for Transformation, four DVDs, and several online workshops, including Pranayama Unlocked, Meditation Unlocked, Yoga Therapy for Depression, Yoga Therapy for Better Sleep, Yoga Therapy for Anxiety, and Asana Unlocked. Learn more at viniyoga.com.

About our Model

Model Evan Soroka is a Viniyoga therapist in Aspen, Colorado. Learn more at evansoroka.com.

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Energy Medicine Yoga: This Variation on Eye-of-the-Needle Pose Boosts Vitality


Strengthen your immune system with this modified version that activates a powerful underlying energy system called Celtic Weave.

Keep your health in check by modifying your Sucirandhrasana (Eye-of-the-Needle Pose) with a powerful Energy Medicine Yoga technique. Here, teachers Lauren Walker and Donna Eden—who both lead our online course, Energy Medicine Yoga—share how a slight tweak activates a powerful energy system called Celtic Weave.

Watch also Why Do Certain People Trigger You? Five Element Theory Explains

In YJ’s online course, Energy Medicine Yoga: Transformation Through the Subtle Body, renowned energy healer and Eden Energy Medicine pioneer Donna Eden and Energy Medicine Yoga creator Lauren Walker lead an eight-week training that will shift longstanding patterns in your underlying energy. Find out more and sign up today!

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Energy Medicine Yoga: This Variation on Cobra Pose Improves Circulation in the Subtle Body


Strengthen your subtle energy systems and step up blood flow with this variation from Lauren Walker.

Get both energy and blood flowing better through your body with a modified Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose). Here, Lauren Walker and Donna Eden—who co-teach our upcoming course, Energy Medicine Yoga—show you how to strengthen your subtle energy systems and step up your circulation with just a few simple additions to this yoga posture.

In YJ’s new online course, Energy Medicine Yoga: Transformation Through the Subtle Body, renowned energy healer and Eden Energy Medicine pioneer Donna Eden and Energy Medicine Yoga creator Lauren Walker lead an eight-week training that will shift longstanding patterns in your underlying energy, which affects your mind, body, and spirit. You will learn how to activate your innate healing for greater balance, vitality, and well-being. Find out more and sign up today!

Watch also Why the Subtle Body Isn’t So Subtle After All

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Energy Medicine Yoga: This Variation on Anjali Mudra Releases Pent-Up Emotions


The modification taps into a powerful meridian that governs your stress response.

When it comes to working with your subtle energy, a slight alteration in hand position can make all the difference. For example, let’s take Anjali Mudra (Salutation Seal). Here, teachers Donna Eden and Lauren Walker—who both lead our upcoming course, Energy Medicine Yoga—show you a modification that connects your throat and heart chakras and taps into a powerful meridian that governs your fight, flight, or freeze response. The results? You’ll release “stuck” energy and suppressed emotions, so you can free yourself from stress and tap into inner calm and compassion.

Watch also Relieve Anxiety with a Simple 30-Second Practice

In YJ’s new online course, Energy Medicine Yoga: Transformation Through the Subtle Body, renowned energy healer and Eden Energy Medicine pioneer Donna Eden and Energy Medicine Yoga creator Lauren Walker lead an eight-week training that will shift longstanding patterns in your underlying energy, which affects your mind, body, and spirit. You will learn how to activate your innate healing for greater balance, vitality, and well-being. Find out more and sign up today!

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