Category Archives: Yoga Videos

Extended Hand Pose Cues


Here are helpful cues to practice Extended Hand Pose Cues correctly and safely

  1. Practice Tadasanaactions and alignment, then raise the arms overhead with the hands shoulder-distance apart and palms facing each other
  2. Notice if when lifted the arms, the front ribs flared; if so, descend them towards the frontal hipbones
  3. Spin the biceps back while firming the triceps into the midline –OR –
  4. Roll the inner upper arms towards the wall behind you while engaging the outer upper arms
  5. Allow the shoulder blades to spin out and up away from the spine and towards the outer armpits (upward rotation) in order to maintain the articulation of the bones of the shoulder and spaciousness at the base of the neck
  6. Draw the upper arms back and in line with the ears, but only to the extent you can do so without the front ribs protruding (this is a sign that you are moving the spine instead of opening the shoulders)
  7. If able to keep the arms straight, reach up and touch palms, gazing into thumbs
  8. Hold for 5-10 breaths then release

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Standing Forward Bend


Here are helpful cues to practice Standing Forward Bend correctly and safely

  1. Begin in Tadasanaat the front of the mat with the hands at the hips
  2. Inhale, lengthen the spine and engage the quadriceps
  3. Exhale, hinge at the hips, folding forward and placing the hands on the floor on either side of the feet, finger tips in line with toes
  4. Inhale, reach the chest forward and up, rocking the weight forward and pulling the arms straight
  5. Exhale, keeping the weight forward and the front body long, fold in towards the legs descending the crown of the head to the floor
  6. Draw the shoulder blades away from the spine and towards the back waist so the base of the neck is spacious and uncongested
  7. Notice if the weight has moved back into the heels; instead, press down with the big toe mounds and rock the weight forward so the hips stack over the heels rather than behind them
  8. Continue to engage the quadriceps to facilitate the release of the hamstrings
  9. Hold for 5-10 breaths, then,
  10. Inhale, pull the chest forward and up again, extending the sternum away from the navel and broadening the collarbones
  11. Exhale, place the hands at the hips
  12. Rooting down firmly with the feet, on an inhale use the strength of the legs to press up to standing
  13. Return to Tadasan

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Camel Pose Cues


Here are helpful cues to practice Camel Pose correctly and safely

  1. Begin kneeling with the thighs perpendicular to the floor, and the knees and feet hips distance apart
  2. Extend the big toes straight back, pressing down with all 10 toenails and firming the outer ankles into the midline
  3. Spin the inner thighs back and gently release the flesh of the buttocks towards the backs of the knees
  4. The pelvis is neutral, neither spilling forward nor spilling back, and stacks directly over the knees
  5. Root down from the tops of the feet to the knees; rebound up with the chest
  6. Bring the palms together in front of the sternum and drop the chin towards the sternum
  7. Take an inhale to emphasize the lift of the chest, then create Savasana arms (palms facing forward) and with the next exhale
  8. Keeping the chin dropping and the pelvis over the knees, take the hands to the heels
  9. Immediately press the shoulder blades forward and up and coil the thoracic spine to lift the chest any amount more
  10. Having created more space/extension in the upper back, head can now drop back and hang free
  11. Continue pressing down with the feet and lower legs in order to lift up with the thoracic spine and chest
  12. Hold for 5-10 breaths, then, leading with the sternum, use an inhale to come up (head is the last part of the body to exit

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Upward Facing Dog Pose


Here are helpful cues to practice Upward-Facing Dog Pose correctly and safely

  1. Begin on belly with feet hips distance apart and hands placed beside lower ribs
  2. Extend big toes straight back and press down with all ten toenails to activate quadriceps
  3. Spin inner thighs to the ceiling (to broaden the lower back) while firming outer ankles into the midline (to prevent feet from sickling)
  4. Press down with hands and feet, and use an inhale to straighten arms and lift legs
  5. Stack shoulders directly over wrists –adjust feet to ensure this relationship
  6. With arms perpendicular to the floor, feet anchored and legs active, draw the chest forward and up
  7. Pull out of the lower back and into the upper back
  8. Draw the shoulders back while rooting down through the inner hand
  9. Once the thoracic spine is mobilized, raise the gaze
  10. Curve of the neck is a continuation of the curve of the mid and upper back
  11. Hold for 5 breaths then release

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Find the Deeper Meaning of Ahimsa Through a Pigeon Pose Mini-Practice


Learn to recognize the subtle ways you may be causing harm by taking personal inventory and holding yourself accountable.

When it comes to yoga philosophy, you may believe you have the concept of ahimsa (non-harming) covered. After all, odds are you aren’t physically violent. But the ways you harm yourself (or others) can be subtle, and it can be simply take place with a fleeting thought.

Here, Rina Jakubowicz—yoga teacher, author, and creator of YJ’s new class series, Empowered Vinyasa—leads you through a brief talk and Pigeon Pose mini-practice to help you recognize the deeper meaning of ahimsa.

See also Cultivate Contentment with a Simple Leg-Balancing Practice.

Feel like you’ve lost your sense of Self in the noise of social media or societal expectations? It’s time to get on the mat and reclaim who you are. Join author and yoga teacher Rina Jakubowicz for Empowered Vinyasa: Journey to Your Highest Self, a series of 10 yoga classes and companion dharma talks that zero in on principles of yoga philosophy—from The Bhagavad Gita and the Hindu spiritual tradition Vedanta—that are essential to self-exploration. Sign up today!

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A Gentle Seated Practice to Shift Your Perspective


Use this short, feel-good sequence when your day could use a dose of positivity – fast.

Are your thought patterns stuck in a rut? According to the ancient spiritual tradition of Vedanta, there’s a concept that can help you elude its clutches. Pratipaksha bhavana is the idea of shifting your perspective to a higher ideal. 

Here, Rina Jakubowicz—yoga teacher, author, and creator of YJ’s new class series, Empowered Vinyasa—leads a gentle five-minute practice to help you embody pratipaksha bhavana when you’re seeing the world through a negative filter. This yummy sequence will help you find peace and loosen up your neck, shoulders, and upper spine.

See also Cultivate Contentment with a Simple Leg-Balancing Practice.

Feel like you’ve lost your sense of Self in the noise of social media or societal expectations? It’s time to get on the mat and reclaim who you are. Join author and yoga teacher Rina Jakubowicz for Empowered Vinyasa: Journey to Your Highest Self, a series of 10 yoga classes and companion dharma talks that zero in on principles of yoga philosophy—from The Bhagavad Gita and the Hindu spiritual tradition Vedanta—that are essential to self-exploration. Sign up today!

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Upward Bow Pose


Here are helpful cues to practice Upward Bow Pose correctly and safely

  1. Begin on the back with the knees bent and the feet planted beneath the knees
  2. Place the feet hips distance apart and parallel, with the knees also hips distance apart
  3. Take the hands back and place them on either side of the ears with the fingers pointing towards the shoulders
  4. Without letting the feet or the knees splay apart, take an inhale, then use an exhale to lift up part way and lower on to the crown of the head
  5. On the crown of the head, pin the elbows into the midline, draw the upper arms into socket, and coil the thoracic spine to bring more movement into the upper back
  6. Maintaining all these actions, with the next inhale press down with the hands and feet and lift into the pose
  7. Work the arms as straight as possible, but keep at least a slight bend in the knees
  8. Make sure the feet have not turned out and root down with the big toe mounds
  9. Spin the inner thighs to the floor and direct the flesh of the buttocks towards the backs of the knees
  10. Let the head hang freely and lift the sternum in the direction you are facing while directing the tailbone towards the feet
  11. To deepen, walk the feet closer to the hands, keeping the forearms and shin perpendicular to the floor and parallel to each other
  12. Hold for 5-10 breaths, walk the feet out if they had moved in) then lower directly to the floor (without stopping on the crown

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Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend Pose


Here are helpful cues to practice Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend correctly and safely

  1. Begin facing the long side of the mat, arms stretched out to the sides with the feet parallel to each other and beneath the wrists
  2. Once the stance has been established, take the hands to the hips
  3. Press down with the big toe mounds while pulling up with the inner arches
  4. Engage the quadriceps without locking the knees
  5. Use an inhale to lengthen the spine, then on an exhale begin to hinge at the hips bringing the torso forward and down
  6. Initiate the forward fold by tilting the pelvis forward; the movement is in the hips and the spine remains straight in the early stages
  7. Place the hands on the floor between the feet; hands should be shoulder-distance apart and fingertips in line with the toes
  8. Inhale, reach the chest forward and up to lengthen the front body; exhale fold forward and direct the crown of the head towards the floor
  9. With the head hanging, adjust the hands back so the elbows stack over the wrists and draw the shoulders away from the floor
  10. Continue to engage the quadriceps to facilitate the lengthening of the hamstrings
  11. Keep the weight evenly distributed through the feet; the tendency is to be too far back in the heels so consider bringing more weight into the front foot so the hips stack over the heels
  12. Hold for 5-10 breaths, then use an inhale to come up part way; place the hands on the hips, root down firmly with the feet and use the strength of the legs to return to an upright position

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