My Yoga Tutorials

ARDHA CHANDRASANA    

(Half Moon Balance)  

The extension of your torso in one direction and the uplifted leg in the other draws a line that represents the flat edge of a half moon, while the energy in your extended arms and standing leg radiate out like beams in the night sky.

 

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose) is both the entrance and the exit to Ardha Chandrasana

How to perform:

 

Starting in utthita trikonasana on the right side, drop the left hand onto the hip and turn the gaze down towards the right toes.

 

Bend the right knee and step in closer with the back leg so that you can balance on the tip toes of the left foot. Place your right fingertips 20 cm in front of the toes, bending the right knee as much as needed.

Rooting through the front foot, pulling up all the way to the core, transfer your weight completely & begin lifting the left leg up to hip height behind. Flex the foot.

 

Be sure to open up the hips so that the right hip bone stacks directly above the left. Begin looking down, but gradually begin to turn the gaze forward and then up to the lifted left hand.

 

ADANCED:

As one progresses with confidence in this pose, so the student can begin lifting the supporting fingers off the ground.

For a further challenge, bend the lifted leg and catch the foot with the opposite hand.

 

Benefits

  • Helps relieve lower back pain, indigestion, gastritis and constipation

  • Strengthens back, legs, ankles, hips, and abdomen

  • Increases flexibility of spinal muscles

  • Relieves fatigue, stress & depression

  • Eases premenstrual tension

GARUDASANA

(Eagle Pose)

This challenging standing balance is proudly named, Eagle Pose. A bird of prey is strong, confident and feared, just as the pose demands strength, flexibility, stability, courage & a sense of calm.  

 

Start in Tadasana (mountain pose) and bend your knees, as if moving into chair pose. Lift the right leg and cross the thigh over the left thigh. Wrap the right foot behind the left calf muscle if possible. Squeeze the thighs together and bend deep into the hips and legs.

Lift your left arm up, in an ‘L’ shape, in front of you.

 

The elbow should be level with the shoulder nd the lower arm in the centre in front of the sternum. Wrap the Right arm underneath & around the left arm. Try to join the palms of the hands.

 

Gaze forward. Keep sinking into the legs, drawing navel to the spine and lifting the upper arms up and the lower arms away from the head.

 

Benefits

 

  • Helps relieve: Asthma, Low backache, Sciatica

  • Stretches & strengthens the muscles & joints of the legs and hips

  • Strengthens the core

  • Improves concentration

PRASARITA PADOTTANASANA

(Wide Legged Forward Fold)

Step the feet 3-4 feet apart. Turn the toes in slightly so that the feet are slightly pigeon-toed. Press into the outside of the feet to activate the inner ankle and leg. Bring the hands onto hips. Inhale as you lift the chest and take a slight back bend to lengthen the spine. Exhale to tilt from the hips and fold forward over the legs. Aim the crown of the head to the floor. Continue to lengthen into the spine.

 

A – Place hands on the floor underneath the shoulders to begin. As you deepen into the pose begin to walk the hands towards the heels bending the elbows backwards (chaturanga arms).

 

B - Keep hands on the hips and balance the forward fold by pressing strongly into the legs and feet, engaging the core and lengthening the spine.

 

C – Hands interlace behind the back. As you fold forward, drop the arms overhead, aiming to get the hands to the floor. This is intense internal rotation of the shoulder joint so sensitivity should be practiced here.

 

D- As you fold forward, take the 1st 2 fingers and grab hold of the big toes. Use the strength of the pull to bend the elbows out to the side and stretch between the shoulder blades. Draw the shoulders down the back & away from the ears.

 

Benefits

 

  • Stretches, strengthens & increases flexibility in the hips, hamstrings, adductors, and glutes

  • Increases blood flow to the forehead and crown of the head which stimulates the pituitary and pineal glands to release feel-good hormones like melatonin and serotonin.

  • Stretches the spine.

  • B & C stretches & opens up the chest

  • C & D stretches the shoulders

Revolved Side Angle Pose aka PARIVRTTA PARSVAKONASANA

Level 1

From Crescent Lunge with the right leg forward, stay on the ball of the left foot, ensuring the inner left foot is parallel to the inner right foot. Firm your thighs and turn your right thigh outward, so that the center of the kneecap is in line with the center of the right ankle. Bring your hands to prayer at the heart centre. Exhale and turn your torso to the right until you’re facing directly out over the right leg; hooking the right elbow on the outside of the knee as you do this. If possible bring the right thigh parallel to the floor. Keep your left leg active by pressing the thigh up toward the ceiling and extending strongly through the left heel. At the same time, resist the lift of the left thigh by pressing the tailbone toward the pubis.

Level 2

With another exhale turn further to the right and lean the torso down, placing the left hand on the floor inside the right foot. Work resistance between the knee and elbow. Dig your right thumb into the right hip crease and push the thighbone down toward the floor. Firm the shoulder blades into the back ribs and lean the torso back slightly, away from the inner thigh. Stay in this position for a few breaths. If possible, straighten your left elbow and reach the hand toward the floor (It’s possible to use a block to ‘elevate’ the floor) You can keep your right hand on your hip, or stretch it over the back of the right ear with the palm facing down. Then turn your head to look at the right arm. As in all twists lengthen and soften the belly, extend the spine with each inhalation, and increase the twist as you exhale.

Level 3

If this position seems challenging then stay here and breathe. For a deeper challenge, internally rotate your left elbow and bring the arm underneath the right leg. Reach around with the top arm and let the left hand grab the right wrist or fingers. Open your chest and shoulders and just breathe.

Benefits

  • Strengthens and stretches the legs, knees, and ankles

  • Stretches the groins, spine, chest and lungs, and shoulders

  • Stimulates abdominal organs

  • Increases strength & stamina

  • Improves digestion & aids elimination

  • Improves concentration & balance

Extended Side Angle Pose aka UTTHITA PARSVAKONASANA

Level 1: Keep the elbow resting on the thigh with the palm facing upwards. Use the elbow and lower arm to press the knee backwards to open up the inner thigh and hip. The top arm is straight with the palm facing downwards. Press into the outside of the back foot to keep the muscles on the inside of the leg stretching. Open the ribcage towards the sky. The gaze is slightly down and angled diagonally across the body.

 

Level 2: This is the same as for level one except that the arm is in front of the leg with the hand/fingers resting in front of the foot on the floor. (This level can be done with the hand behind the foot). Press the shoulder into the knee to keep it pressing open.

 

Level 3: Release the bottom and hand & bring it underneath the leg. Reach around with the top arm and find a bind with the top hand pulling on the bottom wrist. Now spread the chest and breathe. Soften the neck.

Benefits:

  • Strengthens and stretches the legs, knees, and ankles

  • Stretches the groins, spine, waist, chest and lungs, and shoulders

  • Stimulates abdominal organs

  • Increases stamina

  • Relieves: Constipation, Infertility, Low backache pain, Osteoporosis, Sciatica, Menstrual discomfort