New to yoga or looking for tips to enhance your home yoga practice. Spritz Wellness founder and yoga teacher Laura Colucci has provided some insight into some common yoga poses.
Read on to explore simple alignment techniques and benefits for each pose.
A popular balancing pose. Always start by grounding down through your standing leg. I like to spread my toes wide to see the mat between my toes, creating a solid foundation.
Be sure in this pose that the bent knee foot is either above or below the knee. (Not at the knee!) To maintain your balance focus on a fixed point in front of you and connect with your breath.
Don’t worry if you fall out, just get back in. Like all things, if at first you don’t get it, persevere. This is one of those poses that teaches you patience.
There are endless arm variations for this pose. Play with raising your arms overhead, reverse namaste or cactus arms.
If you really want a challenge, close your eyes in the pose. A tip to keep your balance with your eyes closed is to visualise yourself in the pose in your minds eye. Give it a try!
Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana/Upward Facing Dog Pose.
This back-bending asana is lovely for opening up the chest. It’s often practiced as part of chaturanga so I encourage you to slow down your transitions and really hold this pose to experience all of its lovely benefits.
Things to consider in the pose, press into your palms, work to straighten your arms and draw your shoulders down your back. Turning the crease of your elbows to face forward.
As you press down through the palms of your hands, think of drawing your hips towards your wrists to deepen your back bend.
Press into the tops or your feet and if you can lift your knees and thighs a few inches off of the mat. Being mindful not to compress into your lower back. Soften your glutes.
Look straight ahead or tip the head back slightly but avoid straining the neck.
Benefits of this pose is that it aids with digestion, opens up the chest improving your posture and helps relieve fatigue and sciatica.
Adho Mukha Shvanasana/Downward Facing Dog
Probably the most widely recognised yoga pose. There are a lot of alignment points for this posture. However, my main teaching point for this pose is get length through your spine! This inversion is an inverted V not an inverted U. In many bodies (due to tight hamstrings and hips) in order to get length through the spine this requires you to bend your knees.
Notice as soon as you bend your knees and take tight hips and hamstrings out of the equation you can create lovely length through your spine. Give it a try.
Lovely arm balance that works to build strength into the abdominals and wrists. This posture requires getting the knees securely up into the backs of the arms and engaging the core. Drawing the navel in will help you to get more lift in the pose. If you are starting out place a bolster below your forehead in case you fall forward. Work towards lifting one toe off the mat and then the other, then getting your big toes to touch.
Crow pose can cause a lot of strain on the wrists, but at the same time it is a good pose for building strength into the wrists.
If this posture comes easy for you, then try taking your head down on to the mat and rise up into headstand.
Bakasana is a very playful asana. Don't take yourself to seriously in the pose, if you fall out try again. Its a great pose for building endurance and mental focus.
Don't forget to wipe your Yoga Mat Clean before or after practice.