Yoga Diaries: Week 1

by mandy lipka

A few weeks ago, I picked up a 50-card practice deck to keep myself disciplined in yoga when I’m not taking or skipping classes. Each card features photos and instructions for various poses by Rodney Yee— a very popular instructor who’s been on Oprah and in Time, People and USA Today.  Each week I’ll be picking three poses to do daily.

Here goes discipline.

Standing Pose #15: TREE POSE

Phew. A favorite of mine. Relatively easy as you’re allowed to sway and fall, but the reward is in eventually staying completely still.

Press down into your heels and rise up from the arches of your feet.

Reach your arms over your head and rise up through your core.

Keep breathing for about 30 seconds and let the energy trace through your spine to your head.

Bring your hands to your chest and lower your foot. Shake it off if you need to and repeat.

This guy’s got good form, but I recommend leaving the hats aside so you can stretch your arms completely.

Seated Pose #36: STAFF POSE

Press the backs of your thighs, calves and heels into the ground and flex your feet. Press open hands flat on the ground (shoulders straight) and lift your chest. Lengthen your waist and imagine your legs are buried so that you are lifting your torso to break free.

This one makes my arms feel short. It’s tough to keep hands flat and back straight at the same time.

Standing Pose #14: SIDE ANGLE POSE

Stretch your legs as if you’re going into a lunge with one foot facing forward and the other out. Keep your heels aligned and ground your pelvis in the direction of your back leg as you elongate your waste with the reach of your top arm (straight over your head). Lay your other hand flat next to the foot facing forward. For example, if your right foot is lunging forward, place your right hand beside it and stretch your left overhead, chest out, face up.

Dig your heels deeply as you launch your chest from your pelvis and rotate your knees away from each other. As you place your bottom arm for support, align yourself from your back heel through your fingertips.

I really enjoy this pose but it definitely reminds me to drink less dark, hoppy beer!

Please try these poses and let me know your thoughts. Which one(s) are more challenging, energizing? Do any of these poses not really do it for you at all? Share your experience below. Namaste.


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