Now that you’ve seen all the cool places yoga can take you, it’s time to begin your own practice—or take it to the next level. The following index of poses is designed to guide you though the postures demonstrated by the instructors from Strala Yoga in Shape’s Yoga Anywhere video series. Many of the descriptions listed here are excerpted from the book Yoga Cures by Tara Stiles. If you’re interested in a more comprehensive guide to yoga and its benefits, you can learn more about her book here.
Sit on your hips, keep your back long, lean back slightly, hold your belly in and up, and lift your legs up so your shins are parallel with the ground. If this is too much pressure, grab hold of your ankles for support. Stay here for ten long, deep breaths.
Hug your right knee with your arms. If there’s room press the bottom of your right foot into your left elbow, wrap your right arm around your right thigh, and join your hands to cradle the leg. If that hurts your knee, hold your right foot with your left hand and your right knee with your right hand. Lengthen torso and sit up tall. Relax your shoulders downward. Sway your left leg from side to side to open your hip.
If your hips feel open, press your right hand under your right calf and bring your right leg to rest on top of your right shoulder. Grab the outside of your right foot with your left hand. Press your right fingertips into the ground alongside your right hip. Lean right, look under your left arm, and gaze upward. If there is room in your hamstrings, begin to straighten your right leg and keep opening your torso upward and toward your left. If it stops at the right upper arm, that’s fine. Stay here for five long deep breaths.
Come into a low lunge with your right leg forward. Gently lower your right leg, still bent at the knee, so that it’s resting in front of you in a reverse V. Your right knee will lie on the ground by your right hand and your right foot will lie by your left hand. Rest your hips on the ground or on a blanket or pillow. Sit up as tall as you can in this position. Your hips and shoulders should be working toward facing the front. Stay here for ten long, deep breaths.
If it feels good in your pigeon, bend your back knee and grab hold of the inside of that ankle with your left hand. Gently pull your foot toward your thigh. If there is any pain in the knees, let go, back out of this slowly, and relax. If it feels good and there is room to go further, slide your foot into the crook of your elbow and link hands. Stay here for five long, deep breaths.
Sit up nice and tall, however you can sit most comfortably. If you have a headboard on your bed, lean against it. Relax your shoulders so that they are away from your ears. Rest your hands on your thighs and close your eyes. Start to rest your attention on your breath. Watch your inhales come and exhales go. Settle your mind in the space between. Begin to lengthen and deepen your inhales and exhales, setting a slow, easy pace of breathing. If a thought starts to enter your mind, simply observe it like a cloud passing by. Continue observing your breath for three to five minutes.
Sit up tall and open your legs to the sides until you feel a little tension but not so much that it is uncomfortable. Walk your hands forward between your legs and keep your torso long. Stay here for ten long, deep breaths favoring the exhales a bit more than the inhales to encourage tension to release.