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Cow Face Pose

Begin on hands and knees. Cross right knee in front left, winging feet out to either side. Very gently use hands to bring sitz bones to the ground inside of heels. Reach left arm high, and bend the elbow so left hand falls between shoulder blades. Reach right hand up your back, bending right elbow, to clasp left hand. If your hands don't reach, you can grab the back of your shirt or use a strap. Stay upright for a deep breath, then hinge forward from your hips to fold forward. Breathe here for 5 deep breaths, releasing the arms if your shoulders begin to tense. Repeat on the other side.

Photo: Heidi Kristoffer

Supported Fish Pose Variation

While sitting on the ground with legs in front of you, place a medium-height block behind you beneath where shoulder blades will lie. Bend knees and place feet on the ground, hip-width apart. Using arms, slowly lower upper back to gently rest on the block, adjusting placement until you are comfortable. Ideally, the block is where your bra line would be. Next, clasp hands behind head and allow elbows and head to release toward the ground. Allow knees to fall away from one another toward the ground, keeping feet together. Stay here for at least 10 deep breaths.

Photo: Heidi Kristoffer

Eagle Arms

Begin seated kneeling, or any way that's comfortable. Wrap right arm under left arm, take forearms together, and press palms together, fingertips facing up. Reach elbows up to shoulder height, fingertips facing away from you to deepen the shoulder opening. Breathe here for 5 to 10 deep breaths and repeat on other side.

Photo: Heidi Kristoffer

Dolphin at Wall

Place forearms on the wall parallel to one another below shoulder height, fingertips up, keeping elbows shoulder-distance apart. Take a few steps back from the wall and allow head to relax down between arms. Torso should be parallel to the ground. Breathe here for 5 to 10 deep breaths.

Photo: Heidi Kristoffer

Standing Forward Fold Variation

Stand in mountain pose. Take a deep inhale to reach arms up overhead, framing face. Use exhale to engage navel to spine and swan dive over legs with a flat back. Grab hold of opposite elbows and hang, swaying side to side (if comfortable) to loosen lower back. Press all four corners of both feet into the ground and lift sitz bones toward the ceiling. Relax head and neck, and for this variation, soften knees. Breathe here for 5 to 10 deep breaths.

Photo: Heidi Kristoffer