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Yoga

Wide-Legged Forward Bend with Shoulder Opener

Wide-Legged Forward Bend with Shoulder Opener

A.

Stand with feet wide apart, clasp hands behind back, and take a big inhale to open the chest.

B.

On the exhale, soften knees and fold forward, letting the head fall toward the ground. Keep shoulders away from ears. Try not to shrug. For a deeper shoulder opening, press the meat of your palms together. Breathe here for 5 to 10 deep breaths.

Standing Forward Fold Variation

Standing Forward Fold Variation

A.

Begin standing in mountain pose.

B.

Take a deep inhale to reach arms up overhead, framing face.

C.

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.

D.

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.

Wide-Knee Child's Pose

Wide-Knee Child's Pose

A.

Kneel with knees wide enough apart for torso to fit between thighs, and crawl hands forward.

B.

Keeping arms long and in front of you, allow forehead to rest on the ground. Breathe here for 10 or more deep breaths.

Cat-Cow

Cat-Cow

A.

Start in tabletop position on all fours, hands directly under shoulders and knees under hips with toes untucked. Inhale, lifting the tailbone and crown of head to arch back, looking up. 

B.

Exhale and tuck chin and drop tailbone, rounding spine.  

Downward Dog

Downward Dog

A.

Start on floor in plank on palms. Lift hips, pushing them back so body forms an upside-down V, pulling abs toward spine and driving heels toward floor. Hold for 10 deep breaths, then return to start.

Extended Side Angle

Extended Side Angle

A.

Stand with feet wide and hands on hips. Turn left foot out to left and bend left knee so left thigh is parallel to floor. Place left hand on floor in front of left foot and extend right arm overhead and reaching toward right, palm facing down. Hold for 10 deep breaths. Switch sides; repeat.

Bridge

Bridge

A.

Lie faceup on floor with legs bent and feet flat and hip-width apart, arms by sides on floor to start. Lift hips so body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees. Interlace hands on floor under hips, pressing palms together and rolling shoulders back and down. Hold for 10 deep breaths, then lower to start.

Half Pigeon

Half Pigeon

A.

From down dog, bring bent left leg forward, rotating knee toward left wrist and left ankle toward right wrist so shin is parallel to body. Tent hands and walk fingertips forward to lean torso forward until head is close to or on floor. Hold for 10 deep breaths. Switch sides; repeat.

8-Angle Pose

8-Angle Pose

A.

Sit on floor with knees bent and feet flat, arms by sides. Pick up right leg and slide right shoulder under right knee. Squeeze right shoulder with right leg (as if you are clamping your shoulder or upper arm with the back of your knee or calf). Plant hands on floor outside hips. Cross right ankle over left and bend arms back as you lift body off floor, leaning torso forward to counter-balance. Extend legs toward left. Hold for 15 seconds (or as long as you can). Switch sides; repeat. That's 1 set.

Crow

Crow

A.

Stand with feet hip-width apart and arms by sides. Crouch and plant hands on floor. Shift your weight into hands as you rise onto tiptoes, bringing knees to rest on triceps, soft elbows; gaze forward. Slowly rock forward to lift feet one at a time to balance on your hands. Hold for 15 seconds (or as long as you can). Lower 1 foot at a time.

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