In New York City, we love getting our om on. So we took to the streets to show off our favorite yoga poses
New York City is a wild place—with its bright lights (hello, Times Square!), soaring skyscrapers (looking at you, One World Trade), and a population of 8.2 million people, it's basically the furthest setting imaginable from the zen atmosphere you associate with yoga. And yet, there are 300 yoga studios in NYC—that's more studios than Starbucks stores! Clearly, New Yorkers love to get their om on. And they'll do it pretty much anywhere, from the rooftops of the Financial District to the Great Lawn at Central Park. To prove it, we took to the streets to show off our favorite poses that celebrate this yoga-loving city. Watch the video, then add them to your own practice. (And Take Our 30-Day Yoga Challenge!)
Bridge (or Wheel) Pose
A Begin lying on your back with your knees bent and feet on the ground hip-width apart. Outer edges of your feet are parallel.
B Bend your elbows and place your hands on either side of your head shoulder-width apart with fingers pointing toward shoulders.
C Pressing into your feet and hands equally, lift your hips and lengthen your arms. Keep pressing into your feet through the big toes and reach your chest away from your feet as you stay here for at least three deep breaths.
A Begin standing in mountain pose. Transfer your weight into your right foot and bend left your knee and open from your hip out to the left.
B Keeping your hip open, place the bottom of your left foot on the inside of your right thigh or shin (not the knee). (Psst... Yoga Isn't All About Being Flexible.)
A Begin standing in mountain pose. Shift your weight onto your left leg. Bend right knee and grab the inside of your right calf or ankle with your right hand.
B Gently press your right shin into your right hand to open your back.
C Reach your left arm straight up and a bit forward to counterbalance. Gaze upward. Breathe here for at least three deep breaths, and then repeat on the other side.
A Begin in warrior II with your right leg forward. Lengthen your right leg so that both legs are straight.
B Stay facing the left, and bend from your hip joint as you reach your right arm forward and down toward your right shin. Lean the side of your torso forward in the same plane as your front leg. Keep both sides of your torso long.
C Rest your right hand on your right shin or, if there is space, bring your fingertips to the ground inside of your front foot, or to a block for added stability. Be careful not to place your hand on your knee.
D Extend your left arm up above your shoulders, in a straight line with your right arm. Look up at your left thumb, and breathe here for at least three deep breaths, then repeat on other side.
A Begin on all fours. Interlace your fingers loosely, and place them and your forearms on the ground, elbows lined up with your shoulders. Place the top of your head on the ground so that your fingers hold the back of your head. Stay here for a few breaths to get comfortable.
B Next, tuck your toes, lift your hips high, and straighten your legs. Start to walk your feet toward your body so that your hips line up over your shoulders and your back is straight up and down.
C If you are comfortable here, bend one knee in and your bring heel to your butt. Bring it back down and try the other leg.
D If you are steady with one leg, try both legs at the same time. When your heels are pulled in toward your butt, slowly extend your legs straight up. Feet can be flointed or pointed. Breathe here for at least three deep breaths if you can.
E When you are ready to come down, slowly lower one leg at a time and rest in child's pose for a few breaths. (Still struggling? Here's how to Master This Move.)
A Stand at the front of your mat with your big toes touching and the outer edges of your feet parallel. Your weight should be evenly distributed, feeling all four corners of your feet equally routing into the ground.
B Relax your arms and hands by your sides with your palms faced outward in a gesture of openness. Keep your neck long, the back of your skull lifting up—like a balloon is attached—and your chin level to the ground.
C Reach your shoulder blades toward each other, and knit your front ribs in. Tailbone reaches down toward the ground. Keep your legs straight with a soft bend to prevent hyperextension. Keep your face, jaw, and eyes soft. Breathe here for at least three deep breaths.