20.5.16

Yoga for Energy - part 2

Now that we have looked at how to start your practice and warm up, let’s look at four postures which will further open the body and stimulate the nervous and endocrine systems.

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Utthita Trikonasana (Triangle Posture)


This is a beautiful and dynamic posture synergistically opening the muscles at the side of the spine and the inner thigh. Hold the posture for five breaths and work your way up from there…..but remember the most important thing is to enjoy it!!!



Start with the right side. Turn the right foot to the side and the left foot inwards. Raise the arms as you inhale.


Tip over to the right side. Don’t let the body turn towards the right leg – keep the torso flat to the front. Reach for the right toe. In the beginning you might need to place the right hand on the right shin until you develop the flexibility to take hold of the big toe.




Repeat on the left side.

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Uttitha Parsvakonasana (Extended side angle pose)

Another dynamic and grounding posture that builds strength and opens the heart.
Start by coming in to Warrior 2. Bend the right leg 90 degrees and raise the arms.


Exhale and tip over to the right side placing the hand down in front of the foot. 


If the full version is too strong in the beginning you can rest your elbow on your knee. 



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To complement the standing postures let’s have a look at two seated postures.

Ardha Matsyendrasana 
Half Lord of the Fishes posture

Twists are one of the best things you can do for your spine. Energetically they power your nervous system by pulling and refreshing the spinal cord. If your job involves sitting for extended periods, twists help to refresh the intervertebral discs and keep the back healthy. This is a beautiful posture for twisting the spine and also stretching the muscles at the side of the legs.

Sit up and fold the right leg under the left leg and place the right heel next to the left buttock. You can place the left foot on the inside of the right knee or, if you want to deepen the stretch, you can place it outside the knee.

Turn the right shoulder to the left knee and look over the left shoulder.

Remember the rule with a twist is to sit as tall as possible so the stretch goes from the base of the neck to the sacrum.

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No practice would be complete without a back bend so let’s try a very simple but highly beneficial pose.

Setu bandha sarvangasana
This wonderful posture strengthens the whole posterior chain of the body engaging the legs, glutes and back.

Lie on your back and bring the feet to the buttocks. Clasp the ankles and raise the hips slowly, articulating each individual vertebra as you come up.

Remember to squeeze the shoulder blades together to ensure there is little or no pressure on the back of the neck.

Hold for five breaths.