There are seven main positions in Yin Yoga that can be called archetypes; from these seven postures follows a multitude of variations. These seven Yin Yoga positions target the in the legs and torso as well as the of the body.The are: Saddle, Caterpillar, Shoelace, Dragonfly, Dragon, Twist, Dog.These primary poses target the legs including the hamstrings, glutes, adductors, hips: quadriceps/flexors, for the torso, rectus abdominis, obliques, thoracolumbar group, quadratus lumborum and upper body muscles.You can easily create your own Yin Yoga sequence using the archetypal positions and exploring all the possible variations to adapt the postures to your unique range of motion. - what does yoga do for your body.
There’s an unofficial yoga posture almost everyone does in their first few classes, it’s called the “twist-to-look-at-my-neighbor” pose. It’s that trying-to-be-subtle look of newbies who are turning around to see what everyone is doing in an attempt to understand what the heck is going on in class. It usually comes from a lack of familiarity with the English or Sanskrit names of the postures combined with an “am-I-doing-this-right?” fear.
If you’re new to yoga — or are thinking about giving it a try — learning a few essential poses that commonly pop up in a class is a good way to feel more confident. Here are 11 must-know poses: Child’s pose, a resting stop in many classes, is a salve that soothes and calms the body.
It also increases circulation to the head, which can relieve stress, fatigue and headaches. Kneel down and sit on your heels with your knees and feet together. As you exhale, bend forward, placing your forehead on the floor. Bring your arms to the floor next to your thighs with your palms up.
This foundational yoga posture is modeled after the post-nap pose pups take when they stretch their paws forward and lift their tailbones to the sky. There’s something to it: The pose releases the spine; stretches the hamstrings, calves and arms and strengthens the back and arms. Begin on your hands and knees in a tabletop position.
As you exhale, press your palms into the ground and lift your knees off the ground, straightening both arms and legs. Your body will form a wide, upside-down V shape. Push your thighs back, pressing your heels toward the floor, without locking your knees. Beginners often struggle to keep their legs straight.
Don’t worry if your heels don’t touch the floor. Broaden your shoulders by rotating your arms slightly so your elbow creases face up toward the sky. Widen your hips and lengthen your spine. Your tailbone should feel as if it’s moving up and back to the upper corner of the room where the wall meets the ceiling.
This total-body strengthener is great for the upper body, back and core. On your hands and knees, with your wrists directly under your shoulders, engage your abdominals, tuck your toes and step your feet back. Keep contracting the abdominals so you create one long line from your head to your heels and avoid sticking your butt in the air or drooping your belly down (health resources) (how to use a yoga block).
Hold for 5–10 breaths. There’s no sugar-coating it: Chaturanga is hard. You’re using your body strength to hover inches off the mat — doing so requires engaging your shoulders, arms, chest, abdominals, back, thighs, calves and feet. Yup, it’s a head-to-toe workout in one pose. It’s also a pose you’ll encounter dozens of times in just one vinyasa class.
Doing a pose wrong over and over again is a surefire way to get injured. Take your time learning the pose, build up to it with knees-chest-chin (outlined below) and ask your instructor to check your form. Start in plank. Roll forward on your toes, bringing your chest through your arms.
There’s a tendency to lift the butt, creating an upside down V-shape, but keep your body firm and straight. Hug your arms into the sides of your body, elbows pointing back toward your toes. Keep your shoulders pulled back away from your ears, broaden through your chest and engage your core.
Exhale and lower your knees to the floor. Keep your elbows tucked into your rib cage and lower your chin and chest to the floor. Hips stay lifted so you look like an inchworm. This gentle backbend, a regular part of vinyasa classes, is a great foundational backbend. It opens the heart, expands the diaphragm and strengthens the shoulders, arms and back.
Begin lying down with your forehead on your mat. Place your hands under your shoulders, palms flat and elbows tucked into the sides of your body. Press the tops of your feet and thighs into the ground. As you inhale, lift your head and chest off the floor. Lengthen your neck and keep your gaze forward to keep from straining your neck.
Gently lift your palms off your mat for a second to ensure the work comes from your back and core. Hold baby cobra for 3–5 breaths, then lower on an exhale and rest one cheek on the mat. For full cobra, inhale and start to straighten your arms as you peel your upper body off your mat.
And only lift as high as you can while keeping the tops of your feet, hips and thighs pressing into your mat. Take 3–5 breaths in cobra. On an exhale, lower and rest the opposite cheek on your mat. The Warrior postures, the bread-and-butter poses found in almost every modern yoga class, are vigorous and demanding.
They strengthen the legs — and warrior I strengthens and stretches the arms, shoulders and thighs. From down dog, step your right foot forward to low lunge. Ground your left foot down so it’s at a 45-degree angle and you’ve created a straight line between the heel of your right and left foot.
Keep your right knee bent and directly over, or slightly behind, your right ankle to protect your knees. Press the outside edge of your back foot into the mat. Gently work your left hip forward, trying to square your hips like headlights shining toward the front of your mat. But, if like me, you struggle to square your hips, slide your left foot toward the left edge of your mat and take a wider stance, which gives you more room to square your hips to the front edge of the mat.
Then, on an exhale, take your hands to the mat, frame your right foot, and lift your left heel for low lunge. Step back to down dog and repeat on the other side. In addition to strengthening the legs, warrior II opens the groin and chest. From down dog, step your right forward to low lunge.
On an inhale, sweep your left arm up and around, bringing your torso and right arm with you. Arms stretch in opposite directions, palms down and parallel to the floor. Hips face the long edge of your mat. Strengthen the pose from the bottom up. Press the outside left edge of your foot into the ground and make your entire left leg strong.
Glance down and see if you can spot your big right toe to make sure your knee isn’t rolling inward. Tuck your tailbone slightly and engage your abdominals. Roll your shoulders down your back and take your gaze over your right index finger. Relax your eyes and hold the pose for up to a minute.
Step back to down dog and switch sides. Extended side angle has been known to turn legs to jelly; it’s a challenging pose that promotes strength and flexibility. The pose strengthens the thighs and ankles while stretching the groin, chest and side of the body. Begin in warrior II with your right foot forward.
Make certain your right knee is directly over your right ankle and engage both legs. Lengthen through the entire left side of your body, and, if it’s comfortable for your neck, take your gaze to the sky under your left armpit. Find length through the right side of your body and avoid sinking into your right thigh.