Asana Poses: Form Beginner To Advanced

Bow / Half Bow Pose / Dhanurasana
01:10

Bow / Half Bow Pose / Dhanurasana

Bow Pose, or Dhanurasana (DAHN-yoor-AHS-uh-nuh) in Sanskrit, is a backbending posture that primarily strengthens the back side of the body and stretches the front side. This stimulating pose helps create better back flexibility, leading to improved posture. To come into Bow Pose: 1. Lie on your stomach, legs and feet a few inches apart, and arms at your sides, palms up. 2. Keeping your knees hip-distance apart, Gently bend your knees and bring your heels as close as you can to your glutes. 3. Reach back with both hands and grab onto your outer ankles. 4. Engaging your abdominal muscles, lift your heels towards the ceiling while pushing the ankles against your hands and pulling in with your arms. You’ll feel the thighs, chest, and head lift off the floor. 5. Press your shoulder blades into your upper back to keep your shoulders away from your ears and the chest lifted and open. 6. Gaze straight ahead to keep neck in line with the spine, and breathe gently since deep breaths are difficult in this posture. 7. On an exhale, slowly release the ankles and gently lower your body to the mat. Safety tips: To protect the lower back, ensure that the knees stay hip-width apart or closer during the pose rather than splaying outward. Half Bow Pose, or Ardha Dhanurasana (ARE-dah don-your-AHS-anna) in Sanskrit, improves spinal health as it strengthens the back muscles in addition to the core. Like all backbends, it is an energizing and stimulating posture, as well as an effective chest and shoulder-opener to stimulate the respiratory system. To perform the pose: 1. Lie on your stomach, legs a few inches apart, and arms extended in front of you with palms facing down. 2. Bend the right knee and reach back with the right hand back to grasp the outer edge of the ankle. 3. Push the right foot away from the body while using the hand to apply resistance against it. You’ll feel the right leg, head, and chest lift off the floor. 4. Keep the neck in line with the spine and keep your torso squared to the front of your mat 5. Keep the left leg extended, and press into the top of the foot and left forearm to provide support, or advance the pose by lifting the left arm and leg and keeping them parallel to the floor. 6. Slowly release the right ankle, and lower the body back to the floor. 7. Repeat on other side. Safety tips: Using a yoga strap around the ankle can alleviate strain on the back and shoulder.
Cat Pose / Marjaryasana
00:50

Cat Pose / Marjaryasana

Cat Pose, or Marjaryasana (mahr-jahr-ee-AHS-uh-nuh), is an accessible and popular pose for warming up the abdominal muscles before a yoga practice. Often paired with Cow Pose, Cat Pose stretches the back side of the body as a counterbalance to the stretching of the front side of the body in Cow Pose. To come into Cat Pose: 1. Begin in a tabletop position on hands and knees with shoulders directly over the wrists and hips directly over the knees. Knees are hip-width apart, and head is in a neutral position with the gaze downward. 2. On an exhale, push into the floor, scoop the belly into your spine, and tuck the tailbone to round your back towards the ceiling. 3. Allow the back of the neck and crown of the head to release naturally towards the tailbone, being mindful not to force the chin to the chest. Safety tips: Protect the neck by drawing the shoulders away from the ears, and keep the head and neck in a neutral position if there is any discomfort. When paired with Cow Pose, inhale for Cow Pose and exhale for Cat Pose. Chair Cat-Cow helps to strengthen and stretch the spine, back, and neck which helps to improve posture. In addition, this exercise also stretches and strengthens the abdomen. Cat Pose, or Marjaryasana (mahr-jahr-ee-AHS-uh-nuh), stretches the back side of the body while Cow Pose, or Bitilasana (bee-tee-LAHS-uh-nuh), stretches the front side of the body. To practice Chair Cat-Cow: 1. Sit up straight on a chair with your back away from the back rest, both feet on the floor, and hands on your knees or the tops of your thighs. 2. On an inhale, arch your spine into a gentle backbend so that the chest and belly come forward. Roll your shoulders down and back and allow the head to tilt back as far as is comfortable (Cow). 3. On an exhale, apply gentle pressure through your hands as you bring the belly to the spine, round the spine towards the back rest, and release your chin to your chest (Cat). 4. Alternate between Cat and Cow for several breaths . Safety tips: When moving between Cat and Cow, Cat Pose should align with exhalations and Cow Pose should align with inhalations
Childs Pose / Sphinx Pose / Salamba Bhujangasana
01:05

Childs Pose / Sphinx Pose / Salamba Bhujangasana

Sphinx Pose, or Sphinx Pose, or Salamba Bhujangasana (sah-LOM-bah boo-jahn-GAHS-uh-nuh) is a gentle backbend that promotes spinal health and opens the chest. Child’s Pose, or Balasana (bah-LAHS-uh-nuh) is a grounding, calming, and centering pose that provides a gentle stretch for the lower back, hips, and thighs. To practice Sphinx Pose and Child’s Pose: Lie on your stomach with legs extended and hip-width apart. Tops of the feet should be pressed into the mat. Rest the forearms on the mat parallel to each other with elbows directly under the shoulders. Press into the forearms and lift your head and chest off the floor while keeping the legs engaged and pubic bone pressed into the mat. Keep elbows tucked in closely to your sides, draw the chest forward, and drop the shoulder blades down your back. Exhale and lower the body back to the mat. Move the hands back so they are in line with the chest. Press into the hands and push the hips back until the glutes rest on the heels. Rest the torso on the thighs and bring the forehead to the mat. Arms should extend forward with palms down as you reach through the fingertips. Safety tips: Protect the neck in Sphinx Pose by keeping the head in line with the spine and keeping the gaze forward. (sah-LOM-bah boo-jahn-GAHS-uh-nuh) is a gentle backbend that promotes spinal health and opens the chest. Child’s Pose, or Balasana (bah-LAHS-uh-nuh) is a grounding, calming, and centering pose that provides a gentle stretch for the lower back, hips, and thighs. To practice Sphinx Pose and Child’s Pose: Lie on your stomach with legs extended and hip-width apart. Tops of the feet should be pressed into the mat. Rest the forearms on the mat parallel to each other with elbows directly under the shoulders. Press into the forearms and lift your head and chest off the floor while keeping the legs engaged and pubic bone pressed into the mat. Keep elbows tucked in closely to your sides, draw the chest forward, and drop the shoulder blades down your back. Exhale and lower the body back to the mat. Move the hands back so they are in line with the chest. Press into the hands and push the hips back until the glutes rest on the heels. Rest the torso on the thighs and bring the forehead to the mat. Arms should extend forward with palms down as you reach through the fingertips. Safety tips: Protect the neck in Sphinx Pose by keeping the head in line with the spine and keeping the gaze forward.
Cow Facing Pose / Gomukhasana
01:33

Cow Facing Pose / Gomukhasana

Cow Face Pose, known as Gomukhasana (go-moo-KAHS-uh-nuh) in Sanskrit, is a seated posture that can help reduce stiffness in the shoulders and back while also stretching the body and improving posture as it lengthens both sides of the body. To add Cow Face Pose to your practice: 1. Begin in a seated position with legs extended and arms at your sides. 2. Bend the right knee, placing the sole of the foot flat on the mat. 3. Slide your left foot under your right knee and place it on the outside of your right hip with the outside edge of the foot against the mat. 4. Stack your right knee directly on top of the left and then slide your right foot to the outside of the left hip so that the outside edge of the foot rests against the mat. 5. Balance your weight evenly across the sit bones. 6. Raise the left arm up to the ceiling, palm facing forward. Bend the left elbow, bringing your left hand to the spine. 7. Extend the right arm to the side, palm facing down before rotating the arm so the palm faces back with thumb pointing down. Bend the right elbow and bring the right hand up the center of the spine. 8. If possible, hook the fingers of both hands while rolling the shoulders back and down and keeping the elbows drawn in towards the midline. 9. Gently release your arms and uncross the legs. Come back into your starting position before repeating on the opposite side. Safety tips: To reduce pressure on the shoulders, a strap can be used rather than hooking the fingers together, or both hands can also be clasped around the top knee. If your hips are tight, elevate them above the knees by sitting on a folded blanket or bolster
Cow Pose / Bitilasana
00:48

Cow Pose / Bitilasana

Cow Pose, known as Bitilasana (bee-tee-LAHS-uh-nuh), is a basic warm-up posture and stretch for the abdominals. Often paired with Cat Pose, Cow Pose stretches the front side of the body as a counter balance to the stretching of the back side of the body in Cat Pose. To come into Cow Pose: 1. Begin in a tabletop position on hands and knees with shoulders directly over the wrists and hips directly over the knees. Knees are hip-width apart, and head is in a neutral position with the gaze downward. 2. On an inhale, reach the tailbone up towards the ceiling, allowing the spine to arch and the belly to drop towards the mat. 3. Reach through the crown of the head towards the ceiling, and shift the gaze as high as you comfortably can towards the ceiling. Safety tips: Protect the neck by drawing the shoulders away from the ears, and keep the head and neck in a neutral position if there is any discomfort. When paired with Cow Pose, inhale for Cow Pose and exhale for Cat Pose. Chair Cat / Cow Poses Chair Cat-Cow helps to strengthen and stretch the spine, back, and neck which helps to improve posture. In addition, this exercise also stretches and strengthens the abdomen. Cat Pose, or Marjaryasana (mahr-jahr-ee-AHS-uh-nuh), stretches the back side of the body while Cow Pose, or Bitilasana (bee-tee-LAHS-uh-nuh), stretches the front side of the body. To practice Chair Cat-Cow: 1. Sit up straight on a chair with your back away from the back rest, both feet on the floor, and hands on your knees or the tops of your thighs. 2. On an inhale, arch your spine into a gentle backbend so that the chest and belly come forward. Roll your shoulders down and back and allow the head to tilt back as far as is comfortable (Cow). 3. On an exhale, apply gentle pressure through your hands as you bring the belly to the spine, round the spine towards the back rest, and release your chin to your chest (Cat). 4. Alternate between Cat and Cow for several breaths . Safety tips: When moving between Cat and Cow, Cat Pose should align with exhalations and Cow Pose should align with inhalations
Mountina Pose side bend_1
00:50

Physical Therapy For Yoga Practice