5 Yoga poses to practise during your holidays.

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The discipline of yoga has grown remarkably throughout the world in the recent years. The benefits of this traditional Hindu discipline are innumerable. It is not only about physical exercises, but behind this discipline is hidden a philosophy that only a few ones know. Yoga is based on the peace and being in harmony with your body, mind and the rest of the world.

Next, we will present you 5 poses that will help you find your inner peace.

1 Cobra (Bhujangasana)

Step 1 – Lie prone on the floor. Stretch your legs back, tops of the feet on the floor. Spread your hands on the floor under your shoulders. Hug the elbows back into your body.

Step 2 – Press the tops of the feet and thighs and the pubis firmly into the floor.

Step 3 – On an inhalation, begin to straighten the arms to lift the chest off the floor, going only to the height at which you can maintain a connection through your pubis to your legs. Press the tailbone toward the pubis and lift the pubis toward the navel. Narrow the hip points. Firm but don’t harden the buttocks.

Step 4 – Firm the shoulder blades against the back, puffing the side ribs forward. Lift through the top of the sternum but avoid pushing the front ribs forward, which only hardens the lower back. Distribute the backbend evenly throughout the entire spine.

Step 5 – Hold the pose anywhere from 15 to 30 seconds, breathing easily. Release back to the floor with an exhalation.

2 Downward-facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Step 1 – Come onto the floor on your hands and knees. Set your knees directly below your hips and your hands slightly forward of your shoulders. Spread your palms, index fingers parallel or slightly turned out, and turn your toes under.

Step 2 – Exhale and lift your knees away from the floor. At first keep the knees slightly bent and the heels lifted away from the floor. Lengthen your tailbone away from the back of your pelvis and press it lightly toward the pubis. Against this resistance, lift the sitting bones toward the ceiling, and from your inner ankles draw the inner legs up into the groins.

Step 3 – Then with an exhalation, push your top thighs back and stretch your heels onto or down toward the floor. Straighten your knees but be sure not to lock them. Firm the outer thighs and roll the upper thighs inward slightly. Narrow the front of the pelvis.

Step 4 – Firm the outer arms and press the bases of the index fingers actively into the floor. From these two points lift along your inner arms from the wrists to the tops of the shoulders. Firm your shoulder blades against your back, then widen them and draw them toward the tailbone. Keep the head between the upper arms; don’t let it hang.

Step 5 – Adho Mukha Svanasana is one of the poses in the traditional Sun Salutation sequence. It’s also an excellent yoga asana all on its own. Stay in this pose anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes. Then bend your knees to the floor with an exhalation and rest.

3 Piggeon (a variation of the advanced pose, Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)

Step 1 – From Downward Facing Dog, bring the right leg up into a Down Dog Split.

Step 2 – Bend your right knee and bring that leg forward as if you were going to step into a lunge. Instead of placing your foot down as you would for a lunge, bring your right knee to the floor on the outside of your right hand. The right shin may angle back towards the left hip or be more parallel to the front of your mat, depending on your flexibility.

Step 3 – Release your left knee to your mat. Your left leg should be flat on the floor. Take a look backward and make sure that your left foot is pointing straight back.

Step 4 – Square your hips towards the front of your mat.

Step 5 – Take padding (a folded blanket works well) under the right side of your hip as necessary to make the pose more comfortable.

Step 5 – Open your wings.

Repeat the pose on the other side.

4 Tree (Vrksasana)

Step 1 – Stand in Tadasana. Shift your weight slightly onto the left foot, keeping the inner foot firm to the floor, and bend your right knee. Reach down with your right hand and clasp your right ankle.

Step 2 – Draw your right foot up and place the sole against the inner left thigh; if possible, press the right heel into the inner left groin, toes pointing toward the floor. The center of your pelvis should be directly over the left foot.

Step 3 – Rest your hands on the top rim of your pelvis. Make sure the pelvis is in a neutral position, with the top rim parallel to the floor.

Step 4 – Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor. Firmly press the right foot sole against the inner thigh and resist with the outer left leg. Press your hands together in Anjali Mudra. Gaze softly at a fixed point in front of you on the floor about 4 or 5 feet away.

Step 5 – Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Step back to Tadasana with an exhalation and repeat for the same length of time with the legs reversed.

5 Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)

Step 1 – Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). With an exhalation, step or lightly jump your feet 3 1/2 to 4 feet apart. Raise your arms parallel to the floor and reach them actively out to the sides, shoulder blades wide, palms down.

Step 2 – Turn your right foot slightly to the right and your left foot out to the left 90 degrees. Align the left heel with the right heel. Firm your thighs and turn your left thigh outward so that the center of the left knee cap is in line with the center of the left ankle.

Step 3 – Exhale and bend your left knee over the left ankle, so that the shin is perpendicular to the floor. If possible, bring the left thigh parallel to the floor. Anchor this movement of the left knee by strengthening the right leg and pressing the outer right heel firmly to the floor.

Step 4 – Stretch the arms away from the space between the shoulder blades, parallel to the floor. Don’t lean the torso over the left thigh: Keep the sides of the torso equally long and the shoulders directly over the pelvis. Press the tailbone slightly toward the pubis. Turn the head to the left and look out over the fingers.

Step 5 – Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Inhale to come up. Reverse the feet and repeat for the same length of time to the left.

Would you like to learn more about this discipline? We wait for you every morning at our Rock Spa to enjoy and learn more about this practice.

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