Many students tell me they would like to practice more at home but they often forget what they’ve learned in class and are fearful they may be practicing incorrectly.

My hope is that you can use these images of yoga postures (asanas) to inspire you to practice more at home or while you’re traveling.

Don’t underestimate the power of the micro-practice!

Even practicing a few mindful poses or breathing exercises per day can make a huge difference in how you feel and how you carry yourself throughout the day.  Remember to practice with a combination of sthira and sukha…stability and ease.


Child’s Pose – Balasana

Balasana

  1. Sit on your heels with your knees a comfortable distance apart
  2. Lengthen your spine and reach your arms forward to rest on the mat.
  3. Relax your forehead to the mat.
  4. Breath into your back for about 5-10 breaths.

Modifications:

  1. If your ankles are uncomfortable, roll a small towel or blanket and place it under the ankle joint.
  2. If your knees are uncomfortable you can lift the hips up higher or place a blanket or pillow between your calves and your hamstrings
  3. If your forehead doesn’t reach the mat, try separating the knees a little wider or placing a blanket or pillow under the head.

Cow/Cat Pose – Bidalasana / Marjaryasana

Cow_edit
cat_bidalasana

  1. Align your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  2. Inhale lengthen your spine and lift your head and tail towards the ceiling.
  3. Exhale contract your belly in towards your spine and round your back.
  4. Continue moving with your breath rhythm for at least 5 sets.

Four-Limbed Staff Pose – Chatturanga Dandasana

Plank
Chatturanga Dandasana

  1. Start in plank pose with your wrists in line below shoulders.
  2. Keep your spine completely neutral from the crown of your head to your tailbone.
  3. Exhale, lean forward and bend the elbow to lower down about half way until your elbow is at a 90 degree angle.
  4. Sustain the pose and breathe naturally for about 5 breaths or practice the pose dynamically by straightening the elbows as you inhale and bending them as you exhale.

Modifications:

  1. As you lower, if you are unable to maintain the neutral spine or your shoulders start to roll forward or up towards your ears, try the pose with both knees down on the mat.
  2. If your wrists are sensitive try the pose with your palms on a rolled up towel. Only your fingers should touch the floor.

Cobra – Bhujangasana

Cobra

  1. Lie on your belly with the heel of your hands in line next to the lowest rib and your elbows pointing up.
  2. Inhale and press into your hands and tops of the feet to lift the torso up to a height that feels like a great stretch.
  3. Exhale and make sure your shoulders remained relaxed down your back and away from the ears.
  4. Sustain the pose and breathe naturally for about 5 breaths or practice the pose dynamically by lifting up as you inhale and lowering down as you exhale.

Downward Facing Dog – Adho Mukha Svanasana

Downdog_straight_knee
Downdog_wall_web-Crop

  1. Come to hands and knees with your wrists under your shoulders and your fingers spread wide apart.
  2. Tuck your toes under, press into your hands, and lift your hips up and back towards the ceiling.
  3. Step your feet back a few inches to widen the distance between your hands and feet.
  4. Relax around the neck and tops of the shoulders and continue to press your tail bone as high up and back as you can.

Modifications:

  1. If your hamstrings are tight you will need to bend your knees in order to lift the tail bone up and back. You do not want your spine to be rounded in this posture.
  2. If this pose places too much pressure on the arms and wrists try the wall version.

Standing Side Bend

Urdvha Hastasana_edit

StandingSideBend_ArdhaChandrasana_edit

  1. Stand in Tadasana – Mountain pose, inhale reach your arms high over head lengthening through your waist.
  2. Exhale bend to the right, lower your right arm to touch your right leg.
  3. Inhale come back to the center with both arms reaching upward.
  4. Exhale bend to the left, lower your left arm to touch your left leg.
  5. Continue flowing back and forth with your breath rhythm for at least 2 sets.

Dynamic Backward and Forward Bend

StandingBackbend_edit_2

Uttanasana_edit

  1. Stand in Tadasana – Mountain Pose, inhale both arms overhead and bend backward as far as comfortable.
  2. Exhale and fold forward from your hips reaching your hands towards the floor.
  3. If your hands don’t reach the floor you can rest them on your legs or on a block.
  4. Continue flowing back and forth with the natural rhythm of your breath for at least 4 sets.

Warrior 1 – Virabhadrasana 1

Warrior1_wall

  1. From Tadasana step your right foot back as far as you can while still feeling stable.
  2. Set your feet as wide apart (from left to right) as your hips.
  3. Point your right foot directly forward and your back foot slightly outward.You can press the back heel against the wall if you need more stability.
  4. Bend your right knee until it lines up over the right heel, with your kneecap pointing directly in line with the center of your foot
  5. Inhale and reach your arms overhead
  6. Enjoy 5-10 calm breaths focusing your eyes softly on one point in front of you.
  7. Repeat on the other side

Crow Pose – Bakasana

Bakasana

  1. Start in a squatting position
  2. Place your hands on the mat in line directly under your shoulders
  3. Spread your fingers wide apart and press down evenly through the hand
  4. Take a full relaxed breath and mindfully tip your weight forward, lift your hips up and press your knees into your upper arms
  5. Breath naturally and if you feel stable start to slowly lift up one foot at a time
  6. Eventually lift both feet and touch the big toes together
  7. Practice for about 5-10 breaths