By Lydia Geisel | March 21, 2017 | Lifestyle
Whether you consider yourself a yoga guru or simply assume yourself inflexible and incapable, there’s no denying the benefits of the practice. Even the simplest of poses have the power to revive and awaken your body. We checked in with local pros to see what their favorite pose of the moment is and why it will work wonders.
“A kneeling or seated side stretch is my favorite way to start every yoga practice. It wakes up the spine by bending side to side, stretches core muscles, and allows the student to feel breath moving in their body. It helps any yogi, beginner or advanced, get out of their head and into the body. It is also a reminder that a yoga pose doesn't have to be super fancy to achieve great benefits.”
“As you can see from the photo, yoga poses can be practiced anytime—you don't always have to be on a yoga mat in a quiet place to strike a pose. This pose offers wonderful counterbalance for folks who sit at a desk all day. It opens the muscles around tight hips and helps stretch the psoas. It also helps to release stress —which we tend to carry in places like our hips and lower back.”
“My absolute favorite pose is Half Moon. It engages so many aspects of yoga asana that I love, including strength, balance, breath, and dristi (or focused gaze). It stretches your body from end to end and leaves you feeling open and energized. There are a variety of modifications and variations with half moon pose, making it approachable to all and a perpetual challenge for even the most advanced yogis. The more I practice the more I want to play, and there is so much room for that in this pose!”
“Lately my favorite pose is supported bridge pose. It unravels some of the tightness in our hips from sitting and feels so restful. To get into it, lie on your back with knees bent, lift your hips, and slide a yoga block or a dense pillow under your pelvis. Stay like that, or stretch one or both legs straight.”
“Urdhva dhanurasana, also known as bow pose or wheel pose, has been my favorite shape to get into ever since I was a little girl living in Ethiopia long before I discovered the practice of yoga. I grew up as a gymnast and this shape is one I was in often, and so the freedom of opening my heart up to the sky has always captivated me. When I began practicing yoga, I learned the association this pose has with the chakra system (energetic body system). Urdhva dhanurasana is associated with the heart chakra, but it also accesses all seven chakras from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. It’s an opening posture for the chest, lungs, and heart. It is strengthening for the arms, wrists, legs, abdomen, and spine. It is extremely energizing and counteracts depression and anxiety. So, go on, let your back bend!”
photography by drew xeron (perlson-mishalove); james jackson (alemayhu)