May 2023 Yoga Challenge: Asanas (Poses): Sun Salutations – Adho Mukha Svanasana & Shisulasana

Happy May 22, 2023 – Adho Mukha Svanasana & Shisulasana

Happy Monday Yogis! As our 30 Day Challenge group is working on a detailed breakdown of each of the poses in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series, we will review these Asanas along with our challengers. Or, if you prefer, you can practice a twisted/sister version of each pose during this series. Today is the last day of this series!

30 Day Challengers

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Sun Salutations Asana – Adho Mukha Svanasana / Downward Facing Dog
Twisted/Sister Asana – Shisulasana / Dolphin Pose

Adho Mukha Svanasana - downward facing dog pose variation walking the dog - yoga pose yoga girl wearing pink sprinkle print set doing yoga inside in pink and purple yoga studio with artsy effect
Adho Mukha Svanasana – Walking the Dog Variation

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Parivrrta Ashta Chandrasana - high lunge with twist pose - yoga pose yoga at night girl wearing white long-sleeved shirt and purple pants
Shisulasana – Dolphin Pose

Today’s Positive Practice suggestion

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to go “back to basics” with either Adho Mukha Svanasana / Downward Facing Dog or Shisulasana / Dolphin Pose. If you want to begin to work on inversions, Shisulasana / Dolphin Pose toe-taps is a great beginner exercise to build arm and core strength!

PS next month to start our second year of Daily Yogi, we will have another meditation month, followed by Advanced Asanas in July! I am back to working arm strength and splits during June to prep for July, so I strongly recommend working some dolphin taps if you want to prep for a more challenging July with me!

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May 2023 Yoga Challenge: Asanas (Poses): Sun Salutations – Bhujangasana & Salamba Bhujangasana

Happy May 21, 2023 – Bhujangasana & Salamba Bhujangasana

Good morning Yogis! As our 30 Day Challenge group is working on a detailed breakdown of each of the poses in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series, we will review these Asanas along with our challengers. Or, if you prefer, you can practice a twisted/sister version of each pose during this series!

30 Day Challengers

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Sun Salutations Asana – Bhujangasana / Cobra Pose (including Snake Pose below)
Twisted/Sister Asana – Salamba Bhujangasana – Sphinx Pose

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Sarpasana – Snake Pose

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Salamba Bhujangasana – Sphinx Pose

Today’s Positive Practice suggestion

Today’s Positive Practice suggestion

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to go “back to basics” with either Bhujangasana / Cobra Pose or Salamba Bhujangasana – Sphinx Pose. If you are a new Yogi, I recommend sticking with Bhujangasana / Cobra Pose rather than the full Urdhva Mukha Svanasana / Upward Facing Dog expression of the pose. Be careful working into backbends if these are new to you!

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Gemini Season 2023 – Partner Yoga & Temple Pose

Happy May 20, 2023 – Partner Yoga & Temple Pose

Good morning Yogis! Our Challengers are taking a break from the Sun Salutations pose breakdown for Sitali Pranayama, a cooling breath we covered on the Summer Solstice! If it is as cold as it is in the Colorado mountains today (we have snow for another month!) you may want to try a warming Pranayama such as Bellows Breath again today!

30 Day Challengers

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Temple Pose

Today’s Positive Practice suggestion

Today is the start of Gemini Season – Happy Birthday Gemini Yogis! PS I am a Gemini (sun sign) so this is a special one for me! We will cover an Asana today inspired by Gemini – Temple Pose. Remember that Gemini is twins, so I also want to introduce Partner Yoga! Asanas for a pair of Yogis range from beginner poses like Temple Pose or Lean-On-Me featured today, up to advanced Acro Yoga for two!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try Temple Pose Asana (alone or with a friend) or Partner Yoga inspired by the start of Gemini Season!

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Temple Pose

This Asana can be performed solo – against against a wall to still get the ‘Lean-On-Me’ effect, or with hands on hips. I recommend trying solo with hands on hips BEFORE trying as a pair!

You will enter this pose by standing with your legs a bit further than hip-distance apart. Lean forward until your torso is parallel to the floor. Keep shoulders down and back, and keep hips and legs aligned. Hold for 30-60 seconds. To come out solo, tighten your core and stand back up.

If you are performing with a partner, start with hands on each other’s shoulder’s using for support but NOT weight, and slowly walk back into the pose. To come out as a pair, step a bit further back to avoid bumping heads, and come into a forward fold.

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May 2023 Yoga Challenge: Asanas (Poses): Sun Salutations – Chaturanga Dandasana & Dandasana

Happy May 19, 2023 – Chaturanga Dandasana & Dandasana

Good morning Yogis! As our 30 Day Challenge group is working on a detailed breakdown of each of the poses in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series, we will review these Asanas along with our challengers. Or, if you prefer, you can practice a twisted/sister version of each pose during this series!

30 Day Challengers

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Sun Salutations Asana – Chaturanga Dandasana / Four-Limbed Staff Pose
Twisted/Sister Asana – Dandasana – Staff Pose

Chaturanga Dandasana - four-limbed staff pose - yoga pose yoga girl wearing pink sprinkle print set doing yoga inside in pink and purple yoga studio with artsy effect
Chaturanga Dandasana – Four-Limbed Staff Pose

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Dandasana – Staff Pose

Today’s Positive Practice suggestion

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to go “back to basics” with either Chaturanga Dandasana / Four-Limbed Staff Pose or Dandasana – Staff Pose. Either of these Asanas are great foundations for Yoga Workouts – see Chaturanga Dandasana / Four-Limbed Staff Pose for arm workout and Dandasana – Staff Pose for glute workout!

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You may want to try a strap, couch pillow, blanket, or bolster to help yourself ease into Dandasana of you have tight hamstrings.

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May 2023 Yoga Challenge: Asanas (Poses): Sun Salutations – Phalakasana & Purvottanasana

Happy May 18, 2023 – Phalakasana & Purvottanasana

Good morning Yogis! As our 30 Day Challenge group is working on a detailed breakdown of each of the poses in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series, we will review these Asanas along with our challengers. Or, if you prefer, you can practice a twisted/sister version of each pose during this series!

30 Day Challengers

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Sun Salutations Asana – Phalakasana / Plank Pose
Twisted/Sister Asana – Purvottanasana / Reverse Plank

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Phalakasana – Plank Pose Variation

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Purvottanasana – Reverse Plank Pose

Today’s Positive Practice suggestion

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to go “back to basics” with either Phalakasana / Plank Pose or Purvottanasana / Reverse Plank. Either of these Asanas are great foundations for Yoga Workouts – see Phalakasana / Plank Pose for arm workout and Purvottanasana / Reverse Plank for glute workout!

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May 2023 Yoga Challenge: Asanas (Poses): Sun Salutations – Anjaneyasana & Parivrtta Anjaneyasana

Happy May 17, 2023 – Uttanasana & Parivrtta Uttanasana

Good morning Yogis! As our 30 Day Challenge group is working on a detailed breakdown of each of the poses in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series, we will review these Asanas along with our challengers. Or, if you prefer, you can practice a twisted/sister version of each pose during this series!

30 Day Challengers

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Sun Salutations Asana – Anjaneyasana / Low Lunge
Twisted/Sister Asana – Parivrtta Anjaneyasana / Low Lunge Twist

Ashta Chandrasana - high lunge pose with cactus arms - yoga pose yoga girl wearing purple doing yoga inside in purple yoga studio with artsy effect
Ashta Chandrasana – High Lunge with Cactus Arms

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Parivrrta Ashta Chandrasana - high lunge with twist pose - yoga pose yoga at night girl wearing white long-sleeved shirt and purple pants
Parivrtta Ashta Chandrasana – High Lunge Twist

Today’s Positive Practice suggestion

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to go “back to basics” with either Anjaneyasana / Low Lunge or Parivrtta Anjaneyasana / Low Lunge Twist. Please note that I usually choose to practice my Sun Salutations Series in the morning currently with High Lunge as this Asana is easier on my knees, and I can perform without even a mat quickly in the morning, and even outside! I also have incorporated the suggestion from one of our Yogis, and I cactus my arms on an exhale through the lunge into Phalakasana / Plank Pose.

fIND YOUR FLOW

I switch up my sun salutations in the morning… I usually do the traditional Surya Namaskar sequence with High Lunge in the morning while my dogs are outside so I can get in a couple rounds quickly without a mat. When I use my mat, I usually do a longer version using Low Lunge with the support of my mat, adding Ardha Uttanasana or Half Standing Forward Bend at each Uttanasana, and sometimes adding an extra Phalakasana or Plank since I am working on arm strength. You can check out both of my Sun Salutation flows below.. try some variations from our pose breakdown, and find your flow!

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May 2023 Yoga Challenge: Asanas (Poses): Sun Salutations – Uttanasana & Parivrtta Uttanasana

Happy May 16, 2023 – Uttanasana & Parivrtta Uttanasana

Happy Tuesday Yogis! As our 30 Day Challenge group is working on a detailed breakdown of each of the poses in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series, we will review these Asanas along with our challengers. Or, if you prefer, you can practice a twisted/sister version of each pose during this series!

30 Day Challengers

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Sun Salutations Asana – Uttanasana / Standing Forward Bend
Twisted/Sister Asana – Parivrtta Uttanasana / Standing Forward Bend Twist

Uttanasana - standing forward bend pose  with arm lock - yoga pose yoga girl wearing purple doing yoga inside in purple yoga studio with artsy effect
Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend with Arm Lock

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Parivrrta Uttanasana - standing forward bend with twist pose - yoga pose yoga at night girl wearing white long-sleeved shirt and purple pants
Parivrtta Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend Twist

Today’s Positive Practice suggestion

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to go “back to basics” with either Uttanasana / Standing Forward Bend or Parivrtta Uttanasana / Standing Forward Bend Twist. Both of these are great hip openers, and Uttanasana will always be special to me since this Asana helped me finally touch my toes!

Check out our new video for some variations of Uttanasana including an extra chest-opener!

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You may want to try a block or bending your knees slightly if you cannot reach the floor – focus on keeping a straight back more than straight legs!

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May 2023 Yoga Challenge: Asanas (Poses): Sun Salutations – Talasana & Vrksasana

Happy May 15, 2023 – Talasana & Vrksasana

Happy Monday Yogis! As our 30 Day Challenge group is working on a detailed breakdown of each of the poses in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series, we will review these Asanas along with our challengers. Or, if you prefer, you can practice a twisted/sister version of each pose during this series!

30 Day Challengers

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We added videos to our original pose breakdowns.. check out the video with options for arms through this pose below and in our original Talasana post!

Sun Salutations Asana – Talasana / Palm Tree Pose
Twisted/Sister Asana – Vrksasana / Tree Pose

Talasana - palm tree pose variation - yoga pose yoga girl wearing purple doing yoga inside in purple yoga studio with artsy effect
Talasana – Palm Tree Pose

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Vrksasana – Tree Pose

Today’s Positive Practice suggestion

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to go “back to basics” with either Talasana / Palm Tree Pose or Vrksasana / Tree Pose. Both of these are great balancing poses for new Yogis! I find practicing balancing Asanas brings a calming stillness after focusing on holding the pose.

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May 2023 Yoga Challenge: Asanas (Poses): Sun Salutations – Tadasana & Centering

Happy May 15, 2023 – Tadasana & Centering

Happy Sunday Yogis! As our 30 Day Challenge group is working on a detailed breakdown of each of the poses in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series, we will review these Asanas along with our challengers. Or, if you prefer, you can practice a twisted/sister version of each pose during this series!

30 Day Challengers

Doing our 30 Day Challenge? Click here for today’s post!

We recently added videos each day to our original pose breakdowns.. check out the new video with options for arms through this pose below and in our original Tadasana post!

Sun Salutations AsanaTadasana / Mountain Pose
Twisted/Sister AsanaSukhasana, Siddhasana, Padmasana & Virasana

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Tadasana – Mountain Pose

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Padmasana – Lotus Pose

Today’s Positive Practice suggestion

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to go “back to basics” with either Tadasana / Mountain Pose or finding your preferred comfortable seat. I consider finding your preferred grounding pose to be finding your center. Most Yoga classes start and end with these Asanas. Each of these centering Asanas are great poses for meditation.

Since May is Correct your Posture Month if you have done this before, I strongly suggest checking and correcting your posture as we revisit this traditional series. Take note of your ankles, knees, hips, ribcage, shoulders, chin, and ears, and take note of both the location and any tilt in these areas.

What do I do with my hands?!

Check out this little video for a few options for arms through Tadasana. I prefer to “swan dive” forward as in the first and second option. I find bringing hands up together above head and bringing prayer hands straight down to be most popular in the Yoga Studios I visit. You can also try bringing arms up straight in front of you… Try a few options, and pick your favorite!

Check out our Top 5 Yoga Mats and Equipment for Newbies!

You may want to try a block, couch pillow, blanket, or bolster to help yourself find a comfortable seat.

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May 2023 Yoga Challenge: Pranayama (Breathing) – Diaphragmatic Breath: Flowing Breath with Asanas

Happy May 12, 2023 – Pranayama (Breathing)

30 Day Challengers

Happy Friday Yogis! Before we get into our detailed review of the Sun Salutations Asana Series discussed yesterday, we will take two days to cover the remaining 8 Limbs of Yoga. We are going to review Diaphragmatic Breathing today, along with our challengers, with an introduction to basic flowing for Asana and Pranayama.

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pink and purple flowers with green leaves - breath breathing pranayama Quote: Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure. - Oprah Winfrey
Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure. – Oprah Winfrey

Today’s Positive Practice suggestion

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is Diaphragmatic Breath, a Pranayama Practice with “flowing” between our first two Sun Salutations Series Asanas. This is an intro to linking breath and movement, if you are familiar with this already perhaps try a more advanced Asana class today and focus on your breath. Today we are going to start standing in Tadasana to prep for our Sun Salutations Asana Series rather than in a comfortable seat as we have done in the past. This is also a great calming technique for anxiety.

Diaphragmatic Breath

  • Start standing in Tadasana. Begin by evaluating your current breath pattern. Place one hand on your chest, and the other on your belly. Breathe in and out, and notice when the hands resting on your belly and chest move to indicate expansion. You SHOULD use your diaphragm and breathe into your belly, so your belly expands on the inhale and contracts on the exhale. Most of us breathe shallowly into our chest only, and our belly hand never moves!  
  • Breathe in and make sure your belly expands, pushing your hand out as your entire torso fills with air
  • Breathe out, contracting the belly, making sure you empty the lungs completely
  • Now, on an inhale, raise your arms above your head to come into Talasana (Palm Tree Pose) or a gentle Anuvittasana (Standing Backbend) as you breathe into your belly
  • Exhale and lower your hands back to your sides to come back into Tadasana
  • Continue breathing in to a full count of 6, and out to a full count of 6, using your diaphragm to fill your lungs with air, and contract the belly to empty lungs completely. Raise your arms as your breathe in, and lower them as you breathe out, to start getting a basic flow coordinating your movement and breath. Focus on keeping your chest hand fairly still, and using your diaphragm to breathe into your belly.

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epic cloudy purple pink and glowing orange stripey alpine sunrise in mountains with darkened pine trees and snow-capped mountain peaks - pranayama breath breathing Quote: Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor. - Thich Nhat Hanh

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May 2023 Yoga Challenge: Asanas (Poses) – Sun Salutations

Happy May 11, 2023 – Asanas (Poses)

Happy Thursday Yogis! Today we reached the 3rd limb of Yoga – it is Asana Day!

30 Day Challengers

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Surya Namaskar – Sun Salutations

We will soon break down each of the Asanas in the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series. May is Correct Your Posture Month, so I suggest focusing on a particular part of your body alignment through this series. This week I am focusing on neck alignment – keeping my ears over my shoulders, and ears back and up.

Today’s Positive Practice suggestion

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to again perform the traditional Asana series – Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations Series. Remember to focus on incorporating Diaphragmatic Breathing or Ocean Breathing, and try to get a “flow” with one deep inhale or exhale for each pose as you are moving through this Asana series.

The next few days as new Yogis doing our 30 Day Challenge are learning this series, we will re-examine variations of each of the poses and modifications in the Sun Salutations Series.. stay tuned!

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Talasana – Palm Tree Pose

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Asana April 2023: Asanas (Poses) – Reclined Asanas

Happy Asana April 30, 2023 – Asanas (Poses) – Reclined Asanas

Good morning Yogis! We are completing a series on different categories of Asanas I use – Seated, Standing, Heart Opener / Backbend, Hip Opener / Forward Bend, Arm Balance, Inversion, Twist, and Reclined. Today we will cover Reclined Asanas. Please note through this series that many of the Asanas can belong to more than one group – for example a seated twist would clearly belong to both Seated and Twist categories, and a reclined twist would belong to both Reclined and Twist.

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Matsyasana – Fish Pose

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Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

We are in the middle of a daily Asanas practice challenge for April! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to YouTube videos for various Yoga Styles. For our focus on Reclined Asanas today, I recommend a Yin or Restorative class, which often use passive Reclined Poses.

I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without Wifi or phone signal. This week I am doing one of my favorites – Beginner AM (20 Minute), which includes the beginner version of this pose that I can do! I modify with more advanced versions of poses including full side plank, standard extended side angle, and lowering slowly from plank to Chaturanga Dandasana / Yoga Push-Up
 I am still working arm strength to do the Intermediate version of this class!

Today’s Positive Practice suggestion

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try any Reclined Asana. Most Reclined Asanas are beginner and restorative poses, which allow passive stretching. There are also Yoga Workouts utilizing Reclined poses, such as Boat to Crab or repeated Bridge Pose for glute and core exercises!

Today I recommend trying a Yoga Workout for Glutes – Boat to Crab (I usually hold for counts of 3 and do 10 reps) or my absolute favorite Reclined Asana – Supta Kapotasana / Reclined Pigeon!

Reclined Asanas

Viparita Karani – Legs up the Wall Pose

Purvottanasana – Reverse Plank

Ananda Balasana – Happy Baby Pose

Matsyasana – Fish Pose

Supta Kapotasana – Reclined Pigeon Pose

Supta Baddha Konasana â€“ Reclined Bound Angle / Goddess Pose

Navasana – Boat Pose

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana – Bridge Pose

Jathara Parivartanasana – Reclined Twist Pose

 Shavasana – Corpse Pose

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Asana April 2023: Asanas (Poses) – Twist Asanas

Happy Asana April 29, 2023 – Asanas (Poses) – Twist Asanas

Good morning Yogis! We are in the middle of a series on different categories of Asanas I use – Seated, Standing, Heart Opener / Backbend, Hip Opener / Forward Bend, Arm Balance, Inversion, Twist, and Reclined. Today we will cover Twisting Asanas. Please note through this series that many of the Asanas can belong to more than one group – for example a seated twist would clearly belong to both Seated and Twist categories, and a reclined twist would belong to both Reclined and Twist.

Parivrrta Uttanasana - standing forward bend with twist pose - yoga pose yoga at night girl wearing white long-sleeved shirt and purple pants
Parivrrta Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend Twist

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Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

We are in the middle of a daily Asanas practice challenge for April! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to YouTube videos for various Yoga Styles. For our focus on Twisting Asanas today, I recommend an alignment-focused Iyengar class.

I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without Wifi or phone signal. This week I am doing one of my favorites – Beginner AM (20 Minute), which includes the beginner version of this pose that I can do! I modify with more advanced versions of poses including full side plank, standard extended side angle, and lowering slowly from plank to Chaturanga Dandasana / Yoga Push-Up
 I am still working arm strength to do the Intermediate version of this class!

Today’s Positive Practice suggestion

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try any Twist Asana. Most Twist Asanas are beginner poses, or modified beginner poses. Make sure to do each twist on both sides! If you are in a seated pose such as Sukhasana or Easy Pose, I recommend flipping your feet and performing the twist on both sides a second time.

Today I recommend a few rounds of Sun Salutations with twisting on each side in either Ashta Chandrasana / High Lunge or Anjaneyasana / Low Lunge. Turn your torso towards your forward knee!

Twist Asanas

Parivrtta Sukhasana – Seated Twist Pose

Jathara Parivartanasana – Reclined Twist Pose

Parivrtta Anjaneyasana – Low Lunge Twist

Parivrtta Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend Twist

Ardha Chandrasana – Half Moon Pose

Check out more Asanas on Yoga Journal

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I would recommend a block, couch pillows, or perhaps a folded-up blanket for support under the seat.

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Please comment to share your experience! What did you think? Which is your favorite of these Twist Asanas? Always remember, be kind!

Asana April 2023: Asanas (Poses) – Inversion Asanas

Happy Asana April 28, 2023 – Asanas (Poses) – Inversion Asanas

Good morning Yogis! We are in the middle of a series on different categories of Asanas I use – Seated, Standing, Heart Opener / Backbend, Hip Opener / Forward Bend, Arm Balance, Inversion, Twist, and Reclined. Today we will cover Inversion Asanas. Please note through this series that many of the Asanas can belong to more than one group – for example a seated twist would clearly belong to both Seated and Twist categories, and a reclined twist would belong to both Reclined and Twist.

halasana - plow plough pose -  yoga pose yoga girl wearing blue fish-scale dragon-scale set doing yoga inside in cool indigo blue studio
Halasana – Plow Pose

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Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

We are in the middle of a daily Asanas practice challenge for April! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to YouTube videos for various Yoga Styles. For our focus on Inversions Asanas today, I recommend a Vinyasa class, which will help build the arm and core strength for these poses.

I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without Wifi or phone signal. This week I am doing one of my favorites – Beginner AM (20 Minute), which includes the beginner version of this pose that I can do! I modify with more advanced versions of poses including full side plank, standard extended side angle, and lowering slowly from plank to Chaturanga Dandasana / Yoga Push-Up
 I am still working arm strength to do the Intermediate version of this class!

Today’s Positive Practice suggestion

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try any Inversion Asana. Most Inversion Asanas are advanced poses, requiring significant upper-body and/or core strength. I do not include a large variety of Inversion poses in my practice since I am still working on strength building. If you do have the strength to practice these more advanced poses safely, please do check the recommended additional poses link below!

Today I recommend trying the most basic Inversion – Legs up the Wall Pose. Or, if you are comfortable, perhaps try Salamba Sarvangasana – Supported Shoulder Stand!

Inversion Asanas

Viparita Karani – Legs up the Wall Pose

Salamba Sarvangasana – Supported Shoulder Stand

Halasana – Plow

Vrschikasana – Scorpion Pose

Ardha Chandrasana – Half Moon Pose

Check out more Asanas on Yoga Journal

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More Positive Practices

Missed yesterday’s post? Read it here!

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Please comment to share your experience! What did you think? Which is your favorite of these Inversion Asanas? Always remember, be kind!