Asanas – Poses – Day 4 – May 2021 Yoga Challenge – Uttanasana & Parivrtta Uttanasana

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

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!

Sun Salutations AsanaUttanasana / Standing Forward Bend
Twisted/Sister AsanaParivrtta 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 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!

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

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!

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

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Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself, and all opinions expressed here are our own. This page contains affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, may earn me a small commission. Read full privacy policy here.

Please comment to share your experience! What did you think? Which Asana did you choose to practice today? Always remember, be kind!

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Asanas – Poses – Hip Openers / Forward Bend 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 Hip Openers or Forward Bending 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.

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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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 Forward Bending Asanas today, I recommend a Vinyasa class, which will flow between Heart Opening and Hip Opening 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 Daily Yogi Practice is to try any forward bend Asana. Some Forward Bending Asanas are beginner or basic poses, but I would consider this group as a whole to be intermediate since as you progress, you will come into deeper forward bends in your practice, for example progressing from Uttanasana or Standing Forward Bend into Padangusthasana and Padahastasana. I have found these Asanas to be an important lesson in coming only to where comfortable and breathing to open, rather than pushing oneself to discomfort.

Today I recommend my favorite Balasana or Child Pose Sequence – starting in Child’s Pose with arms back and palms up, then Wide Child’s pose with palms down, and back to Child’s Pose with arms back and palms down.

Hip Opener / Forward Bend Asanas

Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend

Parivrtta Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend Twist

Balasana – Child’s Pose

Ananda Balasana – Happy Baby Pose

Padmasana – Lotus Pose

Matsyasana – Fish Pose (with lotus legs)

Gomukhasana – Cow Face Pose

Agnistambhasana – Fire Log Pose

Baddha Konasana – Cobbler / Butterfly / Bound Angle Pose

Supta Baddha Konasana – Reclined Bound Angle / Goddess Pose

Marjaryasana – Cat Pose

Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana – Mermaid Pose

Malasana – Garland Pose

Supta Kapotasana – Reclined Pigeon Pose

Utkata Konasana – Goddess Pose

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

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Asanas – Poses – Day 8 – Malasana – Garland Pose – Krampusnacht

Happy Saturday Yogis! We just wrapped up practice of each of the Niyamas, and we are now on to Asanas, the 3rd Limb of Yoga. Today is the first of the holidays I get to discuss for our special Holiday month, and we will cover a festive Asana Malasana or Garland Pose, often referred to as a “yoga squat.”

Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule

We will start early next week by counting down the 5 Yamas with 5 days of Ahimsa (non-harming), 4 days of Satya (truthfulness), and 3 days of Asteya (non-stealing). Then we will have a full week of Brahmacharya for the week of Christmas in the United States.. a time that I will enjoy the focus on moderation! We will focus on a different way to practice each of these Yamas each day.

PS sorry to our far eastern Yogis especially in Australia – I am changing our morning posting time to 9am Tokyo Time which is 12am universal RSS time for our app. If you would like to receive posts earlier in the day for your time zone, please contact me!

Holiday Season – Krampusnacht

Krampus!

We are celebrating a special Yamas / Interpersonal Ethics focused month. December is the holiday season for many worldwide nations, cultures, and religions, so this ties in with most other holiday seasons our Yogis may celebrate. I will continue my nerdy research through the month and tie in our practices with world holidays if they tie in with our daily practices… please contact me if you have any requests or suggestions!

Today is the first holiday for this season I am going to share – Krampusnacht! I have been into world history and traditions for many years, and Krampusnacht is the most amusing holiday to me.. partly because of the name “Krampus” which makes me giggle. This holiday is seriously like the Nightmare before Christmas!

Krampusnacht is celebrated primarily in Bavarian mountain towns the evening before St. Nicholas Day. This is a different European Christmas tradition than we are familiar with in the United States. St. Nicholas Day, celebrated earlier in December, is the day for gifts from St. Nicholas or Father Christmas – for only good children. The bad children do not get coal… they were either stolen, eaten, or scared straight by the monstrous Krampus the evening before!

I am guessing with this terrifying holiday, areas celebrating Krampusnacht have the best-behaved children in the world. I tried to make my Malasana picture a bit scary today for the Krampus theme!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try today’s Asana – Malasana or Garland Pose. This pose is great to counter sitting at a desk all day!

Malasana – Garland Pose

Malasana – Garland Pose

This is a deep hip opener – make sure to practice a bit before attempting this pose! This seemingly simple pose is a journey pose, and you will begin to move your torso forward as your chest and hips open with practice!

  • Start standing in Tadasana / Mountain Pose.
  • Step your feet out a bit wider than hip-distance, and turn your toes out 45 degrees.
  • Bend your knees and slowly come into a full low squat.
  • Bring your arms forward between your knees, and bring palms together into a prayer position, pressing elbows into thighs.
  • Press gently into thighs and bring your chest forward.
    • Take note of your head and neck – keep in line with your torso
    • Take note of where your weight is in your feet, both front to back and side to side. Keep even side to side, and keep most weight in your heels.
  • Hold this pose for as long as comfortable while taking deep breaths into any tension you feel in your hips. Begin with holding 30-60 seconds, and work up to 3-5 minutes!

If you have tight hips and knees, or have trouble balancing here, you may want to sit on a block for support.

Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself, and all opinions expressed here are our own. This page contains affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, may earn me a small commission. Read full privacy policy here.

PS If you are comfortable with variations of these poses, please tag us with your pictures on Instagram!

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Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried this Asana before? Is this your first time learning about Krampusnacht? Always remember, be kind!

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Asanas – Poses – Day 6 – Supta Kapotasana – Reclined Pigeon Pose

Good morning Yogis! We just wrapped up practice of each of the Niyamas, and we are now on to Asanas, the 3rd Limb of Yoga. Today we will cover my absolute favorite hip opener and one of my favorite Asanas – Supta Kapotasana (SOUP-tuh kah-poe-TAH-sa-nuh) or Reclined Pigeon Pose.

bONUS dAILY mEDITATION cHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Asana Day today, our meditation is a Guided Meditation on Releasing and Letting Go as we will be doing physically with today’s Asana!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try today’s Asana – Supta Kapotasana or Reclined Pigeon. This pose is great for lower back pain, and especially for sciatic nerve issues.

Supta Kapotasana – Reclined Pigeon Pose

This is a deep hip opener – make sure to practice on both sides! There are many Kapotasana or Pigeon Pose variations. This is considered the easiest version, but I find it the best and most versatile. I enjoy moving my legs around a bit to find and target different tight spots in the hips.

  • Start laying on the ground face up in Shavasana – Corpse Pose. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the ground.
  • Begin with your right foot on top – bring your right ankle to your left knee, making your legs into a figure 4.
    • If you are a new Yogi or have very tight hips and already feel a stretch.. stay here! Breathe deeply into your hips in this pose.. I find new male Yogis may need to practice this for up to a year before being comfortable enough to move into the full expression of this pose below!
    • If you are staying here in Ardha Supta Kapotasana or Half-Reclined Pigeon Pose, hold this pose for as long as comfortable while taking deep breaths into any tension you feel in your hips. I usually hold 30-60 seconds per side in my regular practice.
    • Switch your legs so left leg is on top, and repeat on the other side.
Ardha Supta Kapotasana – Half Reclined Pigeon Pose
  • Reach your hands around your leg and clasp around your left knee.
  • Exhale and hug your left knee in towards your chest. Breathe deeply into your belly and hips, and let your hips and lower back release.
  • Hold this pose for as long as comfortable while taking deep breaths into any tension you feel in your hips. I usually hold 30-60 seconds per side in regular practice. I occasionally hold this Asana for up to 5 minutes, moving my knees closer or away from my chest, or side to side slightly to target problem areas.
  • Switch your legs so left leg is on top, and repeat on the other side.
Supta Kapotasana – Reclined Pigeon Pose

PS If you are comfortable with variations of these poses, please tag us with your pictures on Instagram!

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You may want a couch pillow, or perhaps a folded-up blanket for extra support under the head.

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

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Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried the half or full version of this Asana before? Always remember, be kind!

YOGA TEACHERS – see more on Tummee

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