Good morning Yogis! We are beginning our cycle through the Yoga Sutras, and starting with the first of the Yamas – Ahimsa or Non-Harming. We are beginning a special Asana-focused round through the Sutras. Each day, we will feature a new Asana (including more intermediate poses) that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Thread the Needle Pose or Parsva Balasana (PAR-svuh buh-LAH-sa-nuh) / is my choice to represent Ahimsa, since this is part of a great opening series to help avoid injury, by gently opening and warming up the back at the beginning of Asana practice!
Bonus Daily Asana Challenge
We are in the middle of daily Asana-focused practices for September! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to youtube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Ahimsa Day today, I recommend a gentle Yin or Restorative 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. Today I am doing one of my favorites – Beginner Combination (30 Minute), which includes a Cat / Cow opening!
Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try some Thread the Needle Pose for Ahimsa Day! This is a common opening pose series for all levels of Yogis and all styles of Yoga. We will talk about how to get into both variations from Table Top or Bharmanasana today! Start in Table Top – with hands directly under shoulders, and knees directly under hips.
If you would prefer an off-the-mat practice for Ahimsa Day – perform a random act of kindness!
Parsva Balasana – Thread the Needle Pose
We will perform on both sides, starting turning towards the LEFT with the RIGHT shoulder down.
Feet & Legs – Start in Bharmanasana / Table Top with tops of feet laying on the mat and both hands directly under shoulders. Your legs should stay hip-distance apart in Table Top. You will keep both knees and feet grounded on the mat in table top through this Asana / pose!
Hips – Keep your hips in place when moving from Bharmanasana / Table Top with your hips over your knees.
Torso – On the exhale, you will keep your spine long and turn your rib cage to the left with your shoulder.
Arms and Head – On the exhale, slide your RIGHT hand and arm behind and under your LEFT hand. Keep ‘threading the needle’ until your RIGHT shoulder is on the ground, and rest your right ear on the mat. You can then reach your LEFT hand either straight in front of you on the mat, or reach straight up towards the sky.
Breathe into your ribs and hips, and hold the pose for 30-60 seconds. To come out, place your LEFT hand back down, and unthread your right arm to come back into Bharmasana / Table Top, and repeat on the other side.
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 Cat / Cow before? Always remember, be kind!