Pose of Choice
Dekasana, or airplane pose is also a variation of warrior 3. It is a challenging pose that forces us to focus on building power in our legs while maintaining strength in our belly. It brings a sense of freshness back into your practise and challenges your spine with both forward and backward bending. Shift your weight onto your right leg, send your left leg behind you. Keep your left hip turned down and bring your hands by your sides. hug your shoulder blades back and down your spine. Reach the crown of your head forward and fly!
Salamba Sirsasana, or supported headstand is a great way to switch things up in our practice and our lives. A great way to start practicing this pose is against a wall. Kneel on the floor, interlace your fingers and firmly press the outside of your palms and forearms on the mat, keeping your elbows shoulder width apart. Place your head in between your hands. Send your hips up to the sky and and walk your feet into your face. Engage your belly and start to slowly bring your legs all the way up. The key is to keep squeezing your legs together and pressing your forearms onto the mat so there is very little pressure on your head. Check out 10 reasons to do a headstand everyday!
Natarajasana, also known as Dancer's Pose is an amazing hip opener and helps develop concentration and balance. It also tones and lengthens the leg and hip muscles. Standing in mountain pose, reach your right arm up to the sky. Shift your weight into your right foot. Grab your left ankle from your inner arch. Great tip to help with balance; find a non moving point in front of you to focus on. Press your left foot into your hand and lengthen your leg behind you while extending your right fingertips up to the sky. Take 3 deep breaths and switch sides.
Sarvangasana, also know as shoulder stand is one of my favorite inversions and a great way to end a tough practice. You get into this pose by lifting your feet up in the air and supporting your low back with your hands. Your weight is supported on your head, neck, shoulders and upper arms. There are SO many benefits to this pose including increased circulation, relaxed nervous system and increased energy resulting in a clearer mind, reduction of stress, tension and anxiety. It's a great pose to do first thing in the morning or right before bed.
Adho Mukha Vrkasana, also known as handstand is one of the more challenging inversion poses. I like to practice this pose against a wall to overcome the fear of falling which is a common feeling when first trying this this pose. Sometimes we just need to get out of our own heads to overcome this fear! This pose is great for decompressing the spine, building strength in shoulders, arms and wrists, improving sense of balance and can help to overcome mild depression and headaches.
Vriksasana, also known as tree pose is part of the balancing series. It works to strengthen thighs, calves, ankles and spine. It stretches the groin, inner thigh, chest and shoulders. Improves sense of balance and is great for sciatica.