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Extensive yoga pose collection

Yoga Pose of the Month Library

For detailed instruction on how to get into and out of any of the following poses safely and effectively please contact SoulFire…Namaste!

Seated Twist

Mantra: I relax into the flow of life.

Yoga pose of the month
Seated twist with a smile. Healthy spine, healthy blood. Breathe, breathe, breathe and enjoy even the gentlest of twists.










Halasana: Seated Spinal Twist

Mantra: I relax into the flow of life.

Seated spinal twist yoga pose
I’m not sure of the technical name for this yoga pose. It is a seated twist and the only one I teach for people that have back issues. I call it the “One Cheek Twist". You are only on one sitting bone when you do this pose, hence the name :) Many times I get my own chiropractic adjustment as I go into it, but you have to master the breath in order to really benefit from the twist. After you release the twist you can transition into a modified pigeon pose from this position. It has been great for people with tight hips and bad knees versus the traditional pigeon pose. If you come to one of my workshop series you will learn how to do this pose correctly!







Halasana: Plow Pose

Mantra: I am calm and serene

Plow Yoga Pose
This is a great pose for the spine. It’s one of my favorite stretches for my back and neck. There are modifications to this pose, you do not need to get your toes to the ground for the benefits. Some benefits are:

• Strengthens and opens up the neck, shoulders, abs and back muscles
• Calms the nervous system, reduces stress and fatigue
• Tones the legs
• Stimulates the thyroid gland, strengthens the immune system
• Helps women during menopause

There are also contraindications so you must do this pose with an experienced yoga teacher if you are a beginner or have suffered neck injuries or any spinal disorders, or if you have high blood pressure. Women avoid this pose during pregnancy and first two days of menstrual cycle.

Remember to BREATHE!!!

Four Limbed Staff Pose: Chaturanga Dandasana

Mantra: I am strong, balanced and light.

Four Limbed Staff Yoga Pose
This is a very challenging pose but you can get it over time with practice and body awareness.

It needs to be done with mirror or experienced teacher to help you with correct form and alignment in the beginning. It is very easy to do this pose incorrectly, which can cause wrist and shoulder issues and injuries.

This pose build core strength like crazy and it also helps to strengthen your shoulders, wrists, and legs.

Working on the this pose and holding it for 10-30 seconds will build strength to lead up to other arm balances. It is a good foundation pose for arm balances.

Upward Bow (Wheel) Pose: Eka Pada Urdhva Dhanurasana (One leg Wheel Pose)

Mantra: I am calm and flexible.

Upward Bow Yoga Pose
Keeps your spine healthy and flexible.
  • Stretches the chest and lungs
  • Strengthens the arms and wrists, legs, buttocks, abdomen, and spine
  • Stimulates the thyroid and pituitary
  • Increases energy and counteracts depression
  • Therapeutic for asthma, back pain, infertility, and osteoporosis
There are many cautions in doing this pose, recommended to work with experienced yoga teacher.







Ardha Matsyendrasana, or the Half Lord of the Fishes Pose

Mantra: Breathe into the goodness that you are.
I am calm and flexible.

half lord of the fishes yoga pose
  • Calms the nervous system
  • Enhances health of disks and facet joints between the vertebrae
  • Maintains the mobility of the spine
  • Improves digestion and the processing of the liver and kidneys
  • Relieves backaches, sciatica, and menstrual discomfort
  • Stretches the upper body and brings flexibility into thoracic spine
Twists are the most cleansing and purifying of all asana.

A twist a day keeps the doctor away!







Malasana/Garland Pose

Type Pose: Hip Opener

Garland Yoga Pose Image
This is a typical way that people in India sit, since chairs are rarely found.

Opens the hips, the groin, brings flexibility into the ankle joints and great stretch for the lower back if you walk your hands forward on the ground while you round your back.

If squatting is difficult you can put a blanket under your heels or a rolled up yoga mat. You can also add more stretch of the groin by gently using your elbows to press your knees open.

If you have knee injury, do not do this pose if causes pain in knee.






Makarasana: Dolphin Pose

Type Pose: Inversion

dolphin yoga pose
A must for swimmers! This pose build core strength as well as arm, leg and upper body strength while opening the shoulders and upper back, muscles that get very tight. The key to this pose is to engage your abdominals by sucking your navel up toward back of spine, while pressing gently up through the forearms and pressing chest gently back toward the legs. If your hamstrings are tight it will be challenging to press the chest back while keeping straight legs so you can slightly bend the knees. I love to use this pose in my thai yoga massages, I can help people open up even more with my special adjustment. Who wants one?






Urdvah Mukha Svanasana: Upward Facing Dog

Upward Facing Dog yoga pose


This pose can be done in many different variations…it is an intermediate pose that needs careful attention to alignment or injury to lower back, wrist and shoulder can happen. It is advised to work with experienced yoga teacher.

Health Benefits of Urdvah Mukha Svanasana Yoga Pose

• Strengthen the spine, arms and wrists
• Stimulate the organs of the abdomen
• Improve posture, by stretching anterior spine and strengthening posterior spine
• Stretch chest and lungs, shoulders and abdomen
• Help to relieve depression, fatigue and pain of sciatica
• Increase lung capacity to relieve the symptoms of asthma




Fish Pose/Matsyasana

Fish Yoga Pose, Matsyasana
This is one of my favorite poses, it is great if you sit a lot or at the computer and get all hunched up. To me this is therapy for my neck.


*Caution: Please follow an experienced teacher, if you have neck or back weakness or injury you can hurt yourself even more.

**Variations: There are many different variations of this pose, including restorative, therefore almost anyone can enjoy the benefits of this wonderful pose.



Health Benefits of Matsyasana Yoga Pose

Opens your pectoralis muscles of your chest, the intercostal muscles between your ribs, and upper portion of psoas muscles in your hips.
Improves the quality of your breath by opening the accessory muscles of breathing.
Stretches muscles in your abdomen and in the front of your neck.
Relieves mid back spinal tension.
Strengthens musculature in your neck and back
Opens the heart and stimulates organs in the abdomen and throat.
It is also cited this pose helps speed up metabolism. I’m not sure how true that is, but I do know that I am hungry when I come out of pose!


Headstand —Sirsasana

Known as the “King” of all yoga poses.
Tripod Headstand Yoga Pose
There are many different variations of headstand. It took me over 4 years to get the courage to try headstand, since I have 2 herniated and 2 bulging disks in my neck. Once I did it felt great. If done properly and when your core and neck is strong enough for this pose, it is wonderful for your neck and calming for the mind. It also has been cited that 2 minutes a day in headstand is a natural way to counteract depression. During the winter months I practice headstand regularly. I get a little blue without the warm sun.


Health Benefits of Sirsasana Yoga Pose

The inverted position of Sirsasana increases the flow of blood to your brain.
This freshly oxygenated blood stimulates your pituitary and pineal glands to calm and revitalize your mind.
Strengthens your core, back, neck, shoulders and arms
Lengthens your spine
Eases pressure on your lower back
Strengthens your lungs
Helps relieve colds, cough, sinusitis, sore throat and asthma
Alleviates stress, insomnia and depression
Regulates your metabolism
Improves memory and concentration



Viparita Karani: Legs Up the Wall—The Most Therapeutic Yoga Pose

lega up the wall yoga pose

Health Benefits of Pose:

• Relieves tired or cramped legs and feet
• Gently stretches the back legs, front torso, and the back of the neck
• Relieves mild backache
• Calms the mind
• Boosts circulation

Perfect pose for the busy holidays!

*Note: There are many different variations of this pose. I am showing the basic one. I slide up to the wall on my side until my butt is against the wall then I swing my legs around and up. In this picture I have a pillow under the middle of my back which opens my chest more and stretches the front of my neck. I added an eye mask to relieve tension in my eyes and head. You can also bring your arms up over your head to stretch your shoulders more as well. Enjoy!!!


Mantra or Affirmation

I am free to breathe deeply.



Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana: Revolved Head to Knee Pose

Revolved head to knee yoga pose

Health Benefits of Pose:

Side-stretching poses lengthen the muscles between the ribs and pelvis, including parts of the low back, and open the sides of the rib cage, improving rib cage mobility and the expansiveness of the lungs, which makes breathing easier in all situations, including aerobic activities. In sidebends where an arm stretches overhead to reach for the foot, the latissimus dorsi muscle, which extends from the back waist to the armpit, will also stretch.

One of the most important muscles stretched during a sidebend is the quadratus lumborum (QL). In theory, it’s a good idea to regularly practice sidebends to keep the QL, latissimus dorsi, and rib cage supple and flexible. However, tight hamstrings and adductors (inner thigh muscles that pull the thighs together) can throw a wrench into this theory. That’s why working with an experienced yoga teacher is so important.

Mantra or Affirmation

I am free to breathe deeply.


Urdhva Dhanurasana: Upward Bow Pose or Wheel Pose

Upward Bow or Wheel Yoga Pose

Benefits of the Upward Bow Pose

  • Stretches the chest and lungs
  • Opens the shoulders
  • Deep stretch for psoas
  • Strengthens the arms and wrists, legs, buttocks, abdomen, and spine
  • Stimulates the thyroid and pituitary
  • Increases energy and counteracts depression
  • Therapeutic for asthma, back pain, infertility, and osteoporosis
There are many contraindications to this pose so should be done with assistance of professional teacher.

This is one of the best poses to open the front of the body and keep the spine supple. One of my favs!

Mantra

I am strong and free


Triangle pose

Triangle Yoga Pose
Triangle pose is known as Trikonasana in Sanskrit—tri meaning three and kona meaning corner. Triangle is a therapeutic pose that provides many benefits including strengthening of the core and legs and the spine.

Benefits of Triangle Pose

Done properly and consistently...
  • Stretches legs, muscles around the knee, ankle joints, hips, groin muscles, hamstrings, calves, shoulders, chest and spine
  • Strengthens legs, knees, ankles, abdominals, obliques and back
  • Stimulates function of abdominal organs
  • Relieves stress
  • Improves digestion and constipation
  • Helps to alleviate back pain and symptoms of menopause
  • Used therapeutically for anxiety, infertility, neck pain and sciatica
  • Just overall feels good!



Uttanasana or Standing forward fold

Standing Forward Fold Yoga pose

Benefits of Standing Forward Bend Pose

  • Stretches the hips, hamstrings, and calves
  • Strengthens the thighs and knees
  • Keeps your spine strong and flexible
  • Reduces stress, anxiety, depression, and fatigue
  • Calms the mind and soothes the nerves
  • Relieves tension in the spine, neck, and back
  • Activates the abdominal muscles
  • Eases symptoms of menopause, asthma, headaches, and insomnia
  • Stimulates the kidneys, liver, spleen
  • Improves digestion
  • May lower high blood pressure

Mantra

I am calm awareness


Tittibhasana or Firefly Pose

Firefly Yoga Pose

Type of pose

Arm balance

Benefits of Firefly Pose

Strengthens the wrists, forearms and core abdomen; stretches the hamstrings and strengthens the quads

Mantra

I am strong calm confidence








Bakasana: Crow Pose

Crow yoga pose

Type of pose

Arm balance

Benefits of Crow Pose

Strengthens core, arms, wrists
Cultivates inner SELF confidence!

Not as hard as it looks!

Mantra

I am calm determination







Ustrasana: Camel Pose

Camel Pose

Type of pose

Backbend

Benefits of Camel Pose

Stretches the front of the body including the chest, abdomen, and quadriceps. Improves spinal flexibility.

How to get into the pose

  1. Come up onto your knees. Take padding under your knees if they are sensitive.
  2. Bring your hands to your lower back, drawing your shoulder blades and elbows together as you start to open your chest.
  3. Slight pelvic tilt under, drawing the tailbone toward the ground to lengthen through your lower back
  4. Reach your hands back one at a time to grasp your heels. (Or do one hand at a time for half Camel Pose)
  5. Keep your hips forward so that they are over your knees, and keep your heart center soft and rising upward
  6. Let your head come back opening your throat.
Beginners: Curl your toes under and come to the balls of your feet if you cannot reach your heels when the feet are flat, or use blocks on either side.

Mantra

My vulnerability is my strength.


Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana: Standing Big Toe Pose

Standing Big Toe Pose

Type of pose

Standing, Balancing

Benefits of Standing Big Toe Pose

Improves leg strength, core strength, and balance, stretches the hamstrings

How to get into the pose

  1. From mountain pose, shift your weight into your right leg.
  2. Bend the left knee, bringing the left foot off the floor.
  3. Hold your left big toe with your left hand in a yogi toe lock.
  4. Straighten your left leg as much as possible. Keep both hips squared to the front of the room.
  5. Try to keep the spine straight, the shoulders sliding down your back, and your left arm in the socket.
  6. Release the left foot and repeat the pose on the other side.

Mantra

I stand strong and rooted in my power. Om Namah Shivaya!






Eka Pada Kapotasana: Pigeon Pose

Pigeon Yoga Pose

Type of pose

Hip opener, Backbend
My favorite hip opener! A must if you are a runner or cyclist!

Benefits of Pigeon Pose

Stretches the gluteus maximus, thighs, groins, back, and psoas. Opens the chest and shoulders.

Helps with tight lower back and lower back pain, including sciatica

There are many variations of this pose, for everyone including if you have tight hips! I am doing the above...Eka Pada Rajakapotasana which gives an added benefit of stretching the chest and front of shoulder as well as the quadriceps and psoas much deeper.

There are many ways to come into this pose. One of the best is from downward facing dog. You must be careful if you have knee injuries doing pigeon pose; that is why one on one instruction is best for beginners or someone with injuries.

Note: Don't be surprised if you well up with tears or full on cry in pigeon pose. The hips are where we store repressed emotions. It is a great emotional release. Let it flow and let it go! I did and it was great!

Mantra

May your heart remain open and love be your guiding force.


Garuda-asana: Eagle Pose

Eagle Yoga Pose
This is one of my favorite balancing poses. I feel very at home in this pose. With practice you will grow to love it too!

Health Benefits of the Eagle Pose

The eagle pose strengthens and enhances the flexibility of your knees, ankles, legs, upper back, hips and shoulders.
It enhances your blood circulation system, increasing the blood flow to the kidneys, sex organs and reproductive system. This improves the functioning of the reproductive system, and enhances your sexual vitality.
It strengthens your body’s core sense of balance.
The eagle pose also enhances your concentration level and cultivates inner strength and peace.

Mantra

Be the calm in the chaos

(Remember to do your kegel while you eagle :)
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