Posted in Uncategorized, Yoga For Balance And Posture

Staff Pose

One You Really Must Know

This foundational asana helps Yogis to sit with correct posture, and serves as a starting position for other seated poses.

Achieving correct form with Dandasana or Staff Pose, makes the target asana easier to assume and more beneficial as well. Staff Pose helps increase the flexibility of the hip and pelvis, and strengthen the lower back.

Anyone who experiences chronic lower back pain should find this Yoga asana especially helpful and simple to learn. 

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Sit on the floor with your back straight and your legs stretched out in front of you. 
*Make sure your legs and feet are hip width apart and parallel. 

2. Press your sitting bones into the floor and point the crown of your head toward the ceiling to lengthen and straighten your spine. 

3. Flex your feet and press out through your heels. 

4. Place your palms on the floor beside your hips to support your spine and then relax your shoulders down. Your upper body should be erect, but not stiff. 

5. Relax your legs to the floor so your lower body feels firmly grounded. 

6. Hold the pose for 20 to 60 seconds, depending on your comfort level. 

VARIATIONS

*For Those With Limited Hip Movement*

Perform Staff Pose sitting on a folded blanket. This raises your hips so your legs drop away from your pelvis, allowing you to sit more comfortably. This modification can also help you lengthen and straighten your spine more easily. 

*For Those With Back Problems*

If back problems make this pose difficult for you, you can perform Staff Pose with your back lightly touching a wall. This will protect your back while assuming this pose. You can also choose to perform Legs Up The Wall Pose which will also protect your back and still provide the same benefits as Staff Pose. 

*To Stretch The Upper Body In Staff Pose* 

To stretch your upper body in this pose, interlace your fingers and then extend your arms forward, parallel to the floor. Turn your palms away from you so your thumbs are pointing toward the floor and then inhale as you raise your arms above your head until they are positioned slightly behind your ears. Be sure to keep your shoulders relaxed as you perform this variation. Stretching your upper body in Staff Pose can help open your chest and stretch the front of your abdomen. 

TIPS

While performing Staff Pose, you should be aware of both your upper and lower body. Your upper body should be erect, yet relaxed, and your lower body should feel strong and grounded. 

Staff Pose, using the upper body variation above, is an excellent warm-up and cool-down for weight training sessions. 

Stay Healthy!

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Posted in Yoga For Balance And Posture

Cow Face Pose

Kids love this too!

Lots of Yoga poses have fun animal names, making them perfect for introducing a young, preschool age or so, child to this highly beneficial exercise modality.  

As an adult, you will surely also see an increased range of motion in your shoulders and neck, and, feel relief from tension in your upper back from day to day stress.  Of course, improved posture goes along with this as well.  

Adding this pose to your daily Yoga routine, allows you to breath through your nose more easily. Yoginis and Yogis suffering from sinus and allergy problems may find this especially helpful.

Cow Face Pose (Gomukhasana) is an intermediate Yoga asana, but, can be modified for the beginner.  For kids, just ask them to move as far as they can into the pose, but remember, those little ones have incredible flexibility and you may be surprised at how easy this is for them!

INSTRUCTIONS

Begin in Staff Pose.

Bend your left leg and bring your heel under your right thigh, near your right hip.

Bend your right leg over your left knee and bring your right heel near your left hip.

  *Make sure your right knee is direcly above your left knee.

Rest your palms on your feet.

Press your sitting bones into the floor and point the crown of your head toward the ceiling to lengthen your spine.

Bend your left elbow and bring your left forearm down and behind your back.

Aim to rest the back of your left hand in the middle of your back, near your shoulder blades.

  *Your left forearm and the fingers of your left hand should be pointing toward your head.

 Inhale and extend your right arm over your head.

Bend your right elbow and place your right hand between your shoulder blades.

  *Your right palm should be facing your back and the fingers of your right hand should be pointing toward the floor.

With your right hand clasp the fingers of your left hand.

Gently pull your elbows away from each other. Feel your shoulders stretching and your chest opening.

Hold the pose for 10 to 45 seconds, depending on your comfort level, and then release your hands and return to Staff Pose.

Repeat steps from beginning for the other side.

 

MODIFICATIONS

*For Problems Clasping Your Hands Behind Your Back*

You can use a Yoga strap, held between your hands, keeping hands as close as possible without causing any pain. Hold the strap in whichever hand feels stronger, and then grasp the end of it with your other hand.  If you don’t have a strap you can use a towel, scarf, belt or necktie.  

*For Problems With Leg Positioning*

Perform the upper body stretch of this pose only, while remaining in Easy Pose, which will place less stress on the lower body and enable those with leg problems to still get most of the benefits from Cow Face Pose.

*To Deepen The Pose*

For Intermediate/Advanced students who are ready to take this asana to a higher level, you can deepen the pose by pulling your abdominal muscles toward your spine (as if your navel is being pulled back by a string) and bend forward from your hips as you gently press your chest toward the floor, without touching it.  Make sure you keep your hands clasped and your elbows pulling away from each other.

Stay healthy!

For American women and women everywhere who want to get in great shape and stay in great shape!

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