Strengthen your legs and core and im­prove cir­cu­la­tion with these prep poses for Ub­haya Padan­gusthasana.

Yoga Journal - - Practice Well -

UPAVISTHA KONASANA Wide-An­gle Seated For­ward Bend

BEN­E­FITS In­creases mo­bil­ity and cir­cu­la­tion in your pelvis; stretches your ham­strings; length­ens your sides

IN­STRUC­TION A From Down Dog, ex­hale and step (or jump) for­ward to sit down. Straighten your legs and flex your feet. Open your straight legs away from one an­other with toes and knees point­ing up. Reach for­ward to grab the out­sides of your feet (bring your legs slightly closer if needed). Lift your torso, straighten your arms, draw the outer edges of your feet back, and ground through your outer knees, thighs, and hips. At the same time, press through the in­side edges of your an­kles and feet. On an ex­ha­la­tion, move your torso for­ward and down to­ward the floor. Re­lax your neck. If your head rests on the floor, reach your chin for­ward and gaze down your nose. Hold for at least 5 breaths. On an in­hala­tion, lengthen your torso away from the floor. On an ex­ha­la­tion, re­lease your feet and sit up. Pro­ceed to B.

IN­STRUC­TION B Sit tall with your arms out­stretched, and lean back slightly un­til you feel your low belly en­gage. In­hale, and lift straight legs up to straight arms, grab­bing the out­side edges of your feet—or slightly bend your knees to con­nect your hands to your feet, then slowly ex­tend your legs. Keep your legs wide, lift your chest, point your toes, and be­gin to gaze up. Keep draw­ing your waist in, breath­ing up into your chest. Again, hold for at least 5 breaths.

PARSVOTTANASANA In­tense Side Stretch Pose

BEN­E­FITS Tones your waist; stretches and strength­ens your legs from feet to hips

IN­STRUC­TION Stand in Sa­mas­thiti (Equal Stand­ing Pos­ture). Lift the arches of your feet, spread the balls of your feet, and ground your heels. Lift your knees, thigh mus­cles, pelvic floor, low belly, and chest. Take your arms in re­verse prayer (or grab op­po­site el­bows be­hind your back). In­hale, and step your right foot be­hind you (about 3 feet). Turn on your heels to face the back of your mat. Point your right foot straight out in front, and turn your back foot out 60–90 de­grees. Square your hips over your right leg. Ex­hale, and fold at your hips, bring­ing your head to­ward your right knee. Gaze at your knee un­til your head is con­nected to your leg; once con­tact is made, gaze at your an­kle or big toe. Lengthen your sides and re­lax your neck. Hold for at least 5 breaths. In­hale to lift your torso, and pivot to the left on your heels to switch sides.

SUPTA PADAN­GUSTHASANA Re­clin­ing Hand-to-Big Toe Pose

BEN­E­FITS Strength­ens your legs and ab­dom­i­nals; im­proves cir­cu­la­tion in your legs, ab­domen, pelvis, and spine

IN­STRUC­TION From Down Dog, ex­hale and step (or jump) for­ward to sit down. Straighten your legs, and lie on your back. Squeeze your legs to­gether, and point your toes. Draw your navel to­ward your spine. Rest your right hand on your right thigh. In­hale and lift your left leg to meet your left hand. Flex your left foot; hold your left big toe with your sec­ond and third fin­gers and thumb. Ex­hale, and lift your head and chest to your left leg. Try to draw in at your waist. Hold for at least 5 breaths. On an in­hala­tion, lower your head. On an ex­ha­la­tion, lower your leg. Re­peat on the other side.

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