Yoga Pose: Warrior II Pose

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Also known as Virabhadrasana II, this pose helps strengthen the quadriceps, shoulders and abdomen while stretching the inner thighs, chest and hips. It also can aid in relieving backaches and improving posture/balance.

Directions:
– Begin standing with your legs shoulder-width apart and start with a few deep breaths in and out. On a deep exhale, step out with either your left or right foot so that your feet are approximately 4 feet apart. Turn the foot you stepped out with 90 degrees in front of you. Your feet should be perpendicular to one another.
– Raise your arms to about shoulder length so that they are parallel to the floor with your palms facing downwards.
– Let out another deep breath and bend the knee of the leg that you stepped with over your ankle. Your bent knee should create a 90 degree angle with the floor.
– Keep your arms parallel and stretched out, looking over the tips of the fingers in front of you.
– Gently tighten your abdomen and hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute and continue the deep slow breathing.
– Repeat on the opposite foot.

Namaste!

Sources:
http://www.womenshealthmag.com/yoga/yoga-for-women?page=2
http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/495
http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART00538/Warrior-II-Pose.html

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Yoga Pose: Downward Facing Dog

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This pose helps strengthen your upper body, stretch out your spine and helps increase circulation.

Directions:
– Start on the floor and get on all fours, positioning your knees and hip-width apart. Then position your hands shoulder width apart.
– Let a deep breath out and lift your knees off the floor and make sure to straighten your legs. (Do NOT lock your knees). Try to lengthen your tailbone towards the ceiling.
– Move your hands and feet a few inches forward to help lengthen the pose.
– Tighten thighs, press your heals back and towards the floor (it’s ok if they don’t reach the mat).
– Relax your neck and head and let them rest against the shoulder blades.
– Breathe deeply, slowly inhaling and exhaling out.
– Hold for a minimum of one minute.

Namaste!

Sources:
http://www.womenshealthmag.com/yoga/yoga-for-women?page=1
http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/491

Photo credit: myyogaonline via photopin cc

Yoga Pose: Tree Pose

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Tree pose is the perfect pose to do when you are stressed out. It should help you relax because it takes a lot of balance and focus to maintain both breathing and the posture.

Directions:
– Stand up straight and slowly place your right (or left which ever is most comfortable to start) foot on the inside of your left thigh or calf. Make sure your knee is pointing straight out to the side.
– Put your hands in a prayer position and take 3 to 5 deep breaths. Inhaling and exhaling slowly.
– Slowly raise your hands above your head and hold for another 3 to 5 breaths.
– Repeat on the opposite side.

Namaste!

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Yoga Pose: Child’s Pose

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This yoga pose helps relieve low back tension/pain and opens up the hips.

Directions:
– Kneel on the floor with your big toes touching and sitting on your heels, about hip-width apart.
– Exhale and lay your torso between the thighs and your forehead touching the floor.
– Lengthen your arms straight in front of you.
– Close your eyes and slowly inhale and exhale, releasing tension.
– Hold pose for a minimum of one minute.

Namaste!

Photo credit: W A Y W A R D W A N D E R E R via photopin cc