By Marlo Waters
Known as the “King” of poses because of its many benefits. Beginners should never try this pose without supervision. When trying this pose for the first time the support of a wall is very helpful.
How to do: A good place is to start in extended child’s pose and begin to move your body forward to prepare by shifting up and forward on your knees and then resting your forearms shoulder width apart on the mat while clasping your hands together, stacking your pinky fingers on top of one another. Placing your hairline on the mat against your pinky fingers and cupping the top of your head. Lifting your hips into dolphin as you step your feet hip width apart. Slowly walking your feet toward your arms until you cannot walk forward any more. Slowly using your abdominal muscles to draw one leg at a time off the floor bending your knees toward your chest. Stabilizing and breathing as you slowly begin to extend one leg and then the other pointing the toes up toward the sky. Support your weight by bracing your forearms against the ground. Counter with a restful pose like child’s pose.
Benefits: This pose strengthens the body and increases mindfulness in our practice. There are so many health benefits to this pose from increasing oxygen to the brain, detoxifying the body, improving circulation and digestion, and many more.
Why I like it: I love, love, love headstands, and practice them almost daily. By reversing the flow of gravity in my body I feel so refreshed and alive.
EXTENDED CHILD’S POSE
How to do: Kneel on your mat, touch your big toes together and sit back on your heels. Push your tailbone toward your heels and separate your knees hip width apart. Let your torso fold forward sinking your heart to the floor and let your forehead fall toward your mat. Stretch your arms forward placing your hands shoulder width apart. Breathe into your lower back and lumbar spine.
Benefits: This pose stretches the spine, hips, knees and relieves tension in the body.
Why I like it: I do it every morning, it aligns and stretches my spine and prepares my body for movement each morning.
WARRIOR II POSE
How to do: Place your feet 4-5 ft apart pointing your right toes toward the end of your mat and drawing your left toes slightly forward while pressing back with the left heel. Lunge on your right knee while stacking your right knee over your ankle and straighten your left leg. Press both feet into the mat as if to separate the mat in two. Tuck your tailbone down, press your hips and pelvis forward and lifting through the heart and crown of the head. Avoid leaning forward over your right leg. Stretch your right arm forward over your right leg and your left arm back over your left leg keeping the arms parallel to the floor while drawing your shoulders back and down. Bring your gaze toward your right fingertips. Take long and steady deep breaths as you ignite the fiery energy of this pose. Repeat this pose on the other side.
Benefits: This pose strengthens and stretches your feet, ankles, legs, and hips. It builds stamina, concentration, and confidence and develops balance and stability and improves circulation.
Why I like it: This used to be one of my least favorite poses but has since turned into one of my favorites. I find this pose to be invigorating as it creates such powerful positive energy within the body while calming the mind.
Namaste’ Marlo Waters, Yoga Instructor
email@example.com • www.marlowaters.com