I have selected this weeks postures from those we are working with on week 3 having a Strong Base. Having a strong base is a useful foundation for yoga postural practice and helps as a forerunner to other ground and mat postures. Running left to right we start with:
Bridge Pose: this is a pose usually adopted to srengthen the back but is also useful in toning the legs, hips, buttocks as well as lower back.Adding a block or cushion between the thighs allows for squeezing the thighs together at the top of the lift to allow for greater toning. The arms can be as shown or by the side. In a reclining position bend the knees keeping feet a foot apart arms as you prefer. Place a cushion/block bewteen knees. On inhalation lift waist and allow knees to go forward coming up to a bridge like position gently pressing the legs together. Hold for a moment then stop the pressing and breath out as waist returns to the mat.
Tiger Pose: a pose again helpful for the back but also the legs and the core and lower body generally.
Come to all 4s. Bring the knees together and allow the hands to move outwards a little for balance.On inhalation lift the head and reach back with the right leg keeping it parallel with the ground. As you exhale drop the head and draw forward the right knee trying to keep the foot clear from the ground. Repeat several times. Then do the same on the other side.
Warrior I a classic yoga standing pose aimed mainly at the thighs and hips for strength and toning. It also allows for upper body stretching from the abdomen up through the armpits and shoulders. Plant the feet firmly so they feel grounded and stable then bending the forward knee so as it stays over the ankle lunge forward sweeping up with the arms and try to bring the hands together above the head. If the shoulders wont allow then as far as possible while the shoulders improve stopping at ten to two rather than throwing the arms forward.
High Lunge another good pose for the legs. Come to this pose either from a standing position stepping back with the left foot and dropping the knee while at the same time bending the right knee allowing you to come to a lunge as in the picture. Hands can be on the forward knee or in a prayer position at the heart centre. The picture show the student with rear knee on the ground but it can be off the ground for a more challenging feeling for the legs. Try easy version first. We will consider how to move in to this pose to allow for accessibility. Another way to access this pose is from al all4s position, sitting up on knees, taking right foot forward and extending left foot back. Find the one best for you.
We will also explore Salutrations to the Sun or Surya Namaskara this week that sequence of 12 postures that gives an all round body experience while reaching most internals organs and glands.