I love yoga and practice it every now and then, but not nearly as much as Laura does in FACE TIME. She’s a woman that likes to stay active. If she’s in the gym, sweating and working hard, she doesn’t have to think about the fact that she’s been single for over two years and her mother is living with her. Yoga is her escape. She does it every day, and she’s quite advanced. Here are my top ten favorite yoga poses starting with the most basic and moving to poses that I hope to accomplish myself one day.
1. Child’s Pose – a resting pose and the one I desperately want to get into when I’m dying in the middle of a class!
2. Downward Dog – a resting pose but still requires a lot of concentration. Move your butt up, heels down, and melt your chest to the mat.
3. High plank and low plank – High and low plank are the core of a vinyasa flow and great for your abdomen. I can’t tell you, though, how many people I see do low plank (chaturanga dhandasana) incorrectly. You really have to float forward over your hands and come straight down with your arms at your side. Many people just try to come down into a regular low pushup. The arms need to be bent at 90 degrees.
4. Lizard – I love a good hip-opener because mine have been painful since having children. Lizard pose is my favorite. I can’t get my forearms all the way to the floor (see the link) so I rest them on blocks and roll my foot out to the side. Ahhhh.
5. Pigeon and Mermaid – Another hip-opener, one-legged king pigeon pose brings a lot of relief to my aching hips. From this pose, you can advance on to Mermaid, which I have yet to get to! I can reach back and grab my foot, but I can’t get it into the crook of my arm nor reach over my head with the other hand. Maybe someday. This link will show you a warm-up and then advance to Pigeon and Mermaid.
6. Triangle – I love this pose because it stretches both the upper and lower body, plus opens up your chest, if you’re able to lean back enough.
7. Tree – During the summer when I wear yoga shorts, I can rest my foot in the upper position against my inner thigh but when I wear pants, my foot always slips. This is a great pose for balance.
8. Crow and Side Crow (or Crane and Side Crane) – I have always heard this pose as Crow, but regardless, it’s a good intermediate arm balance to work on. I can get into Crow and hold it for a bit but I’m working on Side Crow too which requires a lot more twist in the torso than I can comfortably do right now. Someday!
9. Headstand – I like headstand the best of all the inversions because the triangle of forearms feels very supportive to me and helps me bring my head off the floor. Right now, I can only do this pose against the wall. I’m still working on the core strength I need to do this in the middle of the floor.
10. Forearm Stand and Scorpion – I have yet to get into this inversion AT ALL so it’s my goal for this year and next. It’s a lot harder than it looks because you have to look forward. Once you’re a master at this, Scorpion is next for you!
Go out and practice your yoga. Namaste!