One of the fun aspects of yoga is that many poses are named after animals. Anyone with a dog has seen their canine friend strike a Downward or Upward Facing Dog. Fish Pose brings to mind a fish, and Cobra pose definitely feels like a snake lifting its head. In yoga, you can use your body and your imagination to mimic different animals.
But it’s not just animals that can stoke your creative fire in yoga. There are lots of poses named after things too - objects, plants and even celestial bodies. Here is a selection of Yoga Teddy Bear’s four favorite “thing poses” from the coloring book “Things & Stuff.”
1. Chair Pose (Utkatasana) Begin with your feet firmly planted. Breathe in and raise your arms up. Breathe out and bend your knees as if you are sitting down on a chair. Keep your back straight, but lean forward a little so you can see your toes sticking out from below your knees. Do you feel like a chair? How long can you hold Chair Pose? Flex your muscles.
2. Plank Pose (Adho Mukha Dandasana) Begin on all fours. Place your hands on the floor under your shoulders. Stretch your legs out behind you tucking your toes. Flex your tummy and make your whole back straight and long like a plank of wood. Keep on breathing. How long can you hold Plank Pose?
3. Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana) Start from a standing position. Take a big step forward. Turn your back foot so you’re facing to one side. Reach your arms out like a capital “T”. Breathe in and slide forward over your straight front leg, then breathe out while you slowly teeter totter your arms until your hand touches your leg or the floor. Reach your other fingertips toward the sky and look upward. How many triangles do you see? Next, try the pose with your other foot in front so you are facing the opposite way. Hold it for the same amount of time.
4. Airplane Pose (Dekasana) Stand with your feet rooted in the earth like a mountain. Tuck your tail a little and pull in your belly button. Bring your arms out to your sides like an airplane. Balance on one foot and lean forward with your leg stretched out behind you. Breathe deeply while you imagine all the places you will fly! Fly high above the clouds. When you’re done balancing on one foot, try the other foot.
These four poses are not only fun, they’re beneficial. Chair Pose strengthens your legs. Practice Plank Pose regularly and you’ll develop awesome belly muscles. Triangle pose releases tension in your hips. Airplane pose is the perfect pose to practice your balance. And all of them have one thing in common – they’re things! And good things at that.
So the next time you’re in the mood to have fun and treat your body to something different, give these three poses a try. Make yourself look like these things, and when you're done, color the pictures.