Thursday, March 30, 2017

Today’s Pose: Seated Wide Angle (Samakonasana)

Seated Wide Angle Pose is a gentle way to relax and lubricate your hip joints while you also stretch your back. Also referred to as “Side Splits” you can even rest in Samakonasana while watching television or reading a book.

To practice Seated Wide Angle, begin on the floor in a seated position. Spread your legs as wide as you comfortably can. Keep your spine long and tall as you lean forward. Stretch your arms out and rest your forehead on the earth or a yoga block if it feels nice. You might also rest your chin in your hands. Breathe slowly and deeply for ten breaths.

Remain in Samakonasana for as long as you feel the benefits, then press yourself back up and slowly draw your legs together. Namasté!

P.S. We'll be in Ft. Lauderdale April 8 at the Yoga Expo. Will you be nearby? Please join us with our compliments. Use our booth number L25 for your free pass.

Images: Seated Wide Angle coloring by Miss Michele Palumbo of Bay Shore, NY. Miss Michele, who submits colorings monthly, is our number one coloring contest winner.  Give her a little competition today!  Yoga Teddy Bear creator K. Mae Copham demonstrates two versions of Seated Wide Angle in front of a cozy fireplace in New Paltz, NY.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Spring Forward, Spring Back: Leaping Crocodile

This week marks the beginning of spring, a time of new beginnings and brighter days. Spring reminds us that each day offers a fresh opportunity for change. That makes now the perfect time to try something new. Which brings us to this week’s pose: Leaping Crocodile (Nakrasana) - or as named in Yoga Teddy Bear A-B-C “Jumping Crocodile.”

By practicing Leaping/Jumping Crocodile, you will challenge your strength and endurance by leaping like a crocodile chasing its prey. Begin in Plank Pose. Inhale and bend your elbows slightly, then press up powerfully on your exhale so that your hands and feet come off the ground. It’s not how high you jump, it’s the effort you put forth that makes the difference. 

See if you can leap forward 3-5 times, then backward 3-5 times. This movement is a great metaphor: sometimes even when we seem to be regressing, we are making progress. 

When you’re finished, rest in Sleeping Crocodile (known as “Napping Crocodile” in Yoga Teddy Bear A-B-C) by lying on your belly with your forehead resting on your hands.

Above: Yoga Teddy Bear creator K. Mae Copham practicing Nakrasana. 

P.S. We'll be in Ft. Lauderdale April 8 at the Yoga Expo. Will you be nearby? Please join us with our compliments. Use our booth number L25 for your free pass.  (Note: code expires 48 hours before the start of the Yoga Expo. 30 free passes available on a first come-first served basis.)

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Fly like an Eagle
Coloring from The Big Little Book of 108 Yoga Poses by Miss Michele Palumbo. Enter our coloring contest today!

Eagle Pose (Garudasana) opens the spaces between your shoulder blades, stretches your hips and improves your balance. In Garudasana, your body is coiled like an eagle getting ready to leap off a cliff and fly.

To practice Eagle Pose, balance on one foot. Cross your free leg over your standing leg and sit down a little, like a chair. Try to hook your toes behind your standing leg while keeping your hips and knees facing forward. Notice which leg is on top, then cross the same side arm under the other arm. Try to touch your palms. Lift your elbows up and reach the top of your head to the sky to lengthen your spine.

Breathe deeply and focus on one point to help you balance. If your balance is excellent, curl forward to touch your elbows to your knees. Breathe deeply for 3 – 5 breaths, then switch sides for an equal amount of time. 

Lef to right: YTB Creator K. Mae Copham in Vail, CO. The Letter "E" in Yoga Teddy Bear A-B-C

Open the space between your shoulders any time by practicing eagle arms in a chair or lying on your back.  Now you're ready to fly! Namaste.