Home Page Asanas Guidelines Aspects of Yoga Pranayama Affirmations Yoga Overview Raja Yoga Extra Gentle What's New

 

Standing Postures

Trikonasana, Triangle Pose 

Trikonasana

 

Triangle Pose

"Energy and joy flood my body cells! Joy descends to me!"

Tri-ko-naa-sa-na Trikona = triangle (tri = three/ kona = angle)

Instructions

From tadasana, step your left foot directly to the left so your feet are about one leg's length apart. Open your left hip to turn the foot out 90; make sure that your left knee points in the same direction as the left toes. The pelvis remains facing forward if possible; however, it's more important to align the left knee and toes, which may mean allowing the right side of the pelvis to rotate forward somewhat. In that case, turn your right foot in enough to align your right knee and toes. Align your feet so that a line from the second toe through the heel of your left foot will intersect the middle of the instep of your right foot. To stabilize and protect your left knee, lift your left kneecap by lightly contracting your left quadriceps.

Inhale and circle your hands out to horizontal at your sides and slightly behind, rolling open your arms, chest, and shoulders. Exhale and maintain that openness as you return your arms to a neutral horizontal position, palms forward. As you inhale again, lengthen to your left and slightly upward through your left arm, lengthening your torso to the left with the underside (left side) of your rib cage long and open. At the same time, release your left hip joint downward and keep your spine long and straight (from coccyx through neck). When you've gone left as far as is comfortable, exhale as you release your left arm, and rest your left hand lightly on your left leg wherever it touches (without bending the torso farther to the side). As you inhale, raise your right arm to vertical, palm facing forward. Keep your shoulders soft, down away from your ears.

Pause to stabilize your position and check your alignment. Inhale as you lengthen your neck, then exhale and rotate your head to look up at your upraised right arm.

Breathe smoothly and naturally as you hold the pose and affirm mentally, "Energy and joy flood my body cells! Joy descends to me!"

To exit, inhale and lengthen your neck, then exhale and rotate your head to look forward once again. Bend your left knee slightly, and on an inhalation, bring yourself upright by pressing down through your left leg and, at the same time, reaching up through your right hand. Once upright, turn your feet forward once again and open your arms, chest and shoulders as you finish your inhalation. On the exhalation, release your arms back to your sides and step your feet back into tadasana.

Pause to integrate the effects, then repeat to the other side.

 

Utkatasana

Utkatasana, Chair Pose

Chair Pose (literally/ Powerful Pose)

"My body is no burden; it is light as air."

Ut-ka-taa-sa-na Utkata = powerful, mighty

Instructions

From tadasana, turn your palms forward. On an inhalation, bring your arms forward and up to horizontal as you come up onto the balls of your feet. Retaining your breath, bend your knees and come down as though sitting onto the edge of a chair or high stool, lowering your heels almost to the floor. Then exhale and continue breathing naturally, keeping your spine long straight, shoulders soft. Bend forward very slightly from your hips and shift your pelvis slightly backward. Breathe smoothly and naturally as you hold the pose and affirm mentally, "My body is no burden; it is light as air." To enter the second phase of the pose, inhale, then on the exhalation settle down into a full squat on your heels, palms up at the junction of your thighs and abdomen, balancing on the balls of your feet. Keep your torso vertical, the tops of your thighs horizontal, and your knees pointing directly forward. Hold as long as is comfortable, continuing the affirmation.

To exit, release your arms to your sides and, on an inhalation, sweep them forward and up, palms upward, drawing yourself fully upright and stretching tall, coming up high on the balls of your feet once again. On the exhalation, circle your arms down to your sides and return to tadasana.

Pause to integrate the effects of the pose.


Virabhadrasana

Virabhadrasana, Warrior Pose

Warrior Pose

"I joyfully manifest the power of God!"

Vii-ra-bha-draa-sa-na

Vira = hero; bhadra = kind, gracious, happy,

blessed

From tadasana, step your left foot directly to the left so your feet are a little more than one leg's length apart. Open your left hip to turn the foot out 900; make sure that your left knee points in the same direction as the left toes. The pelvis remains facing forward if possible; however, it's more important to align the left knee and toes, which may mean allowing the right side of the pelvis to rotate forward somewhat. In that case, turn your right foot in enough to align your right knee and toes. Align your feet so that a line from the second toe through the heel of your left foot will intersect the middle of the instep of your right foot.

Inhale as you bring your arms up to horizontal, rolling the palms to face up and lengthening out through the fingertips. Exhale and relax your shoulders, keeping arms horizontal. Inhale and lengthen through your spine, then exhale and bend your left knee, bringing it over your left ankle into a sideways lunge, chest still facing forward. Keep your hips level, spine vertical, and shoulders relaxed down away from your ears.

Inhale and lengthen your neck and glide your chin in, then exhale and rotate your head to look out over your extended left arm.

Breathe smoothly and naturally as you hold the pose. Keep your spine long, shoulders soft, and lower jaw relaxed. Mentally affirm, "I joyfully manifest the power of God!" To exit, inhale and straighten your left knee as you rotate your head back to center. Once upright, turn both feet forward and stretch open through chest and shoulders. On the exhalation, release your arms to your sides, and step your feet back into tadasana.

Pause to integrate the effects of the pose, then repeat to the right side.

 

Vrikasana

Tree Pose

"I am calm, I am poised."

Vri-kaa-sa-na Vriksha = tree

Instructions

From tadasana, shift your weight onto your left foot, rooting your foot into the floor. Fix your gaze on a stationary point on the floor or on the wall in front of you. Bring the sole of your right foot to the top inside of your left thigh, toes pointing down. Fix your gaze on something stationary on the floor or on the wall in front of you.

Open your right hip so your right knee swings out to the right, pelvis facing forward. Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor. Find your balance.

On an inhalation, circle your hands out to the sides and up overhead, bringing your palms together as you stretch tall. On the exhalation, soften your elbows and shoulders as you keep your spine long.

Breathe smoothly and naturally as you hold the pose and affirm mentally, "I am calm, I am poised."

To exit, inhale and extend your arms straight overhead; then, exhaling, release and circle your arms back down to your sides. Release your right leg and bring your right foot to the floor, coming into tadasana.

Pause to integrate the effects of the pose, then repeat to the other side.