Learning Yoga: Child’s Pose

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Sometimes I really appreciate the challenge of a strenuous yoga routine and the mental focus that it calls for. But other times, I rely on my home yoga practice to keep me calm, stress free, and sane. In those cases, I love gentle restorative poses like Balasana, or child’s pose. Getting into this fetal position helps stretch your hips, thighs, back, knees, and even arms; however, many instructional sites warn not to perform this pose if you have knee troubles, so make sure to be careful. This pose can be performed on its own, or before or after more difficult poses. Since I still consider myself a beginner yogi, I definitely like to fold into it when I get too tired to hold boat pose or chair pose any longer!

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Learning Yoga: Gate Pose

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One of my most joyful yoga experiences came one early morning while practicing a side-bend sequence that I tore out of my monthly Yoga Journal magazine. As I leaned into Gate Pose, or Parighasana, I felt my body loosening and all of the tension flowing from my limbs, and I just couldn’t help my smile and think how lucky I felt to have wonderful people in my life, a happy and welcoming home, and a peaceful spot to practice yoga. So I really wanted to share Gate Pose with you as the next post in my yoga series in hopes that you might share in some of that joy and, even if just for a minute, let your worries slip away and focus on what you’re most thankful for.

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Learning Yoga: Boat Pose

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There’s nothing like yoga at 4:30 a.m. to loosen your limbs and energize your mind, getting you ready to face the day ahead. One of the poses I’ve been trying to accomplish lately is Paripurna Navasana, or full boat pose. Paripurna mean “full, entire, complete,” and nava means “boat,” according to Yoga Journal. With its call for extended arms and legs, boat pose reminds me of the pilates “hundred” exercise—-only harder! As part of my ongoing yoga series, I’ll walk you through it using the photos below as a guide.

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Learning Yoga: Camel Pose

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Here in New York City, it’s a beautiful day to grab your yoga mat or a blanket and head to the park. Unfortunately I have to finish up some homework for an online media class I’m taking, so I can’t go enjoy the sunshine. Instead, I’ll do the next best thing and share some photos of last weekend, when I actually did go out to Central Park with my friend Beyza to practice yoga on the Great Lawn. One of the poses we tried out that day was Ustrasana, or “camel pose.”

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Learning Yoga: Chair Pose

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After injuring my knee several months ago, I started doing yoga at least once per week in an attempt to stretch out my IT band, strengthen my core, and improve my posture and balance. I quickly realized that yoga is hard work! Even seemingly simple moves like downward-facing dog take effort. After several breaths, you can really feel the pull in your hamstrings and the ache in your arms from holding the position.

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