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Archive for July, 2012

pose of the week… cobra – bhujangasana…

cobra – bhujangasana

BENEFITS:  Strengthens the back muscles. May be beneficial for sciatica. Can be good for rounded shoulders as it encourages opening in front of the collarbones. Increases flexibility in the whole of the spine.  Is said to sometimes help stomach aches…

CONTRAINDICATIONS: Obviously pregnancy puts some restraints on practicing this posture!  Mother’s to be who normally practice this posture will find up until 12 weeks comfortable to do – but listen to your body – and don’t do it if it feels like an effort. We are all unique and different, so only practice if it feels good to do…

PRACTICE: Lie prone with the hands either side of the chest to begin with. The more comfortable the posture becomes – the further down the body your hands can go when preparing for the pose. Keep your eyes looking towards the ground. (You can shut them if you want to…)

Take a journey around your body and see if there is anything still holding. If there is then imagine you are breathing into it. Visualise the area softening and releasing.

Relax and breathe freely and easily…

Notice your hands and the contact they have with the ground…

Feel your spine moving as you breathe…

When you are ready, next time you breathe out engage your thigh muscles. Allow the legs to become heavier and lengthen the tailbone away.

As the upper body becomes lighter, ground the hands and allow  your arms to push you up.

Keep the elbows a little bent – so the arms don’t lock and become stiff . Keeping the arms bent will have the added benefit of helping them to strengthen.

Be aware of keeping the front of the chest and shoulders, wide and free.

Keep length at the back of your neck by allowing the chin be lower (rather than higher).

Enjoy your long spine, strong, (but not locked) arms and broad open shoulders. Breathe and stay for as long as it feels good to do…

Come down gently and then rest in child for a few breaths…

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pose of the week… savasana – corpse pose…

Savasana with knees bent…

BENEFITS: Lengthens the spine. Relaxes the body, mind and spirit. Beneficial for the many systems of the body – especially the immune system. Relieves stress.

CONTRAINDICATIONS: This is one of the safest yoga postures you can do, but as with all postures of the week, only practice if it feels comfortable… Often late in pregnancy lying on your back can make you breathless. This is because the heaviness of the uterus can compress a large blood vessal  (the vena cava) when supine. This will lessen the blood flow to the heart which will cause a drop in blood pressure and decrease the amount of blood getting to your baby.

You will feel the discomfort almost immediately if  it isn’t going to be a good posture for you or your baby.

PRACTICE: Savasana can be done at any time – but is often practiced briefly at the beginning of some yoga classes and usually always at the end of a session for between 5 – 10 minutes.

Lie on your back and gently hug your knees towards you.

Have an awareness of your breathing and then gently let your knees fall away from you as you breathe out. Place the feet on the ground about shoulder width apart.

If you are doing savasana at the end of a class you might like to straighten your legs…

Give the weight of your body to the ground and breathe…

Let every part of you be heavy and weighted…

Really trust that the ground is there – so you can fully be supported by it and let go. The body can then widen and broaden – especially on the in breath…

Allow the joints to be quiet…and a softness to flow over you – an easiness, a release, a relaxation….

Breathe… and have an awareness of the spine gently lengthening each time you breathe out.

When you are ready to finish, slowly wake the body up and roll over onto your side. Stay here for at least half a minute, to allow your body to adjust before coming upright.

When you are ready to sit up – use your hands to help you get up. This will protect your abdominal muscles and keep your spine nice and long.

 

pose of the week – tadasana – mountain pose…

tadasana…

Tadasana is one of the basic standing postures in yoga.

BENEFITS: Good for lengthening and realigning the spine.  May ease backache. Can improve leg and abdominal tone.

CONTRAINDICATIONS: Tadasana seems to be one of the safest postures to do – but as with all the poses of the week – only practice if you feel well and if the position feels comfortable for you to do.

PRACTICE: Stand with your heels directly underneath your sitting bones – a little narrower than your hips. Have the outside edges of your feet comfortably parallel. Take a moment to breath and then allow the lower half of your body to become heavier, so that the feet can really imprint themselves in the ground. In contrast to the earthing of the pelvis, feet and legs, the upper half of the body becomes lighter and is very much attracted upwards. Breathe easily and freely and enjoy the feeling of length and solidity…