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Yoga: Posture for Renewal

by Allaine Stricklen October 29, 2005
Yoga: Posture for Renewal

Move into 2006 by honoring mind, body and soul with these three poses for renewal recommended by Allaine Stricklen, a therapeutic yoga instructor based in Miami.

You have been provided with a perfect body to house your soul for a few brief moments in eternity. So regardless of its size or shape, by practicing yoga and listening to your body’s needs, you can look forward to feeling renewed and empowered by working the following poses into your daily routine.

Mountain Pose – Tadasana
If you have problems balancing, stand with your back against the wall.
 

  • Ensure your inner foot bones and big toes are connected.
  • Feel your legs straighten and strengthen.
  • Engage your thigh muscles.
  • Lift the pit of your belly up toward your heart.
  • Gently tuck your tailbone under.
  • Open your chest by drawing your collar bones away from each other.
  • Raise your arms over your head, extending your fingertips to the sky (unless you have high blood pressure, in which case keep them in prayer position by your chest). Ensure your shoulders are relaxed, eliminating any tension in the back.
  • Lengthen through your spine and up to the crown of your head.
  • Keep your face soft and relaxed, as you breathe steadily and slowly through your nose.
  • Mentally extend yourself upward – think tall – act tall.
  • Hold the pose for 30 seconds. Then, relax your body and step away from the wall.

Benefits:
Mind: Grounding, connecting you to the earth
Body: Sense of strength. Postural alignment
Soul: Improved balance

Mantra: I am supported in everything I do.

 

Tree pose – vrksasana
If you have problems balancing, stand with your back against the wall.
  • Stand in Tadasana – Mountain Pose (see previous posture).
  • Bend your right knee, keeping your hips and chest facing forward.
  • Place the right foot on the side of your left ankle and then slide it up into your inner upper thigh. Make sure your toes face down.
  • Place your hands palm to palm in front of your heart chakra (prayer position) and shine your heart forward.
  • Alternatively, stretch your arms overhead vertically with your palms facing in (but do not raise your arms if you have high blood pressure).

Focus your gaze on a specific point in front of you. This will help you to balance.

Breathe steadily through your nose. Hold position for 30 seconds and then repeat on the left side of the body.

Benefits:
Mind: Improves poise and balance.
Body: Strengthens your ankles and tones your legs. Increases flexibility in the hips.
Soul: Instills a sense of steadiness and calm.

Mantra: I am always growing. I am always evolving. I am always new.

 

Downward Facing Dog Pose – Adho Mukha Svanasana
  • Kneel on the floor on your hands and knees and ensure your hands are shoulder-width apart. Your knees should be shoulder width apart. Sit back on your heels and extend your arms forward, placing your palms flat onto the ground in front of you.
  • Tuck your toes under and lift your hips and knees off the floor, keeping your feet parallel 8 to 12 inches apart. Tighten your front thigh muscles, straighten your legs and lift your buttock bones up as your tail bone moves slightly inward. Gently press your heels into the ground.
  • Let your head relax and move toward the earth underneath you. Breathe slowly, allowing the air to circulate throughout mind and body. Hold for 15 to 20 seconds and then come down onto your knees. Rest in the Child’s Pose, with your buttocks on your heels. Ensure that your knees are wide apart and that your big toes are touching. Rest the front of your head on the floor and your arms on the floor alongside your ankles with your palms up, facing the sky.

Benefits:
Mind: Relieves fatigue.
Body: Strengthens arms and back. Stretches the hamstrings and calf muscles.
Soul: Grounding and balancing.

Mantra: I am strong, flexible and full of love.

 


 

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