Yoga Pose of The Month with Yoga Coordinator Sarah Davidson!
NOVEMBER: Down Dog with revolved twists (Adoh Mukha Svanasana)
Come onto all fours. Keep your hands slightly forward of your shoulders with your fingers spread wide. Curl your toes under, straighten your legs, and lift your hips up and back into the pose. Heals are striving for the earth and the tailbone is lengthening towards the sky. Turn the eye of the elbow in; relax your neck. Reach your right hand to the outer edge of your left leg (shin, ankle, or foot, whatever you can reach). If you can‘t find the leg, shorten your stance. Revolve your ribcage to the left, keeping your left arm straight. Breathe, switch sides, and repeat. Repeat five breaths per side.
From downward facing dog, step your right foot forward in between your hands. Stay on the ball of your back foot with your feet hip-width apart. Lift your arms and torso upright. Draw your tailbone down as you lift your lower belly up. Bend the back knee as much as you need to in order to achieve this. Stretch your arms overhead shoulder-width apart. Breathe for eight breaths and repeat on the second side for the same count. After both sides are complete, step feet together at the top of the mat and come to stand in Mountain pose (Tadasana)
JANUARY: Chair Pose
Chair pose (Utkatsana)
Bend both knees, drop your hips, and lift your torso upright. Keep the weight in your heels and all ten toes light on the mat. You should be able to see your toes when you gaze down. Keep your pelvis neutral, lift your lower belly up, and keep your front ribs in. Extend your arms up shoulder-width apart with the palms turned in to relax the base of your neck. Bring a softness through the shoulders. Repeat for eight breaths.
FEBRUARY: Chair pose with a twist (Parivrtta Utkatasana)
From chair, draw your palms together at heart center. Exhale, and bring your left elbow onto your right thigh or knee. Place your palms together and press down to revolve your chest open to the right. and the right ribcage rotating towards the sky. Keep your hips square. Draw your left knee back so two knees are in one line. Release the twist, returning to chair. Repeat the twist on the second side, and continue for eight breaths per side.
MARCH: Camel (Ustranana)
Start with knees on the mat and maintain 6 inches of space between knees and feet, which is the length of two fists. Support your spine by placing your hands on the back of your hips with fingers pointing down. Keep elbows drawing in towards one another and let the shoulders roll back. Inhale while lifting your chest, and exhale while dropping your head back and arching the torso further back. Keep the chest lifted throughout the pose to minimize compression in the lower back. Ensure that hips are forward and lined up above the knees then bring your right hand down to grab the right heel and left hand down to grab the left heel; Put thumbs on outside of feet and place fingers on soles. Maintain a tight grip on feet so you can push hips forward. If hips collapse back and you sink into the spine as you grab heels, continue to keep your hands on hips and keep lifting the chest. Keep arching spine back and work hips forward while lengthening tailbone down toward the floor. Continue lifting chest to ensure that body weight hasn’t sunk back into heels and hands. To come out of this posture, bring your right hand to your right hip, and then bring left hand to the left hip. Press knees down and use abdominal strength to lift and straighten up the spine. Hold this pose for 8 breaths.