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Cherish Asana - Parighasana | Gate Latch Pose

Parighasana

Gate-Latch Pose

parigha = an iron bar used for locking a gat

Notes:

Rotation is automatic with side bending in the spine because of both the shape of the articular facets in the vertebrae and the spiral pathways of the muscles. To keep the action pure lateral flexion, the upper and lower ribs need to counterrotate in relation to each other. In this case, the upper ribs rotate posteriorly and the lower ribs rotate anteriorly. To achieve this, the internal obliques on the upper side and the external obliques on the lower side are recruited.

Also, if tightness exists in the outside of the standing leg hip joint (in the tensor fasciae latae, gluteus medius, or gluteus minimus), then that hip will try to flex rather than stay purely adducted. The standing leg should maintain hip extension (via the adductor magnus and hamstrings) to prevent this.

When there is tightness in the latissimus dorsi, lifting the arm overhead can push the rib cage forward (compressing the floating ribs and inhibiting breath in general) or pull the scapula downward even as the arm is lifting, potentially creating impingement of the biceps brachii tendon or supraspinatus at the acromion process.

With thanks to Lesile Kaminoff and the Yoga Anatomy book.

 

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Cherish Asana - Uttanasana | Standing Forward Bend

Standing Forward Bend

(OOT-tan-AHS-ahna)
ut = intense
tan = to stretch or extend

 

 1) Stand in Tadasana, hands on hips. Exhale and bend forward from the hip joints, not from the waist. As you descend draw the front torso out of the groins and open the space between the pubis and top sternum. As in all the forward bends, the emphasis is on lengthening the front torso as you move more fully into the position.

2) If possible, with your knees straight, bring your palms or finger tips to the floor slightly in front of or beside your feet, or bring your palms to the backs of your ankles. If this isn’t possible, cross your forearms and hold your elbows. Press the heels firmly into the floor and lift the sitting bones toward the ceiling. Turn the top thighs slightly inward.

3) With each inhalation in the pose, lift and lengthen the front torso just slightly; with each exhalation release a little more fully into the forward bend. In this way the torso oscillates almost imperceptibly with the breath. Let your head hang from the root of the neck, which is deep in the upper back, between the shoulder blades.

4) Uttanasana can be used as a resting position between the standing poses. Stay in the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute. It can also be practiced as a pose in itself.

 

5)Don’t roll the spine to come up. Instead bring your hands back onto your hips and reaffirm the length of the front torso. Then press your tailbone down and into the pelvis and come up on an inhalation with a long front torso.

 

Pose Information

Sanskrit Name: Uttanasana

Pose Level: 1

Contraindications and Cautions

Back injury: Do this pose with bent knees, or perform Ardha Uttanasana (pronounced ARE-dah, ardha= half), with your hands on the wall, legs perpendicular to your torso, and arms parallel to the floor.

Modifications and Props

To increase the stretch on the backs of the legs, stand in the forward bend with the balls of your feet elevated an inch or more off the floor on a sand bag or thick book.

Deepen the Pose

To increase the stretch in the backs of your legs, lean slightly forward and lift up onto the balls of your feet, pulling your heels a half-inch or so away from the floor. Draw your inner groins deep into the pelvis, and then, from the height of the groins, lengthen your heels back onto the floor.

 

Beginner's Tip

To increase the stretch in the backs of your legs, bend your knees slightly. Imagine that the sacrum is sinking deeper into the back of your pelvis and bring the tailbone closer to the pubis. Then against this resistance, push the top thighs back and the heels down and straighten the knees again. Be careful not to straighten the knees by locking them back (you can press your hands against the back of each knee to provide some resistance); instead let them straighten as the two ends of each leg move farther apart.

Benefits

Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression

Stimulates the liver and kidneys

Stretches the hamstrings, calves, and hips

Strengthens the thighs and knees

Improves digestion

Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause

Reduces fatigue and anxiety

Relieves headaches and insomnia  

Therapeutic for asthma, high blood pressure, infertility, osteoporosis, and sinusitis

 

 With lvoe, light and thanks to Yoga Journal

 

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Cherish Asana - Dandasana | Staff Pose

Staff Pose

1)Sit on the floor with your legs together and extended in front of your torso. If your torso is leaning back, it may be because tight hamstrings are dragging the sitting bones toward the knees and the back of the pelvis toward the floor. It may be helpful to sit on a blanket or a bolster to lift the pelvis.

 

2)A simple way to check alignment is to sit with your back against a wall. The sacrum and the shoulder blades should touch the wall, but not lower back or the back of the head. Put a small rolled-up towel between the wall and the lower back.

 

 

3)Sit towards the front of the sitting bones, and adjust the pubis and tail bone equidistant from the floor. Without hardening the belly, firm the thighs, press them down against the floor (or your support), rotate them slightly toward each other, and draw the inner groins toward the sacrum. Flex your ankles, pressing out through your heels.

 

4)To lengthen your front torso perpendicular to the floor, think of energy streaming upward from the pubis to the sternum, then down the back from the shoulders to the tail bone. Then imagine the tail lengthening into the floor

 

5)Imagine your spine as the “staff” at the vertical core of your torso, rooted firmly in the Earth, the support and pivot of all you do. Hold the pose for one minute or longer.

 

 

 

Pose Information : 

Sanskrit Name : Dandasana

Pose Level: 1

Contraindications and Cautions: Any wrist or lower back injury

Beginner's Tip:

Lay one to three 10-pound sandbags across the tops of your thighs at the hip crease to help ground your thighs.

Benefits: Strengthens the back muscles,Stretches the shoulders and chest

Improves posture

 

With love, light and thanks to Yoga Journal

 

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Cherish Asana - Baddha Konasana | Bound Eagle Pose

Bound Angle Pose

(BAH-dah cone-AHS-anna)
baddha = bound
kona = angle

 

1) Sit with your legs straight out in front of you, raising your pelvis on a blanket if your hips or groins are tight. Exhale, bend your knees, pull your heels toward your pelvis, then drop your knees out to the sides and press the soles of your feet together.

2) Bring your heels as close to your pelvis as you comfortably can. With the first and second finger and thumb, grasp the big toe of each foot. Always keep the outer edges of the feet firmly on the floor. If it isn’t possible to hold the toes, clasp each hand around the same-side ankle or shin.

3) Sit so that the pubis in front and the tailbone in back are equidistant from the floor. The perineum then will be approximately parallel to the floor and the pelvis in a neutral position. Firm the sacrum and shoulder blades against the back and lengthen the front torso through the top of the sternum.

4) Never force your knees down. Instead release the heads of the thigh bones toward the floor. When this action leads, the knees follow.

5) Stay in this pose anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes. Then inhale, lift your knees away from the floor, and extend the legs back to their original position.

Sanskrit Name: Baddha Konasana

Pose Level: 1

Contraindications and Cautions

Groin or knee injury: Only perform this pose with blanket support under the outer thighs.

Modifications and Props

To understand the release of the heads of the thigh bones, fold two blankets and put one under each outer thigh, supporting the thighs an inch or so above their maximum stretch. Then lay a 10-pound sand bag on each inner groin, parallel to the crease between the thigh and pelvis. Release the thigh heads away from the weight, and let them sink into the blankets. Do not use the bags unless the thighs are supported.

Deepen the Pose

Imagine you have two partners, each pressing inward (toward the pelvis) on a knee. From the middle of your sacrum, push out along the outer thighs against this imaginary resistance. Then push the heels firmly together from the knees.

Beginner's Tip

It can be difficult to lower the knees toward the floor. If your knees are very high and your back rounded, be sure to sit on a high support, even as high as a foot off the floor.

Benefits

Stimulates abdominal organs, ovaries and prostate gland, bladder, and kidneys

Stimulates the heart and improves general circulation

Stretches the inner thighs, groins, and knees

Helps relieve mild depression, anxiety, and fatigue

Soothes menstrual discomfort and sciatica

Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause

Therapeutic for flat feet, high blood pressure, infertility, and asthma

Consistent practice of this pose until late into pregnancy is said to help ease childbirth.

With thanks to Yoga Journal

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7 Of The Best Spots In Dublin To Try Out Yoga For The First Time

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7 Of The Best Spots In Dublin To Try Out Yoga For The First Time

Travelling to Dublin this year? Check out this article which mentions some of the best spots you can visit in Dublin and not miss out on your daily yoga sesh!

"Here are some of our favourite spots to stretch and get a little limber, all of which are absolutely perfect for people at the very start of their journey. Your body will thank you for it later, we promise. Namaste. "

Click Here For Full Article

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Yoga May Be The Medicine Aboriginal Communities Have Been Looking For

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Yoga May Be The Medicine Aboriginal Communities Have Been Looking For

A lovely article that shows that yoga is for everybody and has lasting benefits for those who practice it..

"One night, “a spark went off” in his head. “I didn’t have the courage to kill myself, but I didn’t have the strength to live,” Terrance told The Huffington Post Canada in an interview. “I thought ‘OK, I need to do something about this.’" Terrance was...."

Click Here For Full Article

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Yoga Everywhere: Finding Your Zen At A Lifestyle Festival

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Yoga Everywhere: Finding Your Zen At A Lifestyle Festival

Yoga can be done anywhere when you have the motivation! Here's a lovely article on yoga and festivals.

"In a massive tent on the grounds of Lake Tahoe’s Squaw Valley ski resort, a woman in a white turban sat cross-legged on a small stage, looking out calmly at her hundred or so students before mouthing one sacred word: “shake.” 
“We shake to get healthy,” her voice boomed throughout the tent. “We shake to get happy. We shake to get holy.” ... "

For Full Article Click Here

To find out more about yoga and how Cherish Healing can help you - click here

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Cherish Asana : Virasana | Heros Pose

Hero Pose

Kneel on the floor (use a folded blanket or bolster to wedge between your calves and thighs if necessary), with your thighs perpendicular to the floor, and touch your inner knees together. Slide your feet apart, slightly wider than your hips, with the tops of the feet flat on the floor. Angle your big toes slightly in toward each other and press the top of each foot evenly on the floor.

1) Exhale and sit back halfway, with your torso leaning slightly forward. Wedge your thumbs into the backs of your knees and draw the skin and flesh of the calf muscles toward the heels. Then sit down between your feet.

2) If your buttocks don’t comfortably rest on the floor, raise them on a block or thick book placed between the feet. Make sure both sitting bones are evenly supported. Allow a thumb’s-width space between the inner heels and the outer hips.

3) Turn your thighs inward and press the heads of the thigh bones into the floor with the bases of your palms. Then lay your hands in your lap, one on the other, palms up, or on your thighs, palms down.

4)Firm your shoulder blades against the back ribs and lift the top of your sternum like a proud warrior. Widen the collarbones and release the shoulder blades away from the ears. Lengthen the tailbone into the floor to anchor the back torso.

5)  At first stay in this pose from 30 seconds to 1 minute. Gradually extend your stay up to 5 minutes. To come out, press your hands against the floor and lift your buttocks up, slightly higher than the heels. Cross your ankles underneath your buttocks, sit back over the feet and onto the floor, then stretch your legs out in front of you. It may feel good to bounce your knees up and down a few times on the floor.

 

Sanskrit Name: Virasana

Pose Level:1

Contraindications and Cautions

Heart problems

Headache: Practice this pose lying back on a bolster.

Knee or ankle injury: Avoid this pose unless you have the assistance of an experienced instructor.

Modifications and Props

If your ankles are painful in this pose, roll up a towel and place it underneath them before you sit back.

Deepen the Pose

Cup your hands around the knees, straighten the arms fully, and pull on the knees. Firm your shoulder blades against your back, lift the top sternum, and release your chin down onto the chest without straining the back of your neck. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds. Then let go of the knees and raise your head back to neutral without losing the lift of the sternum.

 

Beginner's Tip

Often the inner top feet press more heavily into the floor than the outer top feet. Press the bases of your palms along the outer edges of the feet and gently push the pinky-toe sides of the feet to the floor.

 

Benefits

Stretches the thighs, knees, and ankles

Strengthens the arches

Improves digestion and relieves gas

Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause

Reduces swelling of the legs during pregnancy (through second trimester)

Therapeutic for high blood pressure and asthma

 

With deep thanks to Yoga Journal 

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Yoga saved my life: three people share their stories

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Yoga saved my life: three people share their stories

Three lovely stories that tell us how yoga has helped people in life..

"At a time of difficulty last year I found comfort in yoga. I went through a period of torturous insomnia that left me wide awake every night until 3am, begging for my brain to switch off. I’d heard that yoga could help so started going to a local class. Immediately, I felt better. I loved how slow and methodical it was, and the fact that teachers discussed mindful and positive thinking. These were all things I’d heard little about before. Gradually, as I de-stressed and learned to relax, my sleep improved. I even used to go through the poses in my head before bed, which always helped me drift off..." 

Click Here For Full Article

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Cherish Asana - Adho Mukha Svanasana | Downward Dog

(AH-doh MOO-kah shvah-NAHS-anna)
adho = downward
mukha = face
svana = dog

1) Come onto the floor on your hands and knees. Set your knees directly below your hips and your hands slightly forward of your shoulders. Spread your palms, index fingers parallel or slightly turned out, and turn your toes under.

 

2)Exhale and lift your knees away from the floor. At first keep the knees slightly bent and the heels lifted away from the floor. Lengthen your tailbone away from the back of your pelvis and press it lightly toward the pubis. Against this resistance, lift the sitting bones toward the ceiling, and from your inner ankles draw the inner legs up into the groins

 

3)Then with an exhalation, push your top thighs back and stretch your heels onto or down toward the floor. Straighten your knees but be sure not to lock them. Firm the outer thighs and roll the upper thighs inward slightly. Narrow the front of the pelvis.

 

4)Firm the outer arms and press the bases of the index fingers actively into the floor. From these two points lift along your inner arms from the wrists to the tops of the shoulders. Firm your shoulder blades against your back, then widen them and draw them toward the tailbone. Keep the head between the upper arms; don’t let it hang.

 

5)Adho Mukha Svanasana is one of the poses in the traditional Sun Salutation sequence. It’s also an excellent yoga asana all on its own. Stay in this pose anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes. Then bend your knees to the floor with an exhalation and rest in Childs pose. 

Sanskrit Name: Adho Mukha Svanasana

Pose Level:1

Contraindications and Cautions:

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Diarrhea

Pregnancy: Do not do this pose late-term.

High blood pressure or headache: Support your head on a bolster or block, ears level between the arms.

Modifications and Props

To get a feel for the work of the outer arms, loop and secure a strap around your arms just above your elbows. Imagine that the strap is tightening inward, pressing the outer arms in against the bones. Against this resistance, push the inner shoulder blades outward.

Modifications and Props

To get a feel for the work of the outer arms, loop and secure a strap around your arms just above your elbows. Imagine that the strap is tightening inward, pressing the outer arms in against the bones. Against this resistance, push the inner shoulder blades outward.

Deepen the Pose

To increase the stretch in the backs of your legs, lift slightly up onto the balls of your feet, pulling your heels a half-inch or so away from the floor. Then draw your inner groins deep into the pelvis, lifting actively from the inner heels. Finally, from the height of the groins, lengthen the heels back onto the floor, moving the outer heels faster than the inner.

Beginner's Tip

If you have difficulty releasing and opening your shoulders in this pose, raise your hands off the floor on a pair of blocks or the seat of a metal folding chair.

Benefits

Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression

Energizes the body

Stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches, and hands

Strengthens the arms and legs

Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause

Relieves menstrual discomfort when done with head supported

Helps prevent osteoporosis

Improves digestion

Relieves headache, insomnia, back pain, and fatigue

Therapeutic for high blood pressure, asthma, flat feet, sciatica, sinusitis

 

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Cherish Asana - Balasana | Childs Pose

Child’s Pose

1) Kneel on the floor. Touch your big toes together and sit on your heels, then separate your knees about as wide as your hips.

2) Exhale and lay your torso down between your thighs. Broaden your sacrum across the back of your pelvis and narrow your hip points toward the navel, so that they nestle down onto the inner thighs. Lengthen your tailbone away from the back of the pelvis while you lift the base of your skull away from the back of your neck.

3) Lay your hands on the floor alongside your torso, palms up, and release the fronts of your shoulders toward the floor. Feel how the weight of the front shoulders pulls the shoulder blades wide across your back.

4) Balasana is a resting pose. Stay anywhere from 30 seconds to a few minutes. Beginners can also use Balasana to get a taste of a deep forward bend, where the torso rests on the thighs. Stay in the pose from 1 to 3 minutes.  To come up, first lengthen the front torso, and then with an inhalation lift from the tailbone as it presses down and into the pelvis.

 

Sanskrit Name: Balasana

Pose Level: 1

Contraindications and Cautions

Diarrhea

Pregnancy

Knee injury: Avoid Balasana unless you have the supervision of an experienced teacher.

Modifications and Props

If you have difficulty sitting on your heels in this pose, place a thickly folded blanket between your back thighs and calves.

Beginner's Tip

We usually don't breathe consciously and fully into the back of the torso. Balasana provides us with an excellent opportunity to do just that. Imagine that each inhalation is "doming" the back torso toward the ceiling, lengthening and widening the spine. Then with each exhalation release the torso a little more deeply into the fold.

Benefits

Gently stretches the hips, thighs, and ankles

Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and fatigue

Relieves back and neck pain when done with head and torso supported

 

With deep thanks to Yoga Journal

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Cherish Asana - Plank

Plank Pose

Start in downward dog. Then inhale and draw your torso forward until the arms are perpendicular to the floor and the shoulders directly over the wrists, torso parallel to the floor.

Press your outer arms inward and firm the bases of your index fingers into the floor. Firm your shoulder blades against your back, then spread them away from the spine. Also spread your collarbones away from the sternum.

Press your front thighs up toward the ceiling, but resist your tailbone toward the floor as you lengthen it toward the heels. Lift the base of the skull away from the back of the neck and look straight down at the floor, keeping the throat and eyes soft.

Plank Pose is one of the positions in the traditional Sun Salutation sequence. You can also perform this pose by itself and stay anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute.

 

Pose Level: 1

Contraindications and Cautions

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Modifications and Props

Do Adho Mukha Svanasana with your index fingers and thumbs pressed against a wall. Inhale the torso forward, as above, and press the crown of your head against the wall. Use the pressure of the head on the wall to learn about the release of the shoulder blades down the back.

Deepen the Pose

Open the space between the shoulder blades. As you press the outer arms inward, push the inner borders of the shoulder blades into this resistance. Make sure you don't narrow across the collar bones to do this. 

Beginner's Tip

To help strengthen the arms in this pose, loop and secure a strap around your upper arms, just above the elbows. Push the inner arms out against this strap. Release the outer arms from the shoulders to the floor, and lift the inner arms from the bases of the index fingers to the shoulders.

Benefits

Strengthens the arms, wrists, and spine

Tones the abdomen

 

With thanks to Yoga Journal

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Yoga - Frequently Asked Questions

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Yoga - Frequently Asked Questions

Don't worry about the fear of the unknown. Here some of thw questions you want or always have wanted to ask are answered! So you can find and access Yoga in your way! Yoga is for everyone.

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