Camel Pose…Open up your heart….. let’s open ourselves to the possibility of including, rather than excluding, of connecting, rather than overlooking, of caring, rather than being indifferent. And ultimately, we open in this way to all beings everywhere, without distinction, without separation.
May all beings live in peace, be happy, be healthy, live with ease.
Stand on your mat and ground yourself through your feet, firm up your legs, engage your abdomen and fold over with a flat straight spine, bending your knees if necessary. Place your hands on your mat or on your shins. Inhale and lift your hips towards the sky, exhale reach the crown of your head down – elongating your spine.
Breath is calm and deep – in and out through your nose. Bring deep awareness to your breath – feel your breath coming into and leaving your body. Slow your mind – focus on your breath and your body. Allow your upper body to “dump over” your lower body – release all tension in your back, your shoulders, your neck, your head – envision any tension or stress pouring out of your body through the crown of your head. Nod your head easily – really let go. Allow your upper body to become heavy and completely relaxed. Relax your chest, your neck, your facial muscles. Breathe out all of the stress and tension from your day.
When you release, engage your abdomen, and come back up slowly. You can roll yourself up, articulating each vertebrae in your spine if you like. Roll your shoulders down and back. mmmm!
- Stretches your legs and your entire back
- Elongates and rejuvenates your spine
- Floods your brain with blood, energizing your mind and body
- Stimulates digestive organs
- Relieves tension from back, neck, head
Teaching Chaturanga by Morven Watt at Elephant Journal
Standing Bow Pulling Pose is beautiful and graceful and helps develop concentration, determination, and patience. Additionally Standing Bow improves flexibility and strength in the spine, strengthens every muscle, relieves lower back pain, improves function of the cardiovascular system, flushes kidneys, and revitalizes the endocrine system, improves muscle fatigue, lethargy, and stimulates the nervous system. It is a perfect example of the tourniquet effect in yoga, because it pushes the blood to one side of the body. As the posture is held, the blood is equalized. As the posture is released, fresh blood is circulated to each internal organ, gland, and cell.
See this video:
Every yoga teacher has taught me something incredible – and Cristina Rey, co-owner of Be Hot Yoga Atlanta, is no exception. I’ve gained a deeper physical, mental, and spiritual practice from her. Cristina focuses on Balance, Alignment, Stillness, and Energy. In this short clip, she reiterates three additional things…
Regular practice of Halasana (Plow Pose) rejuvenates the body’s entire system. Halasana helps nourish the thoracic and lumbar regions of the spine by increasing circulation and suppleness, releases tension in the neck and throat, alleviates the accumulation of phlegm or mucus in the sinuses and respiratory system, and gradually assists in lengthening and regulating the breath.
(Yoga Journal Daily Insight, Aug 5, 2011) http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/479?utm_source=DailyInsight&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=DailyInsight
One of the most informed and inspiring yoga teachers I know, Cristina, encourages us to be more aware of our feet, and practice grounding our feet and developing our foot muscles to improve physical (and mental!) balance. The foot and ankle contain 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments – that all work together to provide the body with support, balance, and mobility. Your feet sustain enormous pressure throughout the course of a day. Take care of and develop your feet to achieve greater balance and grounding in life.
Utkatasana, or Awkward Pose, is a powerful foot and leg strengthening posture. You can find many tutorial videos online: click this image for one such resource!