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FitnessHealthYoga Poses How-To

December 10, 2018Maggie Aynsley
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Center Yourself

Wanting to find presence and peace of mind during a tumultuous period in your life is part of being human. During your wedding prep things can get hectic, but taking the time to care for yourself will help keep you grounded. Yoga can be the perfect thing to bring you back to yourself. Here are three poses you can practice at home.

Seated Forward Bend

Start with something that you can use to ease yourself into the practice. To begin a seated forward bend sit down on your yoga mat with your back straight and your legs extended in front of you. Spread your legs into a V as far as you can go until you feel a light stretch. Tuck your left leg in and place the flat of your foot up against your right thigh to create a sort of checkmark with your legs. Lift your right hand up into the air and then bend your body towards your extended left leg, reaching over your head in an arch with your right arm towards your ankle. Brace your left arm on the floor for support. Reach until you feel a stretch and hold. Repeat on the other side.

Seated Spinal Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana)

Remain seated to do the seated spinal twist. This twist helps to open up your core, can enhance digestion, and energizes the spine. It is also a fantastic stretch for your shoulders, back, hips, and neck. Once seated, put both legs out in front of you. Take your left leg and bring it over the right leg in a bent position, before planting your left foot on the opposite side of your right knee. The toes should be lined up around the bottom of your kneecap.

Turn your right shoulder toward your left knee and place your left arm behind your seat. You should be twisted in the opposite direction of your crossed legs. You can brace your right arm against your left knee to further the stretch. To enhance this pose, tuck your right foot up beside your seat before performing the twist. Repeat on the other side.

Wild Thing (Camatkarasana)

Camatkarasana translates to “the ecstatic unfolding of the enraptured heart.” It is an easy pose but more advanced than the previous two because you are not sitting down. It is wonderful for opening up joints and building strength.

To start this pose go into downward-facing dog (hands and feet planted on your mat, bum in the air with your body forming an upside-down V.) Bring your right leg up to the sky, both hands still planted in your mat, fingers spread wide. With your hips still square, bend your right knee forward to raise the ball of your foot to the sky.

Shift your bodyweight into your left hand, and transition inhale deeply before simultaneously twisting on the ball of your left foot while letting your right leg come down on the left side of your body – you will be twisting over to face sideways. Land your right foot onto the ground but remain up in plank to light up your hip and thigh. Place your right hand on your heart, and at the same time you twist your right up over so that you are facing upwards, open your heart to the sky.

You should now be connected with your left and right foot, and left hand to the ground, facing up. From here you can extend your arm from your heart, reaching up past your ear until you have opened into the pose. Hold for 5-10 breaths and transition back into downward dog. Repeat on the other side.

Take Time for You

Yoga gives you the opportunity to take time for yourself and come back to your body. Everything you do throughout the day does its best to pull you away from yourself, and coming home, to rest within your own heart will create peace within.

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