What Your Favorite Yoga Pose Says About You (2 of 4): Pigeon

pigeon-poseIn the first post of this series, I talked about how Warrior I is the ultimate pose to activate the muladhara (root) chakra, establish a grounded footing and presence, and tackle fear.   Now, we move onto one of my favorites, Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (pigeon) pose.  As I wind down my personal practice, or begin to cool down my students, I almost always include pigeon.

Pigeon is one of the most often requested poses when I ask my class if there’s anything in particular they want to include for the day.  Primarily a hip and chest opener, pigeon assists in releasing the tension we hold in the pelvis and hips.

Whether sitting at a desk all day or as a measure of bottling up emotions, sinking into pigeon pose enables an opening.  In fact, the next time you are in pigeon, notice what emotions arise.  Do you become irritated, frustrated or sad?  Do you resist and clench the abductor muscles of the outer hip?  Or, do you melt, relinquishing the stress of the day? Continue reading

What Your Favorite Yoga Pose Says About You (1 of 4): Warrior I

In this four-part series, I’ll examine the connections between four specific poses (asanas) and their chakra correspondences.  I’ll also dive into the physical and warrior_1emotional benefits of the pose, and what it means if you love the pose or hate it.  First up, Virabhadrasana.

You’re in downward facing dog (adho mukha svanasana) and you’re teacher cues you to extend your right leg out behind you toward the ceiling, and to swing it through to a high runner’s lunge.  “Yay, here it comes,” you think to yourself.

Ground your back foot, engage your core, and rise up to standing; extending your arms proudly to the sky — warrior I (virabhadrasana I).    You sink into the pose, with your heart wide open, your chin held high, and the stability of a mighty warrior.

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What’s Your Favorite Yoga Pose?

fish pose in yogaSo just for fun this Friday, I thought I’d do a quick post about my favorite yoga post, and open it up to you.   On any given day, there are a few poses that I gravitate to in my personal daily practice.  I try to incorporate a balanced practice that includes a few Surya Namaskar (sun salutation) C and A;  Virabadrasana (warrior) II; Trikonasana (triangle); and Vrkasana (Tree Pose).  Plus, I add in some abs, backbends, twists and, of course, restorative poses.  But, if you asked me point blank, “What is your favorite yoga pose?” Anyone who knows me, taught me or takes my classes knows that I’m a Matsayasana (Fish Pose) lover (see post pic of me blissfully chill in the pose during yoga teacher training).

I just love sinking into this heart opening gentle backbend.  You can tell by the look on my face that the world around me has all but disappeared.

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