Archive for September 9th, 2008

We all know that yoga can be restorative- however, it can also be harmful if we’re not practicing with care. When I first started practicing I would get frustrated if we didn’t jump right into the Sun Salutes- I had little patience for warming up. Now, I’ve grown to understand the importance of easing into a practice both mentally and physically. I have tight hamstrings so I especially notice the difference when I warm up before diving into a forward bend or even pressing straight back to down dog. If you have any of these common issues like tight hamstrings, tight lower back, tight shoulders etc. then some of these gentle variations could work for you towards the beginning of your practice– especially if you practice first thing in the morning when you’re stiff.

Adho Mukha Svanasana (Down Dog)

1) Knees slightly bent-For people with tight hamstrings

2) Feet wider than hips width apart-For people with tight hamstrings or pregnant women

3) Hands placed wider than shoulder distance apart OR at shoulder distance but with hands turned out-For people with tight shoulders

Uttanasana (Forward Fold)

1) Feet at hips distance/knees bent-For people with tight hamstrings, tight lower backs or for beginners to offer more stability

2) Hands rest on block instead of reaching to the floor-For people with tight hamstrings, tight lower backs

Chaturanga Dandasana (Plank, lower down)

1) Knees drop down to the floor/lower all the way down to the belly-For people building up arm strength

2) With fists, pressing down on your knuckles instead of hands flat to the floor-For people with wrist problems


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