Beginners: If your find the pose challenging, you can lift your back only halfway.
Advanced: As you inhale and lift your back and knees off the floor, lift your heels and stand on your toes as you hold the pose for the full 60 seconds.
Prasarita Padottanasana helps manage stress and relieves fatigue and a mild headache. The pose strengthens your legs and tones the abs. It also stretches the spine and shoulders and can help relieve backache.
Beginners: Use a yoga block (or a firm pillow) to support your head. Alternatively, bring your hands forward and place them directly below your shoulders, pressing the thighs back. Bend your elbows and you try to place your head as low down as you can.
Advanced: Rest the crown of your head on the mat for the full minute.
One of the key asanas in the Sun Salutation sequence, Upward Facing Dog helps improve your posture, strengthen the arms and wrists and stimulate the abs as it opens the heart and extends the spine. Practice the posture when you feel stressed out or fatigued.
Beginners: Remember to keep your shoulders away from your ears as you lift your body. It is important to really push yourself to extend and lengthen your whole body as you open up in the posture.
Advanced: Transition to a handstand.
This calming pose stretches the whole body - the spine, shoulders, and hamstrings. Therapeutic for insomnia, head-to-knee is a great posture to add to your evening practice.
Beginners: use a strap if you can’t reach the foot.
Advanced: challenge yourself by widening the two legs even further.
Often described as the most important pose in yoga, Savasana, or the Corpse Pose, helps you reap all the benefits of your practice. It relaxes the body and calms the brain. Savasana is essential for concluding any yoga sequence.
*Yoshihara, K., Hiramoto, T., Oka, T., Kubo, C., and Sudo, N. Effect of 12 weeks of yoga training on the somatization, psychological symptoms, and stress-related biomarkers of healthy women. BioPsychoSocial Medicine 2014.