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Beginning Iyengar Yoga Poses

The Iyengar yoga method is alignment-focused yoga. The goal is to get acquainted with the body and increase circulation. Pay attention to prop cues and include props such as yoga blocks or folded blankets as often as you see fit. Iyengar believes in providing yoga that is comfortable and healing. Thus, you are encouraged to use a lot of props in each posture. So, gather up a yoga block or thick book and a yoga blanket. Place your props near your yoga mat and let’s get started.

Adho Mukha Virasana Pose

Starting in a seated pose, begin settling into the body here.

A: Come onto your mat and sit on your knees. Extend back with the big toes together. If this is difficult for the knees or ankles, you can always put a cushion between the heels and the buttocks. It is really important that the body feels that touch to facilitate an extension of the body.

B: Extend the torso forward touching the fingertips to the mat. If your hips start floating up, add a folded blanket between your buttocks and legs in order to ground the lower body while stretching the upper body. Add a block under your forehead as well if you feel strain in your neck. 

Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose)

From Virasana pose, push up to a pose.

Make sure to place the middle finger forward. Then, tuck your toes under and lift hips up to enter into this next pose Adho Mukha Svanasana also known as Downward-Facing Dog Pose.

Check your alignment here by making sure to press into your palms through the arms, the side waist and up towards the buttocks. Lift the buttocks as high as you can. Push your feet directly back towards the end of the mat.  Eventually, you are looking to extend the sole of the foot so the extension comes into the heel. 

Uttasana (Standing Forward Fold Pose)

This pose is a deep hinging action on the hips. It is important to keep a flat back instead of a rounded back in this pose. To help keep the back flat, push the shoulder blades down the back. Use a chair or a couple of yoga blocks under the hands to maintain a flat back here. You can also hold your shins versus touching the floor to keep that straight line in the back.

From the previous pose, bend the knees back to the tabletop pose, sink the hips down to return to the first pose Virasana pose. Take a breath and repeat each pose in order ending in Adho Mukha Svanasana.

From Adho Mukha Svanasana, step the feet or jump the feet towards your hands.
Take a few deep inhales. 

These are three simple beginner Iyengar Poses to get you started. They are great for the morning or any time you want to tune into the body and relax the mind. You can repeat these poses several times. Hold each pose for about 60-90 seconds.

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