strike a pose

  • Saddle Pose with Jennifer Beyt Coffin

    This week’s Strike a Pose yoga video is brought to you by Jennifer Beyt Coffin of The Glowing Body yoga studio in Knoxville, TN. In this free online yoga video, Jennifer will walk you through Saddle Pose – a yin yoga posture resembling Supta Virasana (Relining Hero Pose).

    Saddle Pose

    Saddle Pose can be a tricky yin posture because it is a fairly deep backbend. In this pose, you will deliberately apply pressure to the lumbar spine, which, for some, may feel like murder. For folks suffering from lower back pain, SI joint pain, and/or flattening or degeneration of the lumbar spine, the full expression of Saddle Pose may be problematic.

    Fortunately, there are many pose alternatives and options you can explore in Saddle to reap the long-term benefits. In this online yoga video, Jennifer will run-through these variations, which rely on the usage and support of bolsters, blankets, and blocks. So, make sure you have these handy before you begin your exploration.

    When you determine your edge and settle in, this pose can feel oh-so-delicious. As a total front body stretch, this pose is super beneficial to athletes and people who do lots of standing or walking. Connective tissue stimulation is felt in front body. The quads and hip flexors will be stretched. Pressure stimulation around the SI joints will create a deep opening in the lumbar-sacral arch of the spine. Sweet, sweet expansion!

    But remember: If the knees, ankles, SI joints, or lower spine protest, it’s very important to back off and prop up. As Jennifer says, “Don’t deny yourself the prop. Please!” Be okay with where you are at and accept your physical limitations. If you feel any sharp or burning pain, your body is signaling you to take it easy. Don’t create murder on your spine. Just don’t.

    Once you find your appropriate edge - your place of comfort - it is recommended that you hold Saddle for one to five minutes. Iyengar recommends 15 minutes. For most, this long of a hold will be too intense at this stage in the game. Consider it a goal.

    With time and practice, Saddle Pose has the potential to re-establish the natural curvature of the lumbar-sacral arch of the spine if any flattening or degeneration has occurred. It’s also a great pose to maintain the natural curvature of the spine and to simultaneously stretch and work many areas of the body: the tops of the ankles, the knee caps, the hips, quads, hip flexors, lower back, and upper chest (if you bring your arms up).

    Simply lay back, relax, and enjoy the stretch.

    Want a great bolster? Sign up for our annual subscription, and get a hand crafted bolster from Inner Space as your gift! Or you can take a look at all of Jennifer's creations at innerspaceyoga.net

    Saddle Pose

    ~TJ

    Photo Credit: Saddle Pose via www.therawyogini.blogspot.com

  • Strike A Pose: Warrior II with Weights

    virabhadrasana II

    This week’s strike-a-pose yoga video is brought to you by Danielle Diamond, founder of Xen Strength Yoga with Weights. In this free online yoga video, you will first explore a traditional Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II) pose to learn the correct alignment. After your Warrior II is aligned and solid, you’ll approach a more innovative way to practice this asana...

    Meet Warrior II pose with weights.

    Ugh, I know...as if Warrior II weren’t hard enough, right? Well, because we never want to see you bored or slacking, we like to offer you unique ways to up the ante.

    As you practice this Warrior II exercise with weights, you’ll receive all of the benefits of your standard Warrior II including:

    • Enhanced concentration
    • Better balance and stability
    • Increased circulation
    • More openness in the hips, groins and shoulders
    • Stronger legs, ankles and feet
    • Expansion in the chest and lungs
    • Boosted energy (This pose is great to counter sluggishness!)
    • Abdominal organ stimulation (Lots of core engagement going on here!)

    When you add in weights, you’ll receive all of that goodness, plus build muscle in the upper body to get stronger and more sculpted. That’s a lot of awesomeness coming out of one pose.

    Okay, yogis. There’s your cue to bring out a pair of light hand weights and take a shot at this strengthening online yoga exercise.

    yoga with weights

    Dig this online yoga video with Danielle Diamond? Check out more of her free yoga videos and full-length Xen Strength yoga classes online at YogaVibes.com. 

    Photo Credit: Warrior II via www.beyoutifulliving.com

  • THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE FREE

    Sometimes yoga is just plain confusing. That’s why we created our “Strike a Pose” section featuring free online yoga videos designed to break down the nuts and bolts of each pose. If you haven't explored it, we highly suggest that you get on it! Because why not? It's free!

    This super useful collection of free yoga videos offers alignment tips, fiery sequences, secret yoga tricks, short meditation and breathing exercises, and even instruction for the crazy pretzel poses like these...

    crazy pretzel poses

    This section is conveniently divided into different areas of focus to help you easily find poses and sequences that you'd like to add into your growing yoga repertoire.

    Find...

    • Arm Balances + Inversions.

      Learn to strike some of the more fancy moves of the practice. Go upside down. Fly. Be crazy.

    • Meditation + Pranayama.

      Need a splash of calm? Find tips for discovering ease in meditation, short guided meditations, and breathing exercises to dive deeper into your practice.

    • Backbends + Heart Openers.

      Discover adjustments to feel more freedom in these poses. Also, find some great chest, neck, and shoulder openers.

    • Core Work.

      Sick of old school sit-ups? Check out this awesome collection of core exercises to sculpt, strengthen, and feel the burn!

    • Seated + Reclining Poses.

      Enjoy some excellent stretches and nervous system soothers to dissolve any tension you're clinging to. Explore yin yoga postures, stretching sequences for athletes, Thai Yoga instruction, and more!

    • Restoratives.

      Restoratives are deeply relaxing, hugely necessary, and often neglected. Treat your body and mind to these lovely, rejuvenating postures to complement a more intense practice.

    • Yoga Sequences.

      Find yoga warm-ups, chair yoga movements, transition demos, Exhale Spa Core Fusion exercises, advanced sequences, and more to love!

    • Yoga for Men.

      Specifically designed for men, these yoga videos cater to the unique strengths, weaknesses, and challenges you dudes face in the practice.

    • Yoga Demos.

      What is Yoga? What is Meditation? What is Mindfulness? Discover the answers to these questions and more in this set of educative online yoga videos.

    Delve into this abundance of free yoga online to give rise to a more intelligent practice!

    Photo credit: Crazy Poses via www.havaroma.com

  • Strike A Pose: Chaturanga with Justin Michael Williams

    chaturanga dandasana

    This week's Strike-a-Pose yoga video is brought to you by Justin Michael Williams, a California-based yoga instructor. Filming from Gigi Yogini's Secret Studio, Justin put together a free online yoga video demoing the dos and don'ts of a core pose in the practice: Chaturanga.

    Chaturanga is a pose performed over and over and over again in a Vinyasa flow style class. It's the broken record of yoga poses. It's an incredibly powerful pose that builds heat, strengthens your arms, and tones your abs. It has a transitional quality to it, but that doesn't mean you should just brush it off and move through it with sloppy alignment. Over time, messy chaturanga-ing may potentially cause serious damage to your body, leading to aches, pains, and even injury. So, do it right. Since it's repeated so frequently in Vinyasa flow style classes, you want to get the alignment cues straight.

    This online yoga video with Justin will teach you everything you need to know to create the perfect Chaturanga. First, set yourself up in the perfect plank. "A perfect Chaturanga starts with a perfect Plank," says Justin. After you've established that solid plank, move into a solid Chaturanga. Also, review some common mistakes of this pose, including splaying of the elbows, dipping, etc. After you've watched this yoga video demo, you can say farewell to all of that nonsense. Now, you have all the information you need to stay aligned and safe during your home practice.

    chaturanga

    Dig this free yoga video with Justin? Check out more of his free yoga videos and full-length online yoga classes on YogaVibes!

     

  • Strike A Pose: Cobra or Up Dog? with Justin Michael Williams

    This week’s strike-a-pose yoga video is brought to you by Justin Michael Williams, a Los Angeles, California based yoga teacher and social media guru.

    In this online yoga video, Justin will deconstruct Upward Facing Dog and Cobra - two (surprisingly deep) heart-opening poses that are typically repeated many times throughout a Vinyasa flow style class.

    up dog Upward Facing Dog via www.sassyyogi.tumblr.com

    Choosing between "Up Dog" and Cobra can be tricky business depending on your fitness level, flexibility, and body type. In this online yoga demo, Justin will teach you everything you need to know about these backbends so you can get the alignment cues straight, choose the pose that feels best for your body, and move into both of these heart-opening postures with newfound awareness, grace, and ease.

    cobra and up dog

    If you dig this free yoga video with Justin, you’ll definitely want to check out his full-blown, energizing Vinyasa yoga videos at www.yogavibes.com.

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