March 17, 2014

Yoga 101

I have recently been very interested in yoga. So when I saw this great book at Costco last year, I couldn't pass it up. The Anatomy of Yoga is pure awesome-ness! It shares a great intro to what yoga is from the anatomical standpoint. Basically the poses in yoga are the best documented stretches for whole-body stretches that reach the needed muscles the most effectively and efficiently.
Here's an example page
In other words...if you understand muscle-anatomy, you'd know that many muscles are interrelated and that by working on one will help working on others. If you have one muscle you want to stretch, then it's helpful to know which other muscles connect to that one, so you can maximize your stretch. And there you have yoga poses. They are maximized stretches. And this book spells out which muscles you are working in every for all viewpoints and everything. It is simply amazing! It makes me what to go to massage school so I can get real depth in experience with muscles and such. Wow, that's be cool. And it even tells about how to breathe properly...which is HUGE in yoga. If you don't breathe properly, you won't get the most out of the stretch, no matter how hard you try. To summarize yoga breathing, think "in and out" or "expand and contract." When opening up, take a deep breath through the nose. When closing/bending, exhale through your nose.

**Highly suggest the YOGA STUDIO APP!!!! It is amazing and has hundreds of classes based on skill level,
 duration and focus (strength, balance, flexibility, etc.). IT was the best $3 I've ever spent...and I never spend 
money if I can help it.

Here is a great graphic summary of many main poses (asanas): 

Tadasana to Savasana
43 Basic Yoga Poses
Standing Asanas: The feet are our foundation
Tadasana – Mountain Pose
Trikonasana – Triangle
Virabhadrasana I – Warrior I
Parsvakonasana – Lateral angle pose
Virabhadrasana II – Warrior II
Utkatasana – Chair pose
Forward Bending Asanas: An experience of flexion
Uttanasana – Standing forward bend
Prasarita Padottanasana – Standing straddle forward bend
Parsvottanasana – Standing head to knee
Paschimottanasana – Double leg forward bend
Janu Sirsasana – Single leg forward bend
Upavistha Konasana – Sitting straddle forward bend
Apanasana – Double leg wind reliever
Pavanamukthasana – Wind reliever
Balasana – Child pose
Core Asanas: Activating the abdominal muscles
Ardha Navasana – Half boat
Paripurna Navasana – Full boat
Dandasana – Staff pose
Side bending Asana: Creating space 
Back Bends: Exploring Extension
Bhujangasana – Cobra
Salabhasana – Locust
Dhanurasana – Bow
Ustrasana – Camel
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana – Bridge
Matsyasana – Fish
Supta Virasana – Supine hero
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana – Upward facing dog
Eka Pada Kapotasana – Pigeon
Anjaneyasana – Crescent moon
Twisting Asanas: Revolving the Spine
Ardha Matsyendrasana – Half spinal twist
Bharadvajasana – Hip spiral
Jathara Parivartanasana – Reclined hip roll
Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana – Revolved head to knee
Parivrtta Trikonasana – Revolved triangle
Inverted Asanas: Turning it all upside-down
Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward facing dog
Sarvangasana – Shoulderstand
Halasana – Plow
Sirsasana – Headstand
Standing Balancing Asanas: Steadying the mind
Vrksasana – Tree
Ardha Chandrasana – Half moon
Natarajasana – Dancer
Virabhadrasana III – Warrior III
Final Asana
Savasana – Corpse
Other resources we use:

  • Kids Yoga Deck or Adult Deck (great for learning poses and kids picking the cards so they feel involved)
  • Kids yoga poses (online; a list from my kids' education blog that I hope to add photos to, but includes a website link to look them up)
  • Yoga by Chakras Post

And...there is more to yoga than just stretching. It is a way of a religion if you will. I think it a great way to start, though it is missing Christ as the central point. So I take what I can from it and add it to the truths I have found.8 limbs of yoga

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