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Beginner's Yoga Daily Dozen: Part 2
This is part 2 of the Beginner's Yoga Daily Dozen. Learn step by step how to perform poses such as the Standing Side Stretch and the Cobra Pose.
1 Standing Side Stretch Pose
- Start in mountain pose.
- Step your feet wide (the wider your feet are apart the easier the pose). Stretch your arms out to the sides so they are parallel to the floor.
- Turn your right leg to the right so the foot and knee are facing away from your body.
- Bend your right knee and stretch your whole body to the right keeping a nice straight line from your left foot to the top of your head. Place your right forearm on your right thigh. Lift your left arm up and over your head so it matches the line of your left leg.
- Keep your right leg strong keeping the knee from collapsing in toward your body or from bending past your ankle. Turn your head to look up toward your left hand.
- Inhale and exhale slowly. On your last exhale, bring your left arm down and push your body off your right forearm back into your wide stance with both feet facing forward.
- Repeat on your other side. On your last exhale return to mountain pose.
2 Downward Facing Dog
- If you have any heart problems then use a chair to help you balance. Get into the forward bend position with your hand flat on the floor and your chest close to your thighs (or as far as you can bend).
- Use your chair instead of putting your hands on the floor if you cant bend that far. Step back with your right then left foot. Bend your knees so you can push your hips away from the floor.
- Start to press the heels of your feet down. you will feel a nice stretch through your legs. You should have a nice straight line from the tip of your tale bone to the top of your head and through the arms. If you cant keep your legs and spine straight then bend your knees and alternate pressing one heel at a time into the floor.
- Inhale as you press you press your spine into your stomach. Exhale as you press your heels into the floor.
- Do this for 6 breathes. On your last breathe drop your knees to the floor so you enter cat pose. Sit back on your legs and roll you body up.
3 Cobra Pose
- Lay on your stomach. Place your hands directly under your shoulders and press the tops of your feet into the floor.
- Pull your belly and tailbone into the floor. Pull your elbows to the sides of your body. Roll your shoulders back and drop your chin slightly.
- Inhale as you lift your head and chest off the ground and stretch. Try not to use your arms to lift. Exhale as you drop back down.
- Do this for 6 breathes. Use your arms a little for the next set of breathes. Inhale as you use your arms to push yourself up just a little further.
- You should feel the stretch in your upper back not in your lower back. Exhale as you drop back down. With each inhale get a little deeper. Squeeze your shoulder blades together.
- On your last exhale slowly drop your body back to the floor.
4 Childs Pose
- From Cobra pose, push your body into cat pose on all fours. Bring your big toes together and spread your knees about hip-width part.
- Sit back on your heels, keeping your arms stretched out in front of you and your head down. Inhale and exhale slowly as you relax your body.
- For your last breath sit up on your heels and breathe deeply (or sit to one side if this is uncomfortable).
5 Seated Spinal Twist:
- Sit on the floor with your legs crossed. You can sit on a chair to make this easier. Place a towel under your sit bones.
- Place your right hand on the floor by your right side and place your left hand on your right knee. Sit tall and roll your shoulders back. Twist your body to the right little by little.
- Sit a little taller each time you inhale and twist a little more each time you exhale. On your last exhale return to the center.
- Repeat the exercise on your left side.
6 Seated Forward Bend
- Sit tall and stretch your right leg straight out in front of you. Bring your left foot to your inner right thigh. Let your left knee release towards the floor. Center your body over the right leg and flex your right foot.
- Reach forward and grab your right foot with both hands (use a strap if you have trouble reaching your toes).
- Inhale and stretch your torso long. Exhale and bend your body forward toward your leg.
- Change sides and repeat this exercise. On your last inhale, return to the crossed leg seated position.
7 Corpse Pose
- Bring your legs out of the crossed position and bend them in front you.
- Hold onto your legs as you slowly roll your body to the floor. Lay your arms comfortable away from your side.
- Slide your legs to the floor and let them lay open in a comfortable position.
- Close your eyes and let your body relax. Hold this pose for more than 6 breathes. Focus your mind on each breathe. This final pose is to help you learn to consciously relax.