This post documents my own little ‘Moon Salutation’ sequence beside the Kasbah Tamadot’s pool on my trip to Morocco; a cooling and quieting session of nocturnal Yoga. I’ve always loved Yoga as a form of exercise for mind & body, but having not practiced for far too long, I felt like a true novice once again. On this silent, misty mountain night, I remembered why I love it so much. To my mind, Yoga is an ethos unto itself, and a way of life – the goal is to achieve total health rather than just an aesthetic result. Below is a collection of my 10 fave, basic yoga poses alongside some photos and notes to explain each movement briefly. In the past, I’ve found it a fabulous beginner’s routine to practise on a daily basis. For my session, I’m wearing some favourites from the Sweaty Betty’s spring/summer ‘yoga retreat’. Click here for more….
SUKHASANA (PLEASANT POSE) – as below
This pose looks easy but I still find it tough! You’ll want to interweave & cross your shins, and each foot should sit beneath the opposite knee. Try to sit with your pelvis in a relatively neutral position. A fabulous stretch from which I always feel the benefit the next day.
HIGH LUNGE (as below)
Inhale and bend your knees and place your palms flat on the ground beside your feet. Take your left foot back as far as you can (standing on the ball of your foot), look up and push your hips forward. You’ll basically be standing in a lunge positing but your torso should be resting on your front thigh and your back leg extended fully as well.
WARRIOR POSE (as below)
Standing in Tadasana, step your feet apart and raise your arms, and then reach them out to your sides keeping the palms down. Turn your right foot slightly to the right and your left foot out to the left 90 degrees. Keep the left heel in alignment with the right heel. Breathe out and bend your left knee over the left ankle.
HALASANA – as below
Lying on your back, slowly bend from the hip joints to lower your toes to the floor over your head. Try to keep your legs fully extended. With your toes on the floor lift your hands against the lower torso for support. Slowly roll out of the pose and onto your back again. It’s a good idea to practice against a wall and slowly walk you feet down against the wall until you get comfortable.
URDHVA MUKHA SVANASANA (UPWARD-FACING DOG) – as below
Straighten your feet so they are lying on the mat. Inhale, press your hands down onto the floor and straighten your arms whilst lifting your torso up and your legs should be slightly off the floor so your resting on your feet. Look straight ahead.
ADHO MUKHA SVANASANA (DOWNWARD FACING DOG) – as below
Exhale, with force push your thighs back and try to press your heels onto the floor, keeping your knees straight (but avoid locking).
SETU BANDHA SARVANGASANA (BRIDGE POSE) – as below
Lying on the floor, bend your knees and put your feet on the floor, push your tailbone upward toward the pubis, lift and squeeze your buttocks off the floor until the thighs are about parallel to the floor. Stay in the pose 30 seconds to 1 minute.
EKA PADA RAJAKAPOTASANA (ONE LEGGED KING PIGEON POSE) – as below
Bring your right foot forward under you and let your right shin rest on the floor in front of you. Lower the your right buttock on the floor. The right heel just in front of the left hip. Your left leg should remain straight. Slowly exhale and bring your torso down onto your right thigh.
Stay in this position for 30 seconds – 1 minute; slowly with your hands on the floor slide the right leg back and then repeat with the legs reversed.
CHILD POSE – as below
Kneeling on the floor, sit on your knees, separating them about as wide as your hips, and touch your feet. (I’m reaching out in front of me as an alternative). Rest your torso between your thighs. This is a resting pose and you can hold it anywhere from 30 seconds to a few minutes.
UTTHITA TRIKONASANA (TRIANGLE POSE) – as below
Keep your feet c. 4 feet apart, raise your arms parallel to the floor and reach out to the sides. Turn your left foot in slightly to the right, and your right foot out, aligning the right heel with the left heel. Turn your right thigh out. Extend your torso to the right directly over the right leg. Make sure to bend from the hip joint, not the waist. Then place your right hand on the floor, shin or ankle, whichever feels comfortable, whilst remaining in the right position. Stretch your left arm toward the ceiling, and keep your head in a neutral position.
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