Yoga Beginners Class

Focusing on side poses

Hi, my name is Lisa. I’m your teacher for today and I’m going to introduce you to some basic yoga poses focusing on the sides of your body.

Please introduce yourself and let me know of any injuries and we’ll go from there.

As breathing is very important throughout our practices, we will take a few minutes in resting pose and do…

1.Pranayama (Yogic Breathing)

-sit comfortably, any way you feel like, some might want to sit on a block or a cushion to relieve tension in the lower back

-spine is straight and chin is parallel to the floor, this will allow your lungs to expand fully

-place your hands on your legs

-put your index finger and your thumb together

-you may close your eyes

-start with a deep inhalation/long exhalation into chest

-inhaaale and exhaaale

-continue in your pace

2.Warm up

Let’s start with a gentle warm up

-rotate you’re ankle to the left and change to the right

-rotate your knees

-make circles with the hip

-roll shoulders back and forth

-stretch neck from left to right

Cat Cow pose 

-start in the table top position. Make sure your knees are directly under your hips and your wrist, elbow and shoulders are in line. Head in center and eyes looking to the floor.

-inhale and lift the head toward the ceiling. At the same time let your tummy sink downward by releasing the spine. The tailbone stays above the knees throughout

-exhale and round your spine upward, feel the stretch in your neck

Repeat 10x

Our last warm up for today will be a

Surya Namaskara or Sun Solutation

-stand in tadasana the mountain pose

-take a few deep inhales, exhale and bring your hands together in Samasthiti

-inhale and stretch your arms up, bend back from your waste, hip forward

-exhale and bend forwards, place your hands next to your feet (bend your legs if you need to)

-inhale look up and take the right leg back followed by the left one called the plank pose

-support your weight on your hands and toes. Head, back and legs make a straight line

-as you exhale, lower your knees, your chest and chin to the floor, your hands should be flat on the floor just beside your shoulders, slide yourself forward into the cobra pose, head tilting back

-exhale, roll your weight onto your feet and raise up the hips to the ceiling, try to push your hills down forming a triangle called the downwards facing dog

-inhale, step forward with the right leg followed by the left leg

-exhale and fold down from your waist

-inhale and straighten and raise the arms up exhale and fold your hands in front of your chest

3.Swinging palm on the wall

-place both feet on the wall, stretch your arms up and slowly start bending down to the right side, make sure arms are straight

-repeat on the left side and feel the stretch on the right side of your waist

4.Twist on the wall

-stand on the wall twisting to the right side and placing both palms on the wall, come back to the centre and repeat on the left side

5.Standing forward bend

-Stand in Tadasana, reach up your arms and fall forward

-hold on to your arms and let them hang down, pulling downward

-this lengthens the spine and takes nourishing blood to the brain

6.Simple Triconasana (tones spinal nerves and abdominal organs, reduces pain in the lower back)

-stand back to the wall again

-place feet approx 1 meter apart, front leg along the wall back leg pointing out

-reach arms to the side and then lower it down

-the left arm reaches up

-press your chest to wall as close as possible

-repeat these steps on the left side

7.Side leg stretch (Skandasana) promoting balance and opens the hips

-final standing posture

-start in squatting frog position on the balls of the feet and with the arms hanging straight in front of you hands just touching the ground

-slide left foot out to the side as far as comfortable, resting the heel on the ground with the toes and knee pointing straight up

-bring the hands to a prayer position if possible and lift up through the crown of the head, straightening the spine and putting gentle downward pressure on pelvis (remain for 30 sec) repeat on the other side

-smooth transaction into a single leg forward bend

8.Janu Sirsasana

-start in staff pose, hands by your side, straight spine, looking forward

-bend the left knee and place the sole on the inside of the right thigh

-inhale and lift the arms above the head, palms facing each other

-extend up through the fingers so that you feel the stretch down the side of the body, as if your upper body is pulling out of the waist, press down through the buttocks

-exhale and stretch forward, fold forward from the hips over your straight leg

-relax the spine, place your hands wherever it feels comfortable for you

-surrender into the pose

-on your inhale come slightly up on your exhale extend more forward

-repeat the other side

9.Savasana corpse pose (for relaxing your body and mind completely so that the mind is set free and energy can flow freely)

-lie on your back, turn your legs and arms out to the side, palms facing up

-close your eyes

-turn your head gently from side to side and then return it to the centre

-relax your feet. Now, take your attention to your calves and feel them relaxed, your thighs, buttocks and lower back are relaxed, your upper back, your shoulders are very relax and feel the tension dropping out onto the floor, arms, hands and neck are relaxed. Let your eyes relax and feel your face muscles and scalp becoming soft and relaxed.

-mentally scan over your body for any tension, whenever you find a tense muscle, tighten it first, then relax it.

-be aware around and through your body and be alert to any discomfort, allow yourself to melt into the floor

-breath into your abdomen and with every exhalation feel the weight of your body sinking deeper into the floor. Focus your attention by listening to the sound of your breath. Enjoy the sensation of the weight of your body being fully supported by the floor beneath you

-take a deep breath in and start to bring back attention into the feet and hands

-bring your legs together and stretch your arms over your head for a full body stretch

-bend knees, roll over onto your right side and with your eyes still closed come up to a sitting position

-rub your palms together and cover your eyes with them, feel the warmth

-open your eyes into the hands and bring them down to samasthiti

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