yoga teacher trainingBy Faye Martins

The holiday season can be both wonderful and challenging. The beauty and celebratory nature of the season makes it a great time of year to remember our blessings and to gather with friends and family. The holiday season can also be quite challenging for many people. The hectic schedule filled with parities and travelling can leave many of us weary and off-balance. We may also become so rushed for time that it becomes difficult to maintain a regular Yoga practice. Maintaining regularity is one of the main keys to experiencing the deeper benefits of Yoga.

Incorporating balancing Yoga poses into your Yoga practice during the holiday season will help to keep you feeling flexible, strong and centered. Eagle, Tree, Crow and Warrior III are wonderful balancing asanas that also help to relieve stress and tension in the upper back, arms and shoulders. Before practicing any of these poses, it is advisable to begin your Yoga practice with a few moments of deep Yogic breathing, setting an intention for your practice and then warming up with 5-10 rounds of full Sun Salutations. In this way, your entire body and mind will be present, centered, energized and ready for the practice of balancing Yoga asanas.

Garudasana or Eagle Pose

After beginning your Yoga practice with the setting of an intention and several rounds of complete Yogic breaths, stand at the front of your mat in Tadasana or Mountain Pose. Feel the ground beneath you and distribute your weight evenly between your two feet. Stand tall and expand your rib cage with several deep breaths.

To practice Eagle Pose, start by standing on your left foot and wrapping your right calf and foot above your left knee. If you have the flexibility today, you may want to hook the toes of your right foot around the back of your left ankle. For added balance, slightly bend your left leg and root more firmly into the ground. Now wrap your left arm under your right arm and bring your palms together in front of your face.

It is important to keep your arms perpendicular to the floor, directly in front of you and even with your shoulders for the deepest and most aligned practice of the posture. Hold this pose for five complete breaths. With your next exhale, release your arms and legs and slowly come back to Tadasana at the top of your Yoga mat. Take a moment to feel the expansion in your upper back and shoulders. Repeat Garudasana on the other side.

© Copyright 2015 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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