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Vinyasa yoga poses

1) Child's pose To get into it, come to all fours. Click your big toes together, and walk your knees out wide. Sink your hips back toward your heels, and drop your head down into the mat. Lengthen your arms out in front of you, palms facing down. Take it deeper by connecting with the natural rhythm of your breath. When you exhale you feel a release of tension. Allow the hips to descend a little farther toward your heels. Let your belly soften and find space between your back teeth so you’re not clenching your jaw. Let your head and arms be heavy and just breathe.

2. Cat-cow pose

To get into it, come to an all-fours position so your shoulders are stacked over your wrists and your hips are over your knees. Push the tops of your feet and shins into the mat to lift your low belly and lengthen your low back.

From here, inhale and lift your tailbone and shine your heart forward for cow pose. Exhale. Scoop your belly, puff up the space between your shoulder blades, and tuck your chin for the cat.

Cat-cow pose connects your movement from your breath and helps you be more physically present in your body. It's also a gentle way to strengthen your core and increase spinal mobility.

3. Downward-facing dog

Starting on all fours, inhale and curl your toes. Exhale lift your hips high to the sky and extend your legs. To take it deeper, root your palms firmly into the mat. Firm your upper arms in and have the intention of wrapping your shoulder blades around your armpits to feel the strength in your mid-back. Draw your chest closer toward your thighs, tuck your low belly in toward your spine, and bend your knees as much as you need to so you’re not forcing it. Lower your heels down toward the mat.

The downward-facing dog is one of the key vinyasa yoga poses—and that’s for good reason. Grounding and energizing, it opens up the areas where we get tight: the shoulders, hamstrings, and calves. It’s also incredibly strengthening for the arms, back, core, and legs.

4. Upward-facing dog From a low plank, inhale, flip your feet, and press the tops of your feet into the mat. Extend your arms straight and long, and stack your wrists, elbows, and shoulders in one line. Keep your hips, thighs, and knees lifted off your mat. Take it deeper: Press firmly into your hands, and, without moving your palms, energetically drive them away from each other. This action in the body creates more space and allows you to open your heart a little more. Gently draw your shoulder blades toward each other as you hug your low belly in and firm through your glutes to protect your back. Stay here for a breath or two before pulling back into a downward-facing dog. The benefits of this Vinyasa Yoga pose include opening up the chest and strengthening the arms, shoulders, and abs.

5. Forward fold

To get into it from a downward-facing dog, inhale and bend your knees deeply. At the end of your exhale, take a giant step to the top of your mat for a forward fold. Keep your feet hip-distance apart and parallel. Drape your upper body over your thighs. Reach your fingertips toward the floor.

Take it deeper by bringing your weight into the balls of your feet. Bend your knees as much as you need to. And this next tip might surprise you—because this aspect of the forward fold isn’t discussed a lot in Vinyasa yoga—but draw your belly in tight as you bring it closer to your thighs. You want your core to be turned on and active. Once you feel strong in your core, allow the tension in your upper body to melt away. Take five long, slow, deep breaths.

To add some movement, inhale and lift halfway up. Actively press your hands into your shins and reach the crown of your head and tailbone away from each other. On your exhale, fold forward a little farther, deepening the stretch in your hamstrings and releasing muscles in your low back. Forward fold opens up the hamstrings without putting pressure on your wrists, shoulders, or neck. It also relieves stress and calms the nervous system.

6. Mountain pose To get into it, inhale and push your feet actively into the mat and roll all the way up to standing as you sweep your arms up overhead. Bring your palms to face each other, spread your toes, and press all four corners of your feet into the floor. Lift your kneecaps so your quads are engaged. Allow your tailbone to be heavy as you zip up through your low belly. Knit your ribs in as your shoulders relax down your back. Energetically reach your fingertips high to the sky. A major Vinyasa Yoga benefit is improving posture, and that’s what mountain pose is all about: training the body to be tall. The mountain pose reinforces a long, neutral spine and a strong core.

7. Plank pose Get into from mountain pose by exhaling and swan-diving into a forward fold. Inhale, halfway lift, bring your palms to your shins, and gaze down at your mat. Exhale, plank pose. Plant your hands shoulder-distance apart on your mat, and step your feet back. This grounded posture is key to nailing your Vinyasa Yoga flow. Root the base of your index finger and thumb into the floor, soften your elbows, and firm your upper arms in. Shine your heart forward as your shoulders drop down toward your hips. Scoop your low belly to lengthen your low back and lift your hamstrings toward the sky so you’re energetic through your legs. Add some movement by keeping your flow going with a low plank/Chaturanga. Inhale, glide your body forward so your shoulders are over your wrists and you’re on the tips of your toes. Exhale, and come halfway down for a low plank. The benefits of the plank pose include working your entire body all at once. If you’re paying attention to the details, you’ll feel this in your arms, shoulders, back, abs, glutes, and legs. Like the mountain pose, a plank is a Vinyasa Yoga pose known for improving posture and training the body tall.

8. 8. Halfway split Start in a low lunge with your right foot forward. Exhale, extend your right leg long and sweep your arms back behind you. To take it deeper, dig your right heel into your mat, then drag your right hip back to deepen the stretch. Instead of focusing on drawing your belly closer to your thighs, keep your chest lifted and gently squeeze your shoulder blades toward one another as you shine your heart open. The benefits of this pose are especially great for the hamstrings. Just keep breathing through it! If you notice that you’re feeling shaky and your balance is off, firm your inner thighs toward each other and draw your waist in a little more to stay steady.

9. Crescent pose Get into it from the halfway split, then inhale. Curl your back left toes and glide your body forward and up into a high crescent lunge. Your feet are hip-width apart, parallel. Your front knee is over your ankle. Your back leg is long. Your arms are reaching up overhead. Take it deeper: Root your feet firmly. Hug your inner thighs toward each other as you drag your right hip back and down slightly. The goal is for your hips to be level and square. Your entire core is hugging in. Your shoulders are relaxed away from your ears.

10. Low lunge with a twist

Get into this from a downward-facing dog by stepping your right foot forward between your hands for a low lunge. Breathe in, drop your left knee to your mat, and sweep your arms high to the sky for the low lunge. To take it deeper, press your front foot, your back shin, and the top of your back foot into the mat and—without moving—energetically drive them away from each other. This will create a stronger, more stable foundation and help you balance.

11. Easy pose

Set this up by taking an easy, cross-legged position. Let your hands rest on your knees. With your site bones grounding down, have the intention to draw your belly button back toward your spine and up underneath your rib cage. Shoulders are relaxed, stacked over the hips. Take it deeper by practicing a simple breath-focused meditation to close out your Vinyasa Yoga practice.

Start by gently guiding your attention to your breath. Feel your breath go in and out. don't try to get anywhere; you’re not trying to change anything. Your only sitting and breathing.

12. Chair Pose (Utkatasana)Chair pose is a staple in vinyasa yoga and is already incorporated into most practices. Its level of difficulty is easy but in order to get the best burn, it must be done correctly. You primarily feel the strain in your upper quads but it also works your arms, abs, and hamstrings. How to do the pose: Start in mountain pose, slowly begin to press your bum towards the ground placing a bend in the knees like you are about to sit in a chair. While shifting lower keep your spine straight and your chest up, and rotate your arms up, and out towards the ceiling. Now the most important part, instead of letting your chest hang on top of your knees press into your heels and make sure you remain fully upright.

113. Side Plank (Vasisthasana)

It should be no surprise that a plank modification enters into this top three list. Side plank is a great pose for those who are trying to break down that nagging belly fat. Although it is moderately difficult there are many variations that you can do in order to work into the pose, I will start with the beginner version that focuses on using your elbow on the ground.

Start in an upward plank. Place your right elbow on the floor and set it perpendicular to your body. Slowly turn your body weight onto the elbow and your bottom foot. It is really important to keep the length in your spine and keep stretching your body vertically, collapsing your spine in this exercise will leave you with a bad back the next day! When I incorporate this pose into my workouts I really like to try to hold it for 30 seconds but even half of that will do the trick.

So, as you see here are most of the Vinyasa poses. Hope you will enjoy doing it!


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