Monday, April 1, 2013

In Rhythms Yoga: Monday Morning Yoga Pose

Partner yoga is fun, interactive, and allows you to find extra balance and support, and can be performed with a friend, spouse, child, colleague, or the entire family. It can infuse a little lightness to your yoga practice as well as remind you to take a moment to find playfulness in your busy schedule.

Sink low in your imaginary chair with the support of your partner in Chair Pose, building strength in your legs, spine, and core muscles. Kids in Chair Pose can pretend that they are lowering in an elevator carefully descending down and up, building leg strength, core strength, and body awareness. Counting the elevator floors and pausing as they descend and rise back up with balance!

Check with your doctor before beginning any exercise including yoga. If you begin to feel pain or unstable with your partner, gently and systematically come out. Cautions in this posture include individuals with low blood pressure.

To perform Chair Pose:
Find an open, uncluttered space. Stand facing your partner. Bring the feet together, big toes to touch, but leave a space between the heels for balance. Option to separate feet for more balance and a wider base, as far as hip-width distance apart. Clasp forearms with your partner with a firm grip to support each other. Partners may need to adjust feet closer or further from each other, to find success and a strong foundation.
Begin to bend the knees and sink into your imaginary chair. The weight shifts to your heels. Gaze down at the toes. If you can see your toes, bring your hips back further in order to see your toes for better alignment. Squeeze your knees and thighs together. Lengthen your tailbone towards your heels, and squeeze your abdominals muscles inward, towards your spine. Make sure the chest is lifted. Spine is long and straight. Take 3-5 full breaths, inhales and exhales. Gently straighten the legs to come out and thank your partner for their support and perhaps a good laugh or two.

Check in with your partner to see that they feel supported and strong in the posture. Adjust as necessary to find success and the ability to find ease and effort.

In yoga, at the end of the class or after engaging in partner poses, you can bring your palms together at your heart, and thank each other for sharing their energy and support. The word Namaste (nah-mah-stay') is often spoken to express gratitude towards both a teacher and student after a yoga class. In this instance, after a partnered pose. It is a simple word, yet powerful in nature, acknowledging another individual for exchanging in their energy and inner goodness.

Christi Iacono
In Rhythms Yoga
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