Yoga for Begginners Part 1

Abilene Yoga

        Abilene Pilates

Pilates on Elmwood



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1.Mountain Pose –Tadasana

May be considered the foundation of all yoga poses.

It is a very basic standing posture with feet together and hands at the sides of the body. Yoga practitioners[who?] consider it a pose that promotes confidence and happiness as well as improving posture and creating space within the body. This creating space within the body may allow internal organs to work more efficiently thus improving respiration, digestion and elimination. The pose strengthens the abdomen and the legs. It may help relieve sciatica and reduce flat feet.[citation needed] Poses that help prepare for Tadasana include Adho Mukha Svanasana and Uttanasana. Although Tadasana is a very basic pose it is the basis for many standing poses. Urdhva Hastasana is a very similar pose with the hands raised above the head.

2.Urdhva Hastasana, or Upward Salute pose is a yoga posture. The name comes from the Sanskrit words urdhva (upward) hast (hand) asana (pose).


Begin in Tadasana (Mountain pose). Raise your arms from your sides, in front of your body and up above your head, with your palms facing inward. Extend your elbows fully and reach up through your pinkies so your thumbs turn slightly down toward the crown of your head. Making sure not to compress the back of your neck, tip your head back slightly and gaze at your thumbs.

Don’t let your lower front ribs protrude forward. Bring your front ribs down (toward your pelvis) and in (toward your spine), and lengthen your tail bone toward the floor. Then lift your rib cage evenly away from your pelvis to stretch the circumference of your belly. Hold for a few breaths.

Exhale and, as you sweep your arms out to the sides, tip your torso forward from the hip joints to fold into Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend).

Teachers and practitioners of yoga believe that the benefits of Upward salute include

  • Improves digestion.
  • Stretches the belly
  • Stretches the shoulders and armpits
  • Helps relieve mild anxiety and calms the mind

3.Uttanasana (forward bend) is one of the most frequently practiced Hatha Yoga asanas (posture).


The posture consists of standing with feet together, then hinging forward from the hips, letting the head hang, with palms placed flat on the floor near the feet.


The posture provides a complete stretch to the entire back of the body, particularly the hamstrings, and regular practice has been claimed[citation needed] to increase general flexibility, rejuvenate the spinal nerves and the nervous system generally, ease depression, soothe and calm the mind, tone the kidneys, liver, and spleen; improve blood circulation in the legs, improve nourishment to the facial skin, scalp, and hair roots, and improve eyesight and hearing.

Because of its great popularity, this posture has a very large number of variations and associated techniques.


This pose has been criticized by some practitioners of kinesiology, physical therapy, and others, who recommend a seated rather than standing forward bend.

4.Adho Mukha Svanasana, or Downward-Facing Dog

Primary Muscles

Secondary Muscles(Synergists/Stabilizers)


The preparatory position is with the hands and knees on the floor, hands under the shoulders, fingers spread wide, knees under the hips and typically about seven inches (17 cm) apart, with the spine straightened and relaxed.

On a deep exhale, the hips are pushed toward the ceiling, the body forming an inverted V-shape, with an arch in the back. The legs and arms are straight, the elbows engaged,[dubiousdiscuss] the shoulders wide and relaxed. The heels move toward the floor. The hands and feet remain hip-width apart. If the hamstrings are very strong or tight, the knees are bent to allow the spine to lengthen fully.

Stress on the wrists is reduced by pressing down with the fingers and borders of the palms, and pushing the hips up and backwards. The head drops slightly. The heart moves toward the back.[dubiousdiscuss]

The hips move up and back. Focus is on the breath while holding the posture, with deep, steady inhalation and exhalation creating a flow of energy through the body. On an exhale, the practitioner releases onto the hands and knees and rests.

BKS Iyengar asserts that this posture stretches the shoulders, legs, spine and whole body; builds strength throughout the body, particularly the arms, legs, and feet; relieves fatigue and rejuvenates the body; improves the immune system, digestion and blood flow to the sinuses, and calms the mind and lifts the spirits.

This posture is not recommended if the wrists are sensitive or injured. A modified posture may be appropriate, such as placing the hands against a wall rather than the floor.

Warrior 1

5. Virabhadra’s Pose is also known as the Warrior Pose (there are three variation of Warrior, of which this is customarily numbered 1). It may seem strange to name a yoga pose after a warrior; after all, aren’t yogis known for they’re non-violent ways? But remember that one of the most revered of all the yoga texts, the Bhagavad-Gita, is the dialog between two famous and feared warriors, Krishna and Arjuna, set on a battlefield between two great armies spoiling for a fight.  What’s really being commemorated in this pose’s name, and held up as an ideal for all practitioners, is the “spiritual warrior,” who bravely does battle with the universal enemy,

Warrior 2

self-ignorance (avidya), the ultimate source of all our suffering.

6. Virabhadra 2

7. Pyramid Pose Parsvottonasana

Benefits + Contraindications

Benefits: Pyramid pose deeply stretches the backs of the legs and improves balance,        mental functions and circulation.

Contraindications: Recent or chronic injury to the hips, back or shoulders.

Modifications + Variations

Variations: To work on balance, slowly work the hands to namaste on top of the              left foot, or bring the hands to reverse Anjali Mudra behind the back.

8.Utthita Parsvakonasana

  1. From standing pose, jump or step feet apart 4 to 4 1/2 feet. Raise arms in
    line with shoulders, palms down.
  2. Turn right food 90 degrees to the right, left foot slightly to the right.
    Keep left leg extended, and press outer edge of the heel to the floor.
  3. Bend right knee until thigh is parallel to the floor. Knee should not extend
    beyond the ankle.
  4. Place right palm on the floor on outside of right foot. Stretch left arm out
    over left ear. Keep head up.
  5. Keep the chest lifted. Chest and left leg, hip and arm should maintain a
    straight line.
  6. Breathe deeply.
  7. Coming out, inhale and straighten right leg, bring arms to shoulder height
    and repeat on the other side.

Beginners: Reduce the angle between thigh and calf and place right
forearm on thigh.
Benefits: Tones ankles, knees, thighs, opens the
chest, helps relieve sciatic and arthritic pains, aids in elimination

About dkpilates

Pilates Instructor, Yoga Instructor, Personnel trainer and Group Fitness Instructor. Don teaches Contemporary and the Authentic forms of Pilates, in the later 90's, Don began his study of Yoga. His study of Yoga includes the Hatha, Iyengar, Bikram, and Astanga disciplines. His other areas of interest in fitness include Martial Arts, Spin, Boot Camp Training, and Weight Training. Don has extensive training and certifications from AFFA, IDEA, MadDog, B-Fit and Polestar. Don Continues his of Pilates education with Michelle Larson in Santa Fe New Mexico. His personal philosophy related to fitness is to aid students in a personalized balance of strength, stamina and flexibility. He is dedicated to design a program specifically for his students independent of the season of their life to create functional movement and help them reach their fitness goals.
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