Tips For Discovering YOUR Yoga Pose
Finding your Pose
Yoga connects us and separates us at the same time. It grants us the ability to discover where we find our supreme energy as individuals and to express this energy in a way that feels best for us.
When asked what their favorite pose is, many of the professional yogis below were surprised by the idea of choosing just one.
An understandable shock of course, considering most of us who practice yoga spend ten, twenty, sixty minutes a day flowing through a series of poses that engage and challenge our entire body. For some yogis, there is one particular pose that grounds them more than others. Here’s what four professional yoga instructors had to say about why they love their favorite pose, and why you might too.
For the Challenger
“My favorite yoga pose is Sirsasana, or headstand,” says Jamie Walker, certified yoga instructor and CEO and co-founder of SweatGuru (www.SweatGuru.com). “As an entrepreneur with a very busy schedule, I find that headstands are the perfect solution when I’m in need of a little extra energy. Getting upside down is better than coffee for energy and reinvigorates my body and soul.”
Sirsasana might be your favorite pose if you are someone who enjoys challenging, new perspectives on a familiar environment. Yogis who feel best in headstand pose are strong, balanced, grounded, and confident. Lifting yourself upside down challenges, disciplines, and energizes your body. Try flipping into Sirsasana pose first thing in the morning to start the day with a different outlook.
For the Sloucher
Dana Santas, creator of Radius Yoga Conditioning and the yoga trainer for the NHL Tampa Bay Lightning and MLB Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies, prefers a modified version of Matsyasana (Fish Pose).
“I call it ‘chill out’ pose. I use it myself and with all my athletes,” she says. ”It’ s my favorite for two reasons: it takes our bodies completely out of slumped-over-smartphone posture and it’s one of the most challenging poses for most people (myself included) because it requires quieting the mind and simply being. Going deeper in this pose means going deeper into your own awareness and becoming an observer in your own body.”
You may really enjoy Matsyasana if you could use a little extra peace and quiet in your daily life. Try Santas’ suggestion and prop your upper back up on a bolster or a pillow when it seems like your day leaves your physically drained, and just relax into your breathing. For a mentally exhausting day, press up into full Matsyasana by supporting your upper body with your forearms to bring energy and life back into your body while you open your heart.
For the Introvert
Karnapidasana (Ear Pressure Pose) might be your favorite if you have ever felt like hiding away, or drawing inwards. Colleen Saidman Yee, yoga instructor and creator of Gaiam’s Yoga for Weight Loss DVD, compares it to being plunged underwater.
“Even the quietest breath is audible and calming,” she says.
This pose is definitely for you if you enjoy challenges, need extra release in your neck and back muscles, and don’t mind the compression that comes along with it. Karnapidasana is a wonderful pose for experiencing new sensations, especially along your back and in your breath. This is a very rewarding pose as well and demonstrates the spectacular abilities of our bodies that we take for granted.
For the Peace Seeker
“It is in stillness, silence, and pure awareness that we access the essence of Yoga,” says Bhava Ram, author of Deep Yoga: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Times. “In Balasana, one is folded into the heart. The whisper of the breath is more audible. The mind begins to still as inner awareness grows. More importantly, to me, when one is in Balasana it is a full body prayer to Mother Earth. We offer her our gratitude, feel connected, and remember that she is us and we are her.”
Balasana (Child’s Pose) is a beautiful, grounding pose. It might be your favorite if you crave peace or if you spend your days attempting to control the uncontrollable and fighting against the forces of nature. Take a few moments out of your day to discover the beauty and health of surrender, release, humility, and acceptance in Child’s Pose.
photo credit: Stephanie Carter