Heat Yoga Blog
Heat Yoga Blog
This is the Blog for Heat Yoga Studios.
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10:25 pm

Breaking Down the Series - Virabhadrasana II (Warrior 2 Pose)

Warrior 2 is part of both our Heat A and Heat B sequences. It strengthens legs and abdomen and opens hips. As this pose builds strength in the body, it also builds confidence. Here are some major things to focus on in this pose:
  • Front heel is in line with the back arch
  • Straighten back leg by engaging quadriceps
  • Roll the buttock of your front leg underneath you
  • Knee of front leg stacks over ankle
  • Elongate all four side of the waist
  • Hug the biceps and the triceps to the bone
There are also some common misalignments to look for in this pose: 
  • If your stance is too narrow, your front knee will extend beyond your ankle and put your knee at risk
  • Arch in the lower back - to help this you can make sure you have your lower abs drawn in or lengthen your tailbone down
  • Torso leaning over front leg - make sure your shoulders are stacked over the hips
  • Shoulders lifted around ears - soften shoulders down
Take some time the next time you are in Warrior 2 to make sure you are in correct alignment to receive all the benefits of this amazing pose. 

10:53 pm

Extended Triangle Pose - Utthita Trikonasana

Extended Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana) is a dynamic pose that relieves backaches, sciatica, and sacro-iliac pain. It also tones legs and opens hips. This pose can be done with a bent front leg like we do in Heat A which is a hot style pose or with a straight front leg like we do in Heat B. Following are some questions to ask yourself next time you are doing Extended Triangle Pose: 
  • Am I grounding through the outside edge of the back foot?
  • Am I drawing my inner thighs together? 
  • Am I drawing in my navel and spinning up from the low belly? 
  • Am I rolling my ribcage open toward the ceiling? 
  • Am I stretching through the fingers?
  • Are my shoulders stacked and open? 
  • Am I breathing? 
  • Where is my focus? It can be up at your top hand or down at bottom hand. 
Let us know if you notice any differences in your Utthita Trikonasana after asking yourself these questions. See you on the mat!

10:20 pm

Camel - Ustrasana

Ustrasana, also known as camel pose  is a big heart opener with many benefits. Camel, a part of both of our A and B series, is a pose that seems to be either loved or hated by our students. Those who love it experience the many benefits of pose. Camel stretches the hip flexors, thighs and abdominal muscles. It improves flexibility in the thoracic spine and opens the shoulders and chest. If you hate it then you may be one of the unlucky ones who experiences nausea or dizziness when coming out of it.  However, these symptoms can be minimized with a few proper alignment tips.

The foundation of this pose is in the tops of the feet, ankles, shins and knees. The shins and knees should be hip width apart and the thighs perpendicular to the floor.  The tendency is to crunch into the lower back, but this can be avoided by spinning the inner thighs back and pressing the sacrum/tailbone firmly into the body. Tip –  If you are clenching your butt, you’re probably crunching into your lower back

The lower body is rooted and the upper body is lifting from the back ribs. Make sure you arch evenly through the torso (no hinging at the front ribs). Extend your sternum away from the navel and broaden through the shoulder blades.  Proper head and neck alignment is integral to this pose. When there is enough curve in the thoracic spine then you can drop your head back with no compression in the neck. Often the nausea and dizziness is caused from dipping your head back before this curve is established. Following are some major points to focus on: 

  • Press the shins and knees down evenly into the mat
  • Keep thighs perpendicular to the floor
  • Lift the front hip bones and firm the side hips in 
  • Lift the sternum toward the ceiling
  • Lift the back ribs off the back waist
  • Externally rotate and straighten the arms
  • If you can place hands on the heels, then reach the fingers in the direction of the toes so the heel of the hand rests on the heel of the foot

Common mistakes:

1. Chest is collapsed and shoulders are lifted up around the ears

2. Hinging at the knees and/or hips are not above the knees

3. Lower back is arched

Next time you are in this yoga pose, just know there are plenty of variations you can try. You can tuck your toes under so your heels are higher. You can also put your hands on your buttocks to extend the back. If this pose ALWAYS makes you dizzy, don’t feel compelled to drop your head back, you can experience all the benefits of this heart opener without taking it to it’s fullest expression.

Give Ustrasana (Camel) another try and let us know how it goes! 

11:35 pm

Thursdays Pose to Try

In Sanskrit, the Warrior or Hero pose is called Virabhadrasana. The name derives from Virabhadra, a great warrior hero in Indian mythology. According to legend, Virabhadra had a fearsome appearance with a thousand heads, a thousand eyes and a thousand feet; he wielded a thousand clubs and wore the skin of a tiger. The term warrior is used in yoga to reference a pose meant to bring spirituality and enlightenment to one’s practice, according to "Yoga Journal." Warrior is a vigorous yoga posture that demands strength and steadiness. The Warrior pose has three variations. Warrior I strengthens the legs and back, releases the deep abdominal muscles and the iliopsoas, opens the shoulders and stretches the hip flexors. Warrior II strengthens legs and abdomen, opens hips and builds confidence. Warrior III strengthens the abdominal, back and leg muscles and improves coordination and balance. Try the different variations of warrior pose and find which is your favorite!

11:18 pm

Yoga is a practice

Yoga is not a form of exercise. Yoga is a practice. Each day we come to our mats to practice the things that we need to work on - both physically and mentally. We practice these things until they become a habit. Each day will be different. Some days will be harder than others. So remember to celebrate every change in your practice. No matter how small it may seem. Holding a pose one second longer. Feeling more comfortable with your breath. Staying in your own practice. Whatever it may be it's all part of the process which leads to a yoga lifestyle.