Teach Yourself VISUALLY Yoga

Teach Yourself VISUALLY Yoga

by maranGraphics Development Group, Marangraphics, Colleen Tiltman
     
 

Are you a visual learner? Do you prefer instructions that show you how to do something–and skip the long-winded explanations? The Visual Learning System in Teach Yourself VISUALLY Yoga breaks down this ancient and sometimes intimidating practice into graphical two-page lessons that simplify learning. Inside you'll find clear, step-by-step instructions covering… See more details below

Overview

Are you a visual learner? Do you prefer instructions that show you how to do something–and skip the long-winded explanations? The Visual Learning System in Teach Yourself VISUALLY Yoga breaks down this ancient and sometimes intimidating practice into graphical two-page lessons that simplify learning. Inside you'll find clear, step-by-step instructions covering all the basics of yoga. Full-color photographs show you how to correctly and safely perform common poses and adapt them to meet your needs and skill level. Plus, you'll learn how to breathe properly, avoid common posture mistakes, and create individualized yoga sessions.

  • "Teach Yourself" sidebars provide practical tips and tricks
  • Large color photos demonstrate how to correctly perform each pose
  • Step-by-step instructions explain beginner to more advanced moves
  • Special icons flag difficulty levels

Dating back more than 5000 years, yoga is a sophisticated discipline that combines fitness training, relaxation techniques and lifestyle change possibilities. The health benefits of yoga are numerous, including stress-relief, physical exercise and therapeutic relief from ailments, such as chronic back pain, hypertension, migraine headaches and insomnia. Teach Yourself VISUALLY Yoga will provide step-by-step instructions that will help readers quickly get started experiencing the benefits of yoga. The book will contain detailed, full-color photographs that will give readers an easy-to-follow guide to performing common yoga poses, as well as useful information to keep in mind when trying new yoga poses. One of the many benefits of yoga is that it is accessible to everyone, regardless of age or fitness level. Teach Yourself VISUALLY Yoga will include useful tips to help readers adapt yoga poses to meet their individual needs. In addition to outlining common yoga poses, Teach Yourself VISUALLY Yoga will recommend sequences of poses readers can perform to achieve various goals, such as relaxation or fitness. Once readers become familiar with the basics of yoga, they can follow the advice in the book to design their own individualized yoga sessions.

Teach Yourself VISUALLY Yoga should include sections on:

  • What is yoga?
  • The health and fitness benefits of yoga.
  • Breathing techniques.
  • Easy to follow, step-by-step instructions and accompanying full-color photographs for performing common yoga poses correctly and safely.
  • Useful tips to help readers adapt poses to meet their individual needs.
  • Appropriate clothing for practicing yoga and equipment that can be used.
  • Warm-up exercises that can be performed at the beginning of a yoga session.
  • Relaxation techniques and poses.
  • Suggested sequences of poses for yoga sessions, such as beginner sessions, relaxation sessions and fitness sessions, as well as tips for designing your own sessions.
  • Yoga meditation techniques.


About the Author:
Colleen Tiltman is a practicing yoga teacher and certified yoga therapist. She has been accredited with the highest level of study at the Yoga Alliance, one of the most established organizations for governing the national standards of yoga. Tiltman teamed with the maranGraphics Development Group to make Teach Yourself VISUALLY Yoga easy to follow, medically solid, and adaptable to your personal fitness level.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780764525803
Publisher:
Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
Publication date:
05/09/2003
Series:
Teach Yourself Visually Ser.
Pages:
315
Product dimensions:
7.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Related Subjects

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Teach Yourself VISUALLY Yoga



John Wiley & Sons



Copyright © 2003

maranGraphics Development
All right reserved.



ISBN: 0-7645-2580-8



Chapter One


Seated Poses

In this Chapter ...

Staff Pose
Easy Pose
Bound Angle Pose
Half Lotus Pose
Lotus Pose
Cow Face Pose
Seated Side Bend
Simple Twist
Seated Half Spinal Twist
Seated Boat Pose
Thunderbolt Pose
Hero Pose

Performing seated poses
can improve your
posture, stretch your
legs and open your hips. Some
seated poses, such as Easy Pose
and Lotus Pose, are especially
good for meditation because
they allow you to keep your
spine straight and help you
remain grounded and relaxed
as you meditate. Certain seated
poses are often used as starting
positions for other poses. This
chapter demonstrates a variety
of seated poses that you can
perform.


staff pose
(dandasana)

Staff Pose can help you learn how to sit with correct
posture. Regular practice of this pose can also help
increase the flexibility of your hips and pelvis and
strengthen your lower back. This basic seated pose
often serves as a starting position for other seated
poses.

While you perform Staff Pose, you should be aware
of both your upper and lower body. Your upper body
should be erect, yet relaxed, and your lower body
should feel grounded.

To provide extra support for your spine inthis pose,
you can place your palms directly behind your body
with your fingers pointing behind you, instead of
placing your palms beside your hips. If your hips are
stiff, you can perform the pose sitting on a folded
blanket. This modification raises your hips so your legs
drop away from your pelvis, allowing you to sit more
comfortably. Sitting on a folded blanket may also help
keep you from rounding your lower back and can make
finding the correct alignment of your spine easier.

1 Sit on the floor with
your back straight and
your legs stretched out
in front of you.

Make sure your legs and
feet are hip width apart
and parallel.

2 Press your sitting bones
into the floor and point
the crown of your head
toward the ceiling to
lengthen and straighten
your spine.

3 Flex your feet and press
out through your heels.

4 Place your palms on the
floor beside your hips to
support your spine and
then relax your shoulders
down. Your upper body
should be erect, but
relaxed.

5 Relax your legs to the
floor so your lower body
feels firmly grounded.
Hold the pose for 20 to
30 seconds.

6 Hold the pose for 20 to
30 seconds.


MODIFICATION

1 If you have stiff hips,
perform Staff Pose sitting
on a folded blanket.

Sitting on a folded blanket
raises your hips so your
legs drop away from your
pelvis, allowing you to sit
more comfortably. This
modification can also help
you lengthen and straighten
your spine more easily.


easypose
(sukhasana)

Easy Pose is a calming pose that is useful for meditation
and practicing breathing exercises. This pose also helps
to promote proper seated posture.

Each time you perform Easy Pose, you should alternate
which leg you place on top. While performing the pose,
allow the crown of your head to lift up as your spine
elongates and press your sitting bones down into the
floor. You should focus on keeping your spine straight
in this pose.

While performing Easy Pose, focus on moving your
breath through your body. You may find closing your
eyes helps you relax into the pose. You can hold the
pose for as long as you need to calm your mind.

If your hips are stiff or your knees are strained, try sitting
on thickly folded blankets. Sitting on blankets can also
help prevent you from rounding your lower back or
raising your knees up higher than your pelvis. Even with
this modification, use caution performing Easy Pose if
you have problems with your knees or hips.

1 Begin in Staff Pose.
For information on
Staff Pose, see page 72.

2 Bend your knees and
cross your legs in front
of you.

3 Draw your feet toward
your buttocks as far as
is comfortable for you.

4 Place your hands on
your knees with your
palms facing up.
Relax your shoulders
down and back, and lift
and expand your chest.

5 Relax your shoulders
down and back, and lift
and expand your chest.

6 Press your sitting bones
toward the floor and
lengthen your spine.

7 Point the crown of your
head toward the ceiling
and gaze straight ahead.

8 Hold the pose for 1 to 10
minutes. Then return to
Staff Pose.

After performing Easy
Pose, you should shake
out your legs to help
relieve your knees and
ankles.


MODIFICATION

1 If your hips are stiff or if
you have discomfort in your
knees, you can perform Easy
Pose sitting on the edge of
two or three thickly folded
blankets. This allows your
knees to drop so you can sit
straight more easily.


bound angle pose
(baddha konasana)

Bound Angle Pose provides a stretch to your groin and
inner thighs. You can also use this pose to develop
flexibility in your hips, knees, ankles and feet.

Practicing Bound Angle Pose opens the front of
your pelvis and promotes circulation in your pelvic
floor. For these reasons, this pose is often used as
a prenatal exercise and is helpful for relieving
menstrual problems.

While performing Bound Angle Pose, make sure you
rest your weight on your sitting bones as you drop
your knees toward the floor. You should feel a stretch,
but no pain, in your knees. If your knees are high up
off the floor, do not force them down. Instead, move
your feet further away from your groin or place rolled
up blankets under your knees for support. After you
come out of Bound Angle Pose, you should perform
Staff Pose or shake out your legs to relieve your knees
and ankles.

You should avoid Bound Angle Pose if you have a knee
or groin injury.

1 Begin in Staff Pose. For
information on Staff
Pose, see page 72.

2 Bend your legs and
place the soles of your
feet together.

3 Clasp your feet or ankles
and then move your heels
toward your groin as far
as is comfortable for you.

4 Exhale as you allow
your knees to drop
toward the floor.

5 Relax your shoulders
and arms.

6 Press your sitting bones
into the floor and point
the crown of your head
toward the ceiling to
lengthen your spine.

Visualize your knees
opening like the wings
of a butterfly.

7 Hold the pose for 30
seconds to 2 minutes
and then return to
Staff Pose.


MODIFICATION

You can perform Bound
Angle Pose with your
back touching a wall.
This is useful if you have
a weak lower back and
require extra support.

1 Perform Bound Angle
Pose, except sit with
your back lightly
touching a wall.


half lotus pose(ardha padmasana)

Half Lotus Pose is a seated pose that stretches and
helps to open your hips. This pose is also useful for
practicing breathing exercises and meditation. To warm
up for Half Lotus Pose, you can perform Rock the Baby,
as shown on page 52.

While Performing Half Lotus Pose, you should try to
keep your knees as close to the floor as possible. You
can place a thickly folded blanket under your raised
knee for support if your knee feels strained in this
pose. Make sure you come out of the pose if you feel
any pain in your knees.

You can change the position of your hands to create
variety in the pose. For example, you can rest the back
of your hands on your thighs with the tips of your
thumbs and first fingers touching or you can position
your hands in Prayer Pose, as shown on page 48.

Use caution performing Half Lotus Pose if you have
knee or hip problems.

1 Begin in Staff Poses. For
information on Staff Pose,
see page 72.

2 Bend your right leg and
place your right foot on
your left thigh, as close
to your hip as possible.

3 Bend your left leg and
slide your left foot under
your right leg.

4 Rest your palms on your
thighs.

5 Exhale as you press your
sitting bones into the
floor and point the crown
of your heard toward the
ceiling.

6 Hold the pose for 5 seconds
to 1 minute or as long as is
comfortable for you. Then
return to Staff Pose.

7 Repeat steps 2 to 6 for
your other side.

After performing Half
Lotus Pose, you should
shake out your legs to
help relieve your knees
and ankles.


lotus pose
(padmasana)

Lotus Pose is an intermediate to advanced seated pose
that provides a deep stretch for your hips. This pose
can also help to open your hips and improve your
seated posture. You may want to use this pose for
breathing exercises or meditation.

You should feel comfortable performing Half Lotus
Pose, as shown on page 78, before you try Lotus Pose.
You can also perform Pigeon Pose or Bound Angle Pose
to help prepare you for Lotus Pose.

To help relieve pressure in your knees in this pose, you
can sit on a thickly folded blanket. Sitting on a blanket
will also support your pelvis and help prevent your
lower back from rounding. If you feel any pain in your
knees, you should come out of the pose.

To help you relax in this pose, close your eyes and
visualize yourself as the lotus flower, with your roots
holding you firmly in the ground while you bloom in
the sunshine.

Use caution performing Lotus Pose if you have knee or
hip problems.

1 Begin in Staff Pose. For
information on Staff
Pose, see page 72.

2 Bend your right leg and
place your right foot on
your left thigh, as close
to your hip as possible.

3 Bend your left leg and
place your left foot on
your right thigh, as
close to your right hip
as possible.

4 Rest your palms on
your thighs.

5 Exhale as you press your
sitting bones into the floor
and point the crown of your
head toward the ceiling.

6 Hold the pose for 5 second
to 1 minute or as long as is
comfortable for you. Then
return to Staff Pose.

7 Repeat steps 2 to 6
bending your left leg
first.

After performing Lotus
Pose, you should shake
out your legs to help
relieve your knees and
ankles.


cow face pose
(gomukhasana)

Cow Face Pose is an uplifting pose that provides a good
stretch for your arms and shoulders. This pose is also
beneficial for releasing tension in your shoulders and
opening your chest to help facilitate deep breathing.
If you have rounded shoulders, you can perform Cow
Face Pose to help improve your posture.

While performing Cow Face Pose, try to keep both
sitting bones on the floor and your knees stacked on
top of each other. The position of your legs in this
pose provides a great stretch for your hips, thighs
and ankles.

When you clasp your hands behind your back in this
pose, remember to keep your shoulders square to the
front and your chest expanded. Make sure you do not
hunch your shoulders or twist your wrists to clasp your
hands.

Use caution performing Cow Face Pose if you have
shoulder problems, such as rotator cuff tendonitis. You
should also be careful performing this pose if you have
neck, hip or knee problems.

1 Begin in Staff Pose. For
information on Staff
Pose, see page 72.

2 Bend your left leg and
bring your left heel
under your right thigh,
near your right hip.

3 Bend your right leg
over your left knee and
bring your right heel
near your left hip.

Make sure your right
knee is directly above
your left knee.

4 Rest your palms on
your feet.

5 Press your sitting bones
into the floor and point
the crown of your head
toward the ceiling to
lengthen your spine.

6 Bend your left elbow and
bring your left forearm
behind your back.

7 Rest the back of your
left hand in the middle
of your back, near your
shoulder blades.

Your left forearm and
the fingers of your left
hand should be pointing
toward your head.

8 Inhale and extend your
right arm over your head.

9 Bend your right elbow
and place your right
hand between your
shoulder blades.

Your right palm shoulder
be facing your back and
the fingers of your right
hand should be pointing
toward the floor.

10 With your right hand,
clasp the fingers of your
left hand.

11 Gently pull your elbows
away from each other.
Feel your shoulders
stretching and your
chest opening.

12 Hold the pose for 10
to 30 seconds and then
release your hands and
return to Staff Pose.

13 Repeat steps 2 to 12 for
your other side.


seated side bend

Seated Side Bend stretches the sides of your body,
from your hips to your fingertips.

While performing Seated Side Bend, remember that
it is more important to lengthen through your body
than it is to stretch as far as possible to the side.
Make sure you do not compress the side of your
body that you are leaning toward. You should also
keep the shoulder of your raised arm back slightly
to help open the front of your body.

As you stretch to the side in this pose, you should try
to keep both hips on the floor. If one hip lifts off the
floor as you move into the stretch, try to encourage
your hip to move back down to the floor.

If you want to warm up the sides of your body before
holding the pose, you can stretch to the side as
described below three times and then hold the pose.

Use caution performing this pose if you have problems
with your knees, hips or shoulders.

1 Begin in Easy Pose. For
information on Easy Pose,
see page 74.

2 Relax your shoulders
down and back as you lift
and expand your chest.

3 Place your right palm
on the floor beside your
right hip with your fingers
pointing to the side.

4 Inhale as you raise your
left arm overhead with
your palm facing in.

5 Exhale as you stretch to
the right, allowing your
right hand to slide to the
right along the floor.

6 Press both sitting bones
toward the floor and
extend through the crown
of your head to lengthen
your spine.

7 Feel the left side of your
body lengthening from

8 Turn your head to look
past your left elbow.

9 Hold the pose for 5 to
30 seconds.

10 To come out of the pose,
inhale and lift your torso
and left arm upright. Then
exhale and lower your left
arm to return to Easy Pose.

11 Repeat steps 2 to 10 for
your other side.


simple twist
(parsva sukhasana)

Simple Twist helps to increase the flexibility of your
spine and upper back. This pose is also useful for
stretching your shoulders and upper chest. Performing
this pose also massages your abdominal organs, which
helps to improve digestion. Simple Twist is commonly
used as a warm-up pose and as a counter pose after
forward bends and back bends.

As you perform Simple Twist, make sure you keep your
hips even and your sitting bones in contact with the
floor throughout the pose. Allow the twist to come
from your spine, not from your hips.

Continues...




Excerpted from Teach Yourself VISUALLY Yoga

Copyright © 2003 by maranGraphics Development.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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