We are delighted to have Brand Ambassador and Yogi extraordinaire Andrea Marcum explaining 5 of her favorite yoga poses and the benefits associated with each:
Part of our sun salutations, Down Dog is an incredible arm strengthener, an opportunity to both stretch and strengthen our shoulders, and a bit of an inversion (our heart and hips are over our head which inspires our circulatory system). There’s a wonderful contemplative inward turn suggested in Down Dog. I often refer to it as a home base where we pause and take inventory about how we’re feeling both in our body and our mind.
Up Dog is also found in our sun salutations. It helps to strengthen our spine, improve our slumped-in-front-of-the-computer posture, stimulate and stretch our abdomen, chest and lungs. Some say it can even help with depression and fatigue… in other words, keeps us feeling UP!
Twists are amazing for our digestion as well as maintaining a healthy spine. This seated version is great, as it allows stability as we explore our mobility. You can do this seated cross-legged, or as I am doing with my right leg crossed over my left, and my right foot planted on the ground on the outside of my left thigh. Twists withhold some of the blood-flow to our internal organs, then flush oxygenated blood through them when we unwind, helping to release toxins.
AKA Boat Pose, this one is the core strengthener of all core strengtheners. To me core isn't just about our muscles, it’s about our core convictions and courage in all that we do. The traditional straight-legged version of this pose can be intense for our low backs and hip flexors, so bend your knees and build this pose over time. When you do you'll gain both the strength and confidence to float your boat.
This baby is a doozy! It’s a pushup with your elbows brushing against your ribs. We have to fire up our core strength, biceps and triceps (not to mention our wrists) in order to hover our torso above ground. Chaturanga will make you strong like few other things will, and before you know it, people will be asking you what you do to make your arms look so great.
Andrea’s offering all Royal Hawaiian fans a free month of her classes on My Yoga Online. If you live in the Los Angeles area or are looking for a tropical yoga retreat, be sure to check out Andrea’s U Studio Yoga. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter. Namaste!