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Tag Archives: favorite poses

Summer Series 2018: Poses We (Now) Love

Favorite Yoga Pose | Side Angle Pose | Yoga Podcast

Do you remember the first time you did your favorite yoga pose? Was it true love the first time you took the shape? Or did it take a few tries (or maybe even years!?) to appreciate it?

A few weeks ago, I shared on Instagram that when I first started practicing Side Angle Pose, I thought it was a total snooze and now it’s practically my favorite yoga pose. I asked if anyone else has had this experience with a pose and got a resounding yes. For me, the process of appreciating Side Angle Pose represents the way the practice fuels growth and contentment: I used to need a big pose to capture my attention, but now the simpler shapes can bring me to a place of focused attention, awareness, and absorption.

It also shows the beauty of a long-term, sustainable practice — you change over time and your practice can change, too. This week, Jason and I unpack all of this — the poses we once overlooked, as well as the poses we used to long for that don’t hold much weight anymore. And I share some of the (awesome) comments you all left on the ‘gram. And bonus: Jason also talks about his approach to drishti (or gaze).

We’d love to hear from you and those favorite yoga poses that you’ve grown to love — post them on Instagram and use the hashtag #yogalandstories so we can find you!


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RECOMMENDED AND RELATED LINKS

Summer Series 2018: Andrea and Jason Share Their “Hard” and “Easy” Poses
Yoga Sequence to Headstand
Sequencing Solutions: Strengthen Your Hamstrings (Includes Locust & Variations)
Yoga Pose Notebook: Eka Pada Bakasana I

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My 5 Favorite Yoga Postures (And Why I Love Them)

Jason Crandell in Pigeon Pose | 5 Favorite Yoga Poses

Common wisdom tells you to work daily on the yoga poses that bring up resistance and challenge you. Personally, I’m okay with this sentiment—after all, there’s plenty of value in exploring the edges of your comfort zone. As a practitioner and teacher, though, I tend to emphasize the opposite—I choose to indulge the postures that I love with egregious frequency. I encourage the teachers that I train to do the exact same thing. We love the poses that we love for good reasons: they awaken us, they ground us, they soothe us, they challenge us, and they nurture our mind’s ability to focus and settle down.

These five yoga poses come up time and time again in my classes because I’m shamelessly enthusiastic about them.

5 Favorite Yoga Poses

Urdhva Dhanurasana — It Soothes Me

Yep, that’s right, I find Urdhva Dhanurasana deeply soothing. Yes, I’m aware that everyone and their cousin goes on and on about how uplifting and energizing backbends are. But, honestly, my experience is the opposite. A nice, strong Urdhva Dhanurasana (or 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6) actually cuts through whatever narrative my mind is engaged with, focuses my attention, and burns off whatever anxiety I may be experiencing. Urdhva Dhanurasana is never easy for me, but it’s always settling.

Paschimottanasana — It Humbles Me

Paschimottanasana bums me out. I’m always prattling on about integrity of movement being more important than range of movement. Even though I firmly believe this, the first thought that runs through my head when I practice Paschimottanasana is, “Ugh. Is this really as far as I can go today?” This pose continues to reveal how judgmental I can be toward myself and provides me with the opportunity to let go.

See also A Smart Flow for Tight Hamstrings

Pigeon Pose — It Grounds Me

The bittersweet release of Pigeon Pose is undeniable. While the big, tension-busting stretch in the outer hips steals the show, the posture has another component that helps produce a grounding effect: The vast majority of your body is laying on the floor when you do the posture. Sure, it’s intense for many, but the intensity is always local. The majority of the body has the opportunity to drop, release, and let go into the floor.

Handstand — It Balances Me

There’s a saying in England that black tea wakes you up if you’re tired and quiets you if you’re unsettled. My experience of Handstand is the exact same. If I need an uplifting boost of energy, practicing Handstand does the trick. If, on the other hand, I’m overstimulated, a minute or two in Handstand grounds my energy and rebalances my mood.

See also How to Practice and Teach Handstand

Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana – It Unwinds Me

Oh, the poor side body. It can be challenging to access and rarely gets treated to elongation in day-to-day life. Even in asana practice the side-body rarely gets the TLC that the hips, shoulders, core and spine receive. Thankfully, Parivrtta Janu sirsasana digs deeply into the side-body and wrings out tension. When I do this pose I literally have to will myself to get out of it. I want to stay there, nestle in, and take a nap.

I’d love to hear from you. What postures are keeping you calm, grounded, and sane these days?

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