Posts Tagged ‘extended child’s pose’

Yoga Poses for Activating the Throat Chakra

Sunday, March 18th, 2012

500 hour intensive yoga instructor courseBy Faye Martins

There are a number of Yoga poses that open up and activate the Throat Chakra. The Vishuddha or Throat Chakra is located at base of your throat and is correlated with the color blue. This vortex of energy governs communication, truthfulness and self-expression. When this chakra is blocked, a number of physical and emotional health issues may arise. Some of the symptoms of a blocked Vishuddha Chakra are feelings of muscular constriction, sore throats, mouth ulcers and thyroid issues. Emotionally, a blocked or inactive Throat Chakra may manifest as an inability to speak up for oneself, make decisions and/or flourish creatively in a variety of mediums. The center of our will or self-determination is also located both at the Vishuddha Chakra and the Manipura Chakra, which is located in the area of the solar plexus.

All of the backbending asanas open up the Throat Chakra. Many backbending postures also elongate the entire front side of the body, including the quadricep muscles. This elongation is very energizing and will leave you feeling exuberant and light-hearted. A gentle backbending Yoga asana that prepares you to enter into more intense backbending poses is Sphinx Pose. This pose will allow you to gently release tension throughout the front side of your torso and your entire throat area. When you are warmed up, you may wish to practice Ustrasana. Ustrasana or Camel Pose is a very challenging and liberating backbending posture. Practicing this pose will open up the entire front side of your body, thereby enhancing the circulation of life force energy throughout your entire being.

Sphinx Pose

To practice Sphinx Pose, warm up first with several Sun Salutations. When you are warmed up, lie in a prone position on your Yoga mat. Come up to your elbows and place your forearms parallel to each other on your mat with your palms facing down on the mat. Spread your fingers as if you are a sphinx. Feel your entire palm on the mat. Keep your arms approximately shoulder distance apart from each other. Feel the stretch through the front side of your torso as you gently look side to side. To increase the stretch in your Throat Chakra area, gently move your head up and back while keeping your shoulders down. Breathe deeply and only go as far as you are comfortable. Hold this pose for several breaths. When you are ready to come out of the posture, come down and lay your check on your mat. Rest for several breaths and repeat two more times. Finish your practice of Sphinx Pose by moving into Downward Facing Dog or Extended Child’s Pose.

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Yoga Techniques to Relieve Sciatica

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

yoga teacher trainingBy Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

There are many different Yoga techniques to relieve sciatica, and there are many factors that cause sciatica. Sciatica is a painful condition that is often caused by the compression, or irritation, of one or more nerves. Often, this compression is felt only on one side of the body, depending on which nerve is affected by the compression or irritation. Sciatic pain is often felt in the buttocks and lower back. Sciatic pain can even run all the way down the leg and into the foot. Sciatica is very uncomfortable and can limit mobility and even make sleeping difficult.

A consistent Yoga asana practice that is performed with proper alignment in the poses is tremendously helpful in managing pain from sciatica. Many different Yoga postures help to relieve compression on the spinal nerves by releasing stress and muscular tension, as well as promoting good blood flow into constricted areas in the lower back and sacrum. The following Yoga poses will help to relieve sciatic pain.

Extended Child’s (Mecca) Pose into Downward Facing Dog

Start out by practicing Pose of a Child (Balasana) on your Yoga mat, and slowly extend your arms out in front of you, with palms face down, and your fingers point toward the head of your mat. Breathe deeply, and stay in this posture for thirty seconds to a minute.

As you hold Extended Child’s pose, feel the stretch all along the sides of your torso, arms, and heart area. After you have held the pose for an appropriate amount of time, as you exhale, extend into Downward Facing Dog pose.

In Downward Facing Dog, peddle your feet slowly to warm up your legs. This pose will help to stretch out your back, arms, leg biceps, and hamstrings. Tension in your back and hamstrings are huge contributors to tension in the sacrum area, where sciatic pain often originates. Hold Downward Dog for five to ten breaths. Release as you exhale and come down slowly, resting for a few minutes in Extended Childs pose.

Modification for Extended Child

Extended Child can be modified in many ways, but to maintain the straightest possible line, the knees can be brought out to the edge of your Yoga mat, while the two big toes touch. The reasons for this modification are to create as much space as possible in the spine to relieve any pressure. This method uses the gentle pulling effect of opposite directions (the tail bone and your head) to stabilize the position of the spine and release spinal compression gradually. Please be careful to avoid reaching aggressively, forcing, or locking the elbows.

This modification does feel great, but if you pull or draw too hard with your finger tips, you can cause a lower back muscle spasm. Therefore, draw gradually, gently, and slowly, while your muscles take care of stabilizing your spine.

Modifications for Limited Range of Motion

Extended Pose of a Child can be practiced on a bed. Downward Dog can be modified by using a chair. Any posture can be modified for limited range of motion. If you have difficulty finding a Yoga teacher who understands modifications, please visit a local chair Yoga class.

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