Photo from artist Anthony Howe's website: http://www.howeart.net/

Postures for Freedom

This post features six fantastic yoga postures for freedom: They increase mobility of the spine, open your heart area, enhance breathing and improve postural alignment.  These poses are also highly beneficial for people with asthma.

The inspiration for this piece came from watching a video about artist Anthony Howe, who makes incredible sculptures that dance in the wind.** (see the video) Watching the organic movement of the sculptures recalled the sense of freedom I experienced in yoga. The ebb & flow of the wind through the sculptures made me think of natural expansion of the breath within the body. A euphoric feeling, I imagine one experiences also in dance, music and other forms of intuitive movement. To move and to breathe is so liberating. This feeling inspired me to pull out my mat this morning, which I am grateful for as I have had little desire to practice asana of late. (I will explain why in a future post.)

Here are six descriptive ‘infographs’ of these postures for freedom — open your heart, expand your breath and facilitate an abundant flow of energy:

YY_supta_virasana-web

This posture is great as opening or closing pose and note that you can also have your legs extended.

You may want to do your first cobras gradually to open the front body: Starting slowly, inhale lift the chest, exhale release and then repeat 3-5 time each going a little deeper.

You may want to do your first cobras gradually to open the front body: Starting slowly, inhale lift the chest, exhale release and then repeat 3-5 time each going a little deeper.

YY_Natarajasana

Often this posture only focuses on balancing. Make this version about Heart Opening.

 

YY_purvottanasana

Best to keep your dristhi (gaze) at the tip of your nose in this posture.

YY_urdva-dandurasana

I suggest doing this asana 3-6 times in different stages.

You are, of course, welcome and encouraged and incorporate other yoga poses into this sequence.  However, I recommend that if you are going to do a chest / heart opening and back bending practice that you save forward bend until the end.  In fact, it might feel nice to finish in balasana (child’s pose) or some other supported forward bend. Follow your intuition and enjoy your practice!

** Thank you to yoga teacher Kreg Wise for sharing Anthony Howe’s video on his inspirational facebook page

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