Help me with yoga poses

Ardha Balasana

Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby Pose) is a favorite of many. But not for me. I struggle in this pose as I feel like a T-Rex with my short arms and long torso. I use a block under my head to help eliminate the tilt of my head and major stretch in my neck.

We haven’t had a Comment Contest Tuesday in some time.

I need your help.

I am nearing the end of my teaching stint at Alameda Athletic Club.

I have decided for my last two weeks of classes I am going to ask for student (and GFG! reader) input.

It’s pretty easy.

Tell me your favorite yoga pose.

Tell me your least favorite yoga pose.

You can definitely have more than one of each.

If you’ve never practiced yoga or are new and don’t know a lot of the poses and/or the names you can still participate. Check out the yoga for beginners on the Yoga Journal website for some ideas.

ardha uttanasana

Ardha Uttanasana (Half Forward Pose) feels so good for my lower back.

When I write a sequence I try to have a well-rounded yoga practice of standing poses, seated poses, balance, challenging and easier poses, twists, etc.

I also make sure there are poses I truly enjoy and others I would really rather not do. The sequence I teach for the week is the sequence I practice at home for the week.

I am starting to ask my students what are their favorite poses and what are their least favorite poses to give me ideas for my last few classes at the gym at the end of this month.

For every pose you add to the comments you will have your name put in a random drawing. Each pose must be entered as a single comment to get your name thrown into the drawing more than once.

So the more times you comment the more times your name gets thrown into the random drawing. You can comment as many times as you want to increase your chances of having your name picked.

Comments must be made below. They won’t count via Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, etc.

This contest starts today, Tuesday, Dec. 9 and ends Friday, Dec. 19 at noon my time (Pacific).

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  • Gail

    Happy baby. Love that one. When I’m really warm and can get into the pose, I like the plow.

    • Ann

      I know many people love Happy Baby. For me, not a pose I like. I have a long torso and short legs and T-Rex arms, which makes the pose difficult for me.

  • Gail

    If you want a pose I hate, the tree pose. Honestly, any of the balance poses, but especially the tree.

    • Ann

      Yea, that one is not a favorite of mine either. But we need balance poses, especially as we get older. The better our balance the less we will fall. Thanks for sharing.

  • Jen

    I also like happy baby pose, but then again, I have a pretty short torso! 🙂 It seems to help me with hip tightness and neck alignment when I can get my neck in the right position.

    There is a similar pose in the Bikram series that comes in about half way through the practice. I really like that one because my neck is warm enough by that point to get a really good stretch. And the standing/breathing exercise at the beginning of Bikram always helps my neck and shoulders. But (as we’ve talked about) Bikram bothers my knees enough that it’s not worth it to get this neck/hip stretch. I like your happy baby modification with the block… maybe that would help get a similar effect.

    • Ann

      The block under my head helps so much in Happy Baby for me. I should share the pic of me without the block. You can really see the strain.
      The block really works for any supine poses where the neck is overly stretched.

  • Heather H

    Least favorite is child’s pose. Favorite is upward bow =)

    • Heather H

      Oops! Happy baby is the one I don’t like, I love child’s pose!

      • Ann

        I was wondering about Child’s. Though for some that’s a tough pose to do if there are knee issues. It can be frustrating for some who are tight and their foreheads don’t reach the mat and/or butts aren’t anywhere near the heels.

  • Penny

    Honestly? My favorite is the corpse pose at the end. 🙂

    Not just because it’s easy, but because by that point I feel like I’ve really earned the relaxation that comes with it.

  • Penny

    My least favorite is downward dog. I have really tight hamstrings, and that pose is always a challenge. My heels are never near the ground, and it’s the one pose that shows just how many of my muscle groups are weak.

    • Ann

      It may show the muscle groups that are weak. But it also is working all of those. The more you do it the stronger you will get.
      Next time you are in that pose give your knees a little bend. That will help with the hamstrings. For many the heels will never be near the mat. Try making the goal of the pose to have a long spine. Feet to the mat aren’t that important. Length and space in the body is what you are aiming for.

  • Jen

    Favorites: cobra, supported fish pose, rag doll, eagle

    I also enjoy the pranayama breath sequence at the beginning of Hot Hatha classes here. I could rest in supported savasana for … at least an hour. Om.

    Least favorites: downward facing dog, happy baby, arm stands, head stands

    • Ann

      Thanks for all of the feedback, Jen.
      I love supported Savasana or pretty much any Restorative pose.
      I had to look Rag Doll up. I guess I call that one Forward Fold (Uttanasna) with opposite elbows clasped. But Rag Doll is easier. I might start using that.

  • Monica

    My favorite pose is Child Pose, very relaxing for me. My least favorite pose is tree pose because I am not really good at balancing…..but working on it!!

    • Ann

      Child’s is a great restorative pose or resting pose. Yup, balancing is tough. But as we get older we really need to work on our balance to help us not fall so much.

  • Patricia

    I do like proud warrior, have to say

    • Ann

      Thanks, Patricia. Always a good, strong pose.

  • Alicia

    I’ve only been to one yoga class. I really liked child’s pose.

    • Ann

      And it was the best yoga class ever, right? 😉
      Child’s is a great pose.

  • Ann

    Thanks everyone for your comments and help. I will do the random drawing for prizes soon (hopefully this afternoon).