Yoga Pose: Ardha Chandrasana

Yoga poses are good for physical health, mental health, emotional health and also have an anatomical focus and therapeutic benefits.

Recently I took part in a 20-hour Restorative Yoga teacher training with one of my favorite teachers and people, Vickie.

Every day we focused on different issues. One day the class was dedicated to women’s issues.

According to  a study done by Yoga Journal in 2012, 82.2 percent of yoga practitioners are women.

Since the majority of my yoga students will be women I will encounter women in various stages of their life: menstruation; pregnancy; and menopause.

When I was still in my Deep Yoga teacher training I wrote about the day we learned about women’s issues and we practiced while being “pregnant.”

The benefits of Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose, which is pictured), according to Yoga Journal, are that the pose strengthens the abdomen, ankles, thighs, buttocks, and spine; stretches the groins, hamstrings and calves, shoulders, chest, and spine; improves coordination and sense of balance; helps relieve stress; and improves digestion.

Some of the anatomical focuses are: groins, spine, abdomen among many others.

According to an article Geeta S. Iyengar wrote on the Iyengar Yoga website, Ardha Chandrasana helps … Continue reading

Using blocks to balance, enhance yoga poses

Tonight in Vickie’s Hatha yoga class we focused on using blocks for many of our poses.

I struggle with balancing poses. Standing on a block made it a little easier to focus my weight and core to keep myself upright or balanced.

We practiced Downward Facing Dog on blocks. First with the blocks under our hands and then with the blocks under our feet.

We also practiced Triangle Pose standing on a block with a transition to Half Moon Pose. (For these poses I can’t seem to find an example of someone also placing a block under their feet. But you get the idea.)

For me, Tree Pose was the most interesting on the block. Sometimes this pose is pretty steady and not so challenging. But most of the time I struggle to keep my balance and not teeter or fall out of the pose. (Sorry, no sample of that pose on the block.)

I love when we do a practice a little different or do the same practice with an adjustment.

GFG! and her yoga props

My usual yoga props for most yoga classes is a blanket, block and strap.

If a teacher requires something else, such as an extra block, a bolster, sand bag, I am more than happy to grab as well.

Oh, and an eye pillow is great for Restorative yoga and savasana. In a pinch, I use my towel or strap.

Today Ashley asked us to grab a blanket, block and strap. That was perfect for me because I already had all the props I needed.

Someone had grabbed extra blocks and handed one to another student yogi. I over heard that yogi say, I don’t like to use props.

I found that to be rather odd.

Some people think using a prop makes you a beginner or that the pose is made easier. Yoga should not be competitive with others or even yourself. And there are times no matter how advanced you are where props are required.

I like to use the blanket to sit on during meditation at the beginning and end of class. Sometimes I use it for padding under my knees. I also use it for a pillow during … Continue reading