The efficiency of Bikram and Ashanti, compared back to back...

The efficiency of Bikram and Ashanti, compared back to back…

We all know how hard an at-home yoga practice can be… While having no surrounding company of fellow yoga practitioners or a dedicated mentor nearby, going through all the tough postures one by one can be intimidating indeed. While in an opposite situation, when all alone you may easily find yourself stuck on your favorite feel-good sequence, not giving yourself a challenge.
So while you definitely don’t want to lose sight of goals or the sweet sensations that keep you coming back to your mat, it’s a good idea to take a critical eye to your practice now and then and look for the areas where you could strive for greater balance.

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Because at the end of the day, that’s what yoga is all about! In the course of a session, any practitioner of every level can take advantage of going back to basics regularly to reexamine himself… Re-checking the actions and alignment of foundational standing poses, backbends, forward bends, and inversions. So to help you encourage yourself in your home-bound practicing, we’ve compiled a list of poses that really stand the test of time…

The 10 asanas below are so popular and universal, that every single yogi should be practicing those on the regular basis.

Posture #1: Garland Pose
Original name: Malasana
The first asana on the list is a beautiful squat, which is one of my all-time favorite poses. Malasana helps to release one’s lower back, opens up the hips, and when practiced, make you look like a cute little nugget. See additional variations and tips on how to make this pose easier to accomplish or how you can take the most out of it by going deeper.

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Posture #2: Four-Limbed Staff Pose
Original name: Chaturanga Dandasana

Chaturanga is almost the most basic posture in whole Vinyasa yoga… Though on the other hand that one is also one of the most oftentimes abused. Prospects tend to rush this pose, which results in an incomplete alignment, which with repetition can lead to an injury.

Posture #3: Extended Triangle Pose
Original name: Utthita Trikonasana

Trikonasana. This standing asana is such a universal fit! Unfortunately, many yoga studios are avoiding the standing poses for some reason unknown to me… But this posture is part of my regular practice come rain or shine. It is a perfect way to release your lower back, strengthen your core, and free your body muscles (as well as the mind’s chakras).

Posture #4: Crescent Pose
Original name: High Lunge

For me, any yoga sessions which ignores this perfect standing pose is a waste of anyone’s time! Crescent Lunge is my personal favorite asana on flexing out my hips and psoas, encouraging space in my chest, and standing my ground firmly…

Posture #5: Revolved Chair Pose
Original name: Parivrtta Utkatasana

I know Chair is somehow underrated, just as the standing postures listed above. But that is exactly why it’s on the list! It’s a great basic pose which can teach us how to twist safely. If you can learn the mechanics of a twist in this asana, you’ll be surefire safer when doing more complicated postures!

Posture #6: Tripod Headstand
Original name: Sirsasana II

I’ve always had a special place in my heart for those postures which incorporate an inversion aspect to them! Doing these reverses our perspective and give us a strong dose of empowerment, both physically and energetically… Tripod Headstand is one of the easiest inversion asanas out there, which will ultimately help you balance because of the large foundation. It’s also quite useful if you’re trying to figure out whether you want to move into advanced transitions such as lowering into arm balances.

Posture #7: Supported Bridge Pose
Original name: Salamba Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

This asana is one of those I do very often. Funny enough, a more traditional abridge of the Bridge Pose simply drives me nuts, can’t do it… But add a block under the lower back and here you go—I could stay there for hours! All the while smiling and enjoying a relaxing back stretch… This is a great modification for a traditional Shoulder stand and an awesome way to release the front body and release the spine.

Posture #8: Camel Pose
Original name: Ustrasana

Camel posture is always either of the two – people love it or they simply loathe it! The key to choosing which side of the asana you’re on lies withing maintaining a proper alignment in the body, so to keep the lower back supported and the neck relaxed enough… Also, this pose is one of the most diverse ones in the modern yoga, varying with tens of variations to try!

Posture #9: Head-to-Knee Forward Bend
Original name: Janu Sirsasana

This one may seem like a non-essential one, but in fact, it is! at least me personally, I have a long-lasting affection for it going all the way back to my Ashtanga days. This beautiful forward bend releases the calf and hamstring of the straight leg with the added advantage of having the hip of the bent-knee leg opened wide enough… It also guides any prospect to see the big effects of small nuances, such as squaring the chest with the straight-leg knee.

Posture #10: Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose
Original name: Viparita Karani

This is such a glorious pose and great for prospects of any level! Leg-Up-the-Wall is the best way to relax after a long day or practice on your feet. It drains the legs and is also a fantastic posture if you struggle with insomnia.

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