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Amy Zimmerman HHS 248 Yoga I Final Project November 16, 2006

Childs Pose Balasana bah-LAHS-anna Benefits

Gently stretches the hips, thighs, and ankles Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and fatigue Relieves back and neck pain when done with head and torso supported


Diarrhea Pregnancy Knee injury: Avoid Balasana unless you have the supervision of an experienced teacher.

Personal Response This pose immediately clicked with me. When I was a child, I actually fell asleep like this all the time, sometimes with my butt stuck in the air. It felt comfortable, especially during growing pains. With my arms extended out in front of me, reaching, I feel a tightness, slowly stretching and lengthening in my shoulders and biceps. If I move my arms to my sides, backward and palm up, with my forehead on the ground, I have to focus more on balance, now that the arms do not stabilize. It is a great resting pose, slipped in between more challenging poses. It can also be modified with a partner, which would be fun to try. My goal for Balasana is to focus on breathing within the pose, rather than focusing on the pose itself. Hopefully, that will help me concentrate on breathing in all the poses

Downward-Facing Dog Adho Mukha Svanasana AH-doh MOO-kah shvah-NAHS-anna Benefits

Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression Energizes the body Stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches, and hands Strengthens the arms and legs Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause Relieves menstrual discomfort when done with head supported Helps prevent osteoporosis Improves digestion Relieves headache, insomnia, back pain, and fatigue Therapeutic for high blood pressure, asthma, flat feet, sciatica, sinusitis


Carpal tunnel syndrome Diarrhea Pregnancy: Do not do this pose late-term. High blood pressure or headache: Support your head on a bolster or block, ears level between the arms.

Personal Response Not much to say about this one its a classic pose and it can lead from and into many other poses and its a great stretch. I love how it feels but its not one of my favorites. This isnt relaxing, like Childs pose, but invigorating and energizing, so for that it definitely has its benefits. After holding different poses, its a relief to move into Downward-Facing Dog to stretch out tight muscles. Feels wonderful, and I usually deepen the stretch a little or alternate lifting each heel and pressing it into the floor.

Dog and Cat Uttanasana Benefits

Increases flexibility of spine Stretches upper back and lower back, calf muscles and the legs Reduces stress, fatigue and muscle stiffness Increases flow of blood to brain


Bad back Bad knees Carpel Tunnel

Personal Response This is another fun position. My spine feels so great stretching out. My wrists are a little weak but this position didnt bother them at all. And if it did, I believe I could always try putting a blanket down. From this position (not with the arched back though), I like to straighten out my legs and raise them up, trying to make my back and hips and feet a straight line. Concentrating on breathing is easy with this pose and I would probably go into Downward-Facing Dog and then into Swan (I couldnt find information on the Swan, but it is one of my favorites).

Four-Limbed Staff Pose Chaturanga Dandasana chaht-tour-ANG-ah don-DAHS-anna Benefits

Strengthens the arms and wrists Tones the abdomen


Carpal tunnel syndrome Pregnancy

Personal Response This pose (and Plank) are both very intense for the arms and the abdomen. Because those are two areas I would love to tone and strengthen, I try to do as much of these as I can within a yoga session. I have to concentrate on keep my entire body straight and inline and breathing can sometimes be tough, especially when I try to hold the pose for a longer length of time.

. Cobra Pose Bhujangasana boo-jang-GAHS-anna Benefits

Strengthens the spine Stretches chest and lungs, shoulders, and abdomen Firms the buttocks Stimulates abdominal organs Helps relieve stress and fatigue Opens the heart and lungs Soothes sciatica Therapeutic for asthma


Back injury Carpal tunnel syndrome Headache Pregnancy

Personal Response This one is really intense in the back and the butt. I think that as soon as I started concentrating on my feet and pubis pressing into the floor, as instructed, I lost focus on the placement of my back and it felt much more comfortable, still stretching but not as intense. This one seems to focus on keeping the weight evenly distributed through the back and the one in class that we do, Upward-Facing Dog, is more about stretching the back. Definitely not one of my favorites but still effective and it opens the chest and pulls the shoulder blades back, which I enjoy.

Upward-Facing Dog Urdhva Mukha Svanasana OORD-vah MOO-kah shvon-AHS-anna Benefits

Improves posture Strengthens the spine, arms, wrists Stretches chest and lungs, shoulders, and abdomen Firms the buttocks Stimulates abdominal organs Helps relieve mild depression, fatigue, and sciatica Therapeutic for asthma


Back injury Carpal tunnel syndrome Headache Pregnancy

Personal Response I mentioned this briefly above. We do this in class, although at an easier level than pictured. I can actually do the full pose but can only hold it a couple seconds. This one feels great because it stretches out the stomach, stimulating organs, and it also strengthens the arms and spineeven when you dont do the full pose, and its easier.

Mountain Pose Tadasana tah-DAHS-anna Benefits

Improves posture Strengthens thighs, knees, and ankles Firms abdomen and buttocks Relieves sciatica Reduces flat feet


Headache Insomnia Low blood pressure

Personal Response I love this pose, not because its easy but because it is the foundation of poses. You build around it and come back to it. Its a time to collect yourself, to focus. I like doing this one with my eyes closed because it makes me focus inside and on my breathing.

Half Moon Pose Ardha Chandrasana are-dah chan-DRAHS-anna Benefits

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 Improves digestion


Headache or migraine Low blood pressure Diarrhea Insomnia

Personal Response This pose was so fun when we did it in class. Its much easier to do it against the wall and with a block and even then you can still lose your balance. I think its fun for me not only because its a challenging pose as far as balance is concerned and it works out muscles in my thighs and abdomen the most, but its fun because it feels so open. Spreading the arms like that just opens the chest and it feels great. I really want to work on this one more because its a challenging pose involving balance, but I can actually do it correctly, unlike the Tree pose.

Gate Pose Parighasana par-ee-GOSS-anna


Stretches the sides of the torso and spine Stretches the hamstrings Opens the shoulders Stimulates abdominal organs and lungs


Serious knee injury perform pose sitting on a chair

Personal Response This is a great stretch for the hamstrings and when you really lean into the straightened leg, it is a deep stretch that I find really effective. I also love poses that stretch out my side torso, which this does wonderful in full pose. Its helpful to have a blanket underneath your knee for a little padding but its not required.

Scale Pose Tolasana toe-LAHS-anna Benefits

Strengthens the wrists, arms, and abdomen


Avoid this pose with any shoulder or wrist injuries. Tolasana also has many contraindications in common with Padmasana: Ankle injury Knee injury Tight hips or thighs

Personal Response I attempted to do this pose (with books instead of the yoga blocks) but kept losing my balance. It is a huge workout for your wrists and arms and because the legs are somewhat folded, it helps a little in balancing but really targets your abdomen. I need to work on upper body strength and once Ive done that, this will be a great pose. I cant wait!

Fish Pose Matsyasana mot-see-AHS-anna Benefits

Traditional text states Matsyasana is the destroyer of all diseases. Stretches the deep hip flexors and the muscles between the ribs Stretches and stimulates the muscles of the belly and front of the neck Stretches and stimulates the organs of the belly and throat Strengthens the muscles of the upper back and back of the neck Therapeutic applications include fatigue, anxiety, menstrual pain and more


High or low blood pressure Migraine Insomnia Serious lower-back or neck injury

Personal Response I did this one with my legs straight, like the picture. Although it does stretch muscles in my throat and in my back, I was hoping for more with my legs, like in Bridge Pose. I didnt like this one much at all but would love any feed back you can give me to perfect this pose.

Bridge Pose

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana SET-too BAHN-dah Benefits

Stretches the chest, neck, and spine Calms the brain and helps alleviate stress and mild depression Stimulates abdominal organs, lungs, and thyroid Rejuvenates tired legs Improves digestion Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause Relieves menstrual discomfort when done supported Reduces anxiety, fatigue, backache, headache, and insomnia Therapeutic for asthma, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and sinusitis

Contraindications Neck injury: avoid this pose if not under supervision Personal Response I thought this one would be hard but it was actually surprisingly easy. My legs feel empowered and strong and it stretches wonderfully through the back. I can do a full bridge but prefer to keep my shoulders on the ground. Ive found that it really is helpful when I have stomach cramps

Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose Viparita Karani vip-par-ee-tah car-AHN-ee Benefits

Relieves tired or cramped legs and feet Gently stretches the back legs, front torso, and the back of the neck Relieves mild backache Calms the mind


Possibly avoid during menstruation (debatable) Glaucoma Serious neck or back problems

Modifications & Props I wanted to try this one because it looked fun. This felt amazing! I find it hard to do stretches with my legs up because my arms are short and I cant reach my legs to stabilize them. Using the wall really helps me have the support I need to stretch my legs out like this.

*note about picture bottom leg should be straight* Knee Down Twist Supta Matsyendrasana Benefits stretches the back muscles realigns and lengthens the spine hydrates the spinal disks Contraindications Recent or chronic injury to the knees, hips or back Personal Response This is a great stretch and yet relaxing at the same time. It is also a stretch for the abdomen and the thigh, the side torso and the back. I like to do this when things are winding down, its a great last stretch before releasing your body to Savasana.

Corpse Pose Savasana shah-VAHS-anna Benefits

Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression Relaxes the body Reduces headache, fatigue, and insomnia Helps to lower blood pressure


Back injury or discomfort: Do this pose with your knees bent and your feet on the floor, hip-distance apart; either bind the thighs parallel to each other with a strap (taking care not to position the heels too close to the buttocks) or support the bent knees on a bolster. Pregnancy: Raise your head and chest on a bolster.

Personal Response The most relaxing pose. I love that we end every class with this one. Sometimes its more comfortable with legs bent but often I find myself starting with my knees bent and then gradually relaxing more and more. In my mind, Ill start relaxing my toes, my ankles, legs, knees, etc until Im in full Savasana.