Unleash your inner RAWXSTAR with these EMPOWERING Yoga poses. I recently teamed up with Rawxies to share an Empowering Yoga Challenge for Spring via Instagram and the winner won a tasty prize pack from Rawxies. While the 10 day challenge may be complete there is always time to take charge and empower your day on your own with this practice. Create a flow with connecting vinyasa’s or simply practice each individually.
1) Raised Lotus Pose
Sitting on the ground with your spine straight and tall, use your hands to help your right foot onto your left thigh and your left foot onto your right thigh. Placing your palms on the earth next to your hips push through your palms and slowly lift your body off of the ground so your entire body weight is in your hands. Stay for a few breaths or as long as is comfortable and gently lower with an exhale.
EMPOWERS through the strength of the upper body and core and connecting the breath of strength and flexibility in the hips to achieve this posture.
Benefits: Strengthens all of the muscles and joints of the arms. The posture strengthens abdominal muscles. Strengthens shoulders
2) Chair Pose
From mountain pose inhale and as your raise your arms towards the sky gently sit your hips back as is you are to sit in a chair. Keep your feet touching and draw your thighs towards one another. Check in with your stance and make sure when you look down you can see you toes out in front of your knees!
EMPOWERS through the strength of the low body maintaining steadiness through the discomfort and lifting and relaxing your arms energetically toward the sky
Benefits: Strengthens ankles thighs and calves. Stretches shoulders and chest. Stimulates abdominal organs.
3) Warrior 1
In this empowering pose square your hips forward and pivot the back foot flat into the ground at about a 45-60 degree angle. Bend your front knee over your front ankle with the intention of getting the thigh parallel to the ground. With a strong straight spine energize your hands towards the sky.
EMPOWERS through the opening of the chest toward the sky and the power to find balance and challenges even in this familiar pose
Benefits:Stretches shoulders, neck and chest. Strengthens thighs calves and ankles
4) Wide Angel Seated Forward Bend
Sitting on the ground lean your torso back gently leaning into your hands behind you. Let your legs extend by your side about 90 degrees and gently begin to release your upper body forward, hinging from the hips, until your forearms are relaxed on the ground in front of you. EMPOWERS through bringing your awareness to your body and deepening the hip opening throughout time in an organic and natural progression.
Benefits: Stretches insides and backs of legs. Calms the brain. Strengthens the spine.
5) King Pigeon
From down dog bring your right knee forward towards your right hand and the right foot toward the left hand. Settle into half pigeon with a tall spine squaring your hips forward. Bend your left knee moving your foot toward your spine. Hook your left foot into your left arm crease and bind your right fingers reaching overhead to your left hand. Stay strong in the core and keep the spine long.
EMPOWERS through a powerful quad stretch and hip opener that challengers your balances and allows you to overcome.
Benefits: Stretches thighs and neck. Calms the brain. Opens neck and shoulders
6)Eight Angle Pose
While sitting on the ground with a tall straight spine hug your right leg toward you cradling your leg (like rocking a baby) in order to open your hip. From there bring the inside of the right knee outside the right arm aiming to bring the knee close to or on top of the shoulder. Then bring your left foot on top of the right (ankle over ankle) and lean forward into your hands bending in the elbows. Rest the top thigh on the forearms and squeeze the legs towards one another while extending your legs horizontally to the right. Use your arm and core strength for control.
EMPOWERS through the floating aspect and power to trust your body and balance.
Benefits: Strengthens arms and wrists. Tones abdominal muscles
7) Wild Thing
Starting in down dog inhale your right leg straight and high behind you flexing your toes towards the earth. Stack your hips (right on top of left) and bend your knee on an exhale so your heel is at your glute. From here “flip your dog” so you land with both feet on the ground and your heart open towards the sky reaching, lengthening and looking towards your right arm. EMPOWERS you to trust your body to land safely and freely and through this powerful heart opener accepting positivity and love in your life.
Benefits: Opens up the chest and lungs. Opens hip flexors. Strengthens upper back
8) Front Splits
To come into the pose come into Low Crescent sinking deep into your left hip with your right hip forward on an exhale gently come back into half split stretching out the right hamstring. Do this as many times as you need and when you feel warmed up from half splits walk to front toes forward extending the back leg behind you and sinking your hips down. Stay in this pose for as long as feels good.
EMPOWERS your practice overall. This pose takes time and patience and allows you to fully grasp the poster of breath and presence
Benefits: Stretches thighs and hamstrings. Deepens entire practice
9) Dancing Shiva
Root your left toes into the mat and pull up on your left knee cap engaging your left quad muscle. Tighten and engage your core, and bend the right knee so your foot is at your glute behind you. Hold the right ankle with the right hand and lengthen the left arm straight up. As you exhale begin to “kick” your right foot into your right hand as much as you can, creating space. When you feel you have a good foundation take a deep inhale to prepare and as you exhale begin to hinge forward from the hips until parallel with the earth. Hold for 5-8 breaths and repeat on the other side.
EMPOWERS through connecting strength and grace in this challenging mind body connection
Benefits: Improves posture. Strengthens the spine. Lengthens legs all the way to the booty. Improves concentration & balance
10) Fish Pose
Our FINAL pose counteracting any back bends and tightness is Fish Pose!
F rom laying on the ground with arms and legs extended begin to press your hands and forearms into the ground while lifting your chest creating a nice upper back bend. Palms facing down reach the hands until you come to sit on them. Draw the shoulder blades down and away. Gently release the head back if that is OK for your neck.
EMPOWERS through the powerful heart opening and combination of release and strength we open our hearts increasing confidence and emotional growth
Benefits: Stretches the front body, Improves spinal flexibility and posture.
End with at least one minute in shavasana.