Cat Pose, Mountain Pose, the "ten core poses" (Standing Forward Fold, Standing Side Stretch, Dog Pose, Spread Leg Forward Fold, Bridge Pose, Reclining Leg Stretch, Locust Pose, Sage Twist, Hero Pose, Shoulder Stretches) and the Lotus are presented here. The other thirty-two poses I recommend can be found in my book.
Leg Forward Fold (Upavista
1 Sit on the floor with your legs spread wide. Place one hand on the floor in front of you, one hand on the floor behind you, then lift your hips and scoot forward to your comfortable maximum. Then use your hands to pull the buttock flesh backward so your sitting bones can merge with the floor.
2 Sit tall. Establish the leg lines first. Turn the legs in or out until the kneecaps face the ceiling and the inner edges of your feet are vertical. Be on the center of the back of each heel. Press the back of each thigh firmly down into the floor, extending the heels away from you, then spread your toes and press outward through the ball of each foot.
3 Align your torso and elongate your core. First, bring your lower back forward into your body so your spine is erect, not rounded. Then lift your chest upward away from the pelvis, move the shoulders backward, tugging gently downward with the shoulder blades, and then bring the navel backward toward the spine. Bring your palms together in namaste, prayer position, and then elongate your core by sinking the sitting bones straight down and floating the crown of your head straight up. Close your eyes, if you'd like, and become increasingly grounded, centered. Consciously establish your awareness in the now. Breathe smoothly. Let your face be soft. Be here until you are ready to proceed.
4 Lean forward and place your hands on the floor. Have your hands shoulder-width apart and your fingers spread. Snuggle your palms into the floor. Then wriggle the buttocks backward and position yourself on the frontal edge of the sitting bones, in dog tilt, This will help propel you forward into the pose.
5 As you inhale, bring your lower back forward, press the backs of your thighs down, and stretch the front of your body up. Elongate your arms; do not sag into the shoulders. Make the front of your body long.
6 As you exhale, fold into the pose by sliding your hands forward. Slide your hands forward until you sense a new edge, then stop. Do not let your legs roll in or out as you fold forward; the kneecaps should continue facing the ceiling. Wait for these new sensations of stretch to diminish somewhat, then fold deeper by sliding your hands farther forward. Maintain maximum extension from coccyx to fontanel to fingertips. Breathe smoothly.
7 Proceed slowly, edge by edge, slide, stop, slide, stop. Do not fold as deeply as you can all at once. Stop when you feel each new intermediary edge, and wait for the stretch to ease up a little before folding deeper. Do this over and over until you cannot slide your hands or release your spine forward any farther Eventually your torso - belly, chest, and forehead - will rest comfortably on the floor.
8 Breathe smoothly, slowly. Feel the movement of breath ripple through your body. This is a lovely pose. Be here one to five minutes.
9 Come out of the pose. Walk your hands backward and inhale as you return to a seated position. Bring your palms together in namaste, close your eyes, and experience the aftereffects of the pose.
Benefits: Spread Leg Forward Fold or Upavista Konasana
Stretches hamstrings and adductors. Frees spine and hip joints, relieves sciatica, improves circulation in pelvic region. Tones abdominal organs. Calming energizing.
Cat Pose, Mountain Pose, Standing Forward Fold, Standing Side Stretch, Dog Pose, Spread Leg Forward Fold, Bridge Pose, Reclining Leg Stretch, Locust Pose, Sage Twist, Hero Pose, Shoulder Stretches, Lotus