Morning Yoga Basics to Try at Home

(Source: Caitlin Casella)
No time to make it to the yoga studio today? No worries, it's the perfect time to begin a home practice. Even just a short series of a few essential postures can start the day right. We asked NYC yoga teacher and Lole ambassador Chrissy Carter to break down some beginner-friendly yoga moves to try at home. "It's really important to begin where you are, and to meet yourself where you are rather than looking at the shape and thinking it has to be perfect," says Carter. "Focus on what you can do and do it as best as you can. It's not a goal-oriented practice, but a moment to moment practice."

1) Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

"Come to sit. Bring the soles of your feet together and open your knees wide. If you feel tightness in your inner thighs, or if your tailbone is curling underneath you, come to sit on a blanket. Place your fingertips behind you to help you lift and lengthen your spine. You can also place your hands on your ankles and, with a long spine, hinge forward at your hips to deepen the stretch."

(Source: Caitlin Casella) What are the benefits?  "This pose stretches the inner thighs and groins, and is calming and introspective."

2) Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)

"Step your feet three to four feet apart. Turn your right foot out 90 degrees. Turn your left toes in slightly. Stretch your arms out at shoulder height. Ground down through your feet and rise tall through the crown of your head. Inhale. As you exhale, shift your hips towards your back foot and crease deeply at your front hip. Lengthen your torso towards your front foot, and lightly place your right hand on your right shin, ankle, or on a block or chair behind your front foot. Hold for five breaths, expanding in all directions. When you're ready to lift, ground down into your feet and rise up to stand. Parallel your feet. Repeat on the left."

(Source: Caitlin Casella)What are the benefits?  "This pose stretches the inner thighs and hamstrings. Lengthens and strengthens the side waist, and strengthens the legs and creates a feeling of expansiveness in the body."

3) Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
"Come to all fours. Place your hands on the floor about five inches in front of your shoulders. Root your hands into the floor and draw up through your arms as if they were long straws. Tuck your toes underneath and exhale to lift your knees off the floor. Reach your hips towards the wall behind you, stretching fully through your elbows. Relax your head; let it hang. Continue to press your thighs straight back to pull the weight out of your arms. If you feel tightness in the backs of your legs, you can bend your knees; this will help you pull your hips further back, facilitating a longer spine. Hold for five breaths. Lower your knees softly to the floor."

(Source: Caitlin Casella) What are the benefits? "This pose stretches the backs of the legs, creates length in the spine, and strengthens the arms and upper back."

Chrissy's Gaiam DVD, Beginning Yoga, is perfect for those who are looking to start a yoga practice.
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