Tag Archives: balance

Standing Bow Tips

13 Aug 14
No Comments

Standing bow is sometimes also called dancer’s pose.  It is one of the 26 asanas or postures in a Bikram hot yoga class, but it does make appearances in other classes as well.

Some people seem to can’t figure out how to get further in this pose so I’m going to give a few not-so-obvious tips to help you out.  Obvious tips would be to work on your balance and to keep practicing.  Well, while you do that, try these tips as well!


Tip 1: Bend your back

One thing that many people don’t realize about getting into a deeper standing bow is how much back bending is involved to get into the posture.  As you raise your leg, you are supposed to keep yourself upright before folding over.  Many people start folding their torsos over as soon as they feel any discomfort, but try to take notice of that discomfort and pull your leg up a little higher while staying upright (hence the back bend) before folding over.  Obviously, keep that leg in the same position or higher as you fold over.  This will help open up your hips some more as you fold over.  As you can see in an old picture of myself in class, there is a bend in my back as I’m folding down.



Tip 2: Work on opening your hips

I suggest that you work on other postures that will open your hips, and start practicing hanumanasana (monkey pose, or put simply, a split).  Once I started incorporating a split into every class, this pose started becoming easier to get into, as you can see from this picture about a year later:


One thing to keep in mind, however, is you want to try to level your hips.  It is easier for us to open up your hips in this pose, but you want to try to get both hipbones parallel to the floor.  If you can see in the below picture (I know it’s not perfect), my standing leg looks pretty stable, and that’s because my hipbones are facing the ground instead of opening up.

A DSCF5397




Tip 3: Start lowering your hand

As you get deeper and deeper into this pose, try to see if you can bring your hand down to your shins, which will help you pull your leg closer to your body and, thus, bring the foot closer to the sky.


Previous Yoga Post – Knock Out That Headstand!

 Next Yoga Post – Crow Pose

Knock Out That Headstand!

04 Jul 14
, , ,
No Comments

Headstands can be intimidating at first.



Forward folds will help you get used to the idea of being upside down.


Once you get used to being upside down, it’s now just a matter of getting your body positioned so you can get your legs in the air.


So here are some tips:down dog

  • Usually we are taught to get into it from downward dog.  Whether or not you are in headstand with your forearms on the ground or in tripod headstand with just your hands on the ground, you want your elbows to be no wider than your shoulders.  An easy way to measure is to bend your elbows and grab the opposite elbows with your hands.  That’s the width.  Do not go wider than that.  You will risk crunching into your shoulders.  You want to gain your strength by pulling your shoulders away from your ears and push into your hands or forearms.  If your forearms are on the ground, you want to feel as if you can lift your head off the ground.


  • If you’re in tripod, make sure your arms are at a 90 degree angle and your elbows are shoulder-width apart.
  • Bring your feet in until your hips are above your shoulders.  That is where your stability will be.  Lock that position in by keeping your tailbone tucked in and your mula bandha (pelvic muscles) engaged (squeeze them).victoria (4)
  • Once that happens, I find the easiest way to get into it is to bend one leg into your body, lifting that foot off the ground, then the next.  The reason this is easiest is because your center of gravity has little danger of shifting.  If you’re doing tripod, you can rest your knees on your upper arms.
  • Then, slowly raise your legs up.  Engage your legs.  I find the best way to do this is to flex your feet as if you’re standing on the ceiling.  Keep your tailbone tucked!  Engage your belly and your pelvic muscles!  Stay focused on one spot somewhere.
  • Don’t let stray thoughts into your mind.
  • Practice, practice, practice!


Previous Yoga Post – Downward Facing Dog

Next Yoga Post – Standing Bow Tips