If You Only Do 5 Yoga Poses, Do These
Meet Chloe Kernaghan, a yogi and co-founder of SKY TING YOGA, an uber-popular yoga studio in NYC. Chloe’s background is in several traditions of yoga, but her classes focus on structural integration, connecting to the music, and enjoying yourself! She has a playful vibe on and off the mat, which is probably why SKY TING has so many fans. Take a virtual class with this short sequence from Chloe.
At this point, there are a plethora of yoga asana that all have a range of benefits for the practitioner. However if I had to pick a short list, for myself or really anyone living in modern times, I'd go with these!
1. Cat/Cow Pose
On hands and knees, set hands under shoulders and knees under hips at 90 degree angles. With your inhale open the chest, stick your seat up and lift the gaze (cow pose). As you exhale pressing hands down, round through the spine and gaze to your navel (cat pose). Repeat for two to three minutes, with the option to speed up the inhale/exhale pattern and flexion/extension of the spine!
Bonus: Try taking a flipped palm variation to help open up the wrist joints (make sure you externally rotate the arms, and go for a 180 degree spin!).
2. Downward-Facing Dog
Place hands shoulder distance apart, feet hips distance, hips lifted high at a 60 degree angle. Plug the knuckles of the hands down, arms straight with arm pits spinning to face one another. Add a soft bend into the knees, and with the heels reaching to the floor, lift your tail high up and back. Think almost backbend with the spine and draw the front line of the body forward and out. Stay for 10 breaths.
3. Triangle Stance
From a lunge stance, spin the back heel down, toes on a 60 degree angle forward. Bottom palm can rest on the shin or a block outside of the foot, extend the top arm straight to the ceiling. Legs are straight, look to externally rotate the front thigh, slight internal rotation of the back leg. Stay for five to 10 breaths. Repeat on the other side!
4. Forward Hang
With your feet hip distance apart, crease at the hip line and let the torso drape to the thighs. Take your hands interlaced behind the back and let the arms arc overhead. Keep a soft bend into the knees, find the plug of the feet in the floor, and reach the seat up to the ceiling. Stay for 10 breaths.
5. Pigeon Pose
Bring your shin forward with the front knee over to its own side. Back leg is extended straight behind you. Feel free to prop up with a folded blanket or yoga block to help level out the seat. Take this pose into the forward bend, reaching the arms and chest forward. Stay for 10 breaths and switch sides!