Yoga Pose Primer: Upward Hands Pose (Urdvha Hastasana)

By
Charlotte Bell
How to practice Upward Hands Pose (Urdhva Hastasana) asana primer to stretch the side body

When you first leave the comfort of your bed each morning, what’s the first thing you want to do? Like other animals—think about your cat or dog—our instinct is to stretch out. While we sleep, our bodies immobile, the fascia that surrounds our muscles tightens. In order to wake up our muscles, we need to loosen this outer sheath. So we stretch.

woman practicing yoga upward facing wide leg forward bend

Yoga Pose Primer: Urdhva Mukha Prasarita Padottanasana

I’d like to propose an inevitability to accompany death and taxes: gravity. In fact, it’s arguable that gravity is more consistently inevitable than taxes because there are ways to get around paying taxes if... Read more
woman practicing upavista konasana, wide-leg forward bend yoga pose

Yoga Pose Primer: Upavistha Konasana

My dad was a competitive gymnast in his teens and 20s. When he stopped competing, he still enjoyed practicing in our yard on his pommel horse. My sisters and I inherited his athleticism in various ways, but I... Read more
A yoga woman in Warrior 1 Pose (Virabhadrasana I) for strength and stability

Warrior I: An Essential Yoga Pose for Strength and Stability

If you scroll through Instagram looking for yoga photos, you’ll see only a handful of yogis posing in Virabhadrasana I ( Warrior I Pose ). It’s not a particularly flashy pose or one that people like to show... Read more
Parvrtta Trikonasana, Revolved Triangle Pose

Yoga Pose Primer: Parvrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)

If I had to pick the most complicated asana in the canon of common poses, Parvrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose) would be among the top few. Parvrtta Trikonasana is a balance pose, a spinal rotation, a... Read more

Yoga Pose Primer: 7 Steps for Practicing Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

During grade school, my sisters and I took ballet classes. We studied at the Cincinnati Conservatory with a lovely young dancer named Donna Ficker. A year or two into our lessons we had to find a new teacher... Read more
Ubhaya Padangusthasana, Double Toe Hold

Yoga Pose Primer: Ubhaya Padangusthasana (Double Toe Hold)

One of the physical benefits of practicing yoga asanas is the development of balance. This is something our four-legged friends don’t have to worry about. But as two-legged, upright-walking humans, balance is... Read more
Paschimottanasana, Seated Forward Bend

Yoga Pose Primer: Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)

Forward bends are my favorite yoga poses for containing energy. When I sequence a yoga practice or a class, forward bends always precede Savasana. The reason is this: Folding your body inward naturally calms... Read more
Palm tree pose, talasana

Yoga Pose Primer: Plant Strong Roots with Palm Tree Pose!

Daily practice is the cornerstone of anyone’s yoga journey. But it’s not always easy to find a block of time to practice. Sometimes we have to take what we can get. On those days when our schedules are wall to... Read more
Supine Half Lotus Pose, supta ardha padmasana

Supta Ardha Padmasana (Supine Half Lotus Pose): A Lotus Pose for Everybody

In 2001, I co-taught a teacher training with Donna Farhi in Vancouver, BC. The 50 attendees were experienced yoga teachers and bodyworkers from all over the world. During the training, we questioned teaching... Read more
Parvrtta Ardha Padmasana, Revolved Half Lotus

Parvrtta Ardha Padmasana (Revolved Half Lotus): Lotus with a Twist

Padmasana (Lotus Pose) may be yoga asana’s most recognizable pose. This is a bit odd since many Westerners do not have hip joints that will perform the pose safely. Lotus Pose requires a whole lot of external... Read more