Mandukasana: Frog Pose

Mandukasana: Frog Pose

Mandukasana (man-doo-KAHS-ah-nah) is a simple yet intense pose that brings length to the spine and deep stretches to the inner thighs and groins. This pose is best for warmed-up hips, and healthy knees and low backs.

SANSKRIT:

  • Mandu = frog
  • Asana = pose

PHYSICAL BENEFITS:

  • Stretches the inner hips and groins.
  • Encourages length in the spine.
  • Strengthens the back muscles.

PREPARATORY POSES:

SEQUENTIAL POSES:

  • Garland pose | Malasana
  • Bound garland | Baddha malasana
  • Crow pose | Bakasana

COUNTER POSES:

  • Cow face pose | Gomukhasana
  • Supine twist | Jathara parivartanasana

ADJUSTMENTS/MODIFICATIONS:

  • Use a pillow or folded blanket under your knees.
  • Place a bolster under your torso for additional support.

STEP-BY-STEP:

  1. Begin in a table top shape facing the long edge of your mat.
  2. Walk your knees out wider than your hips. Flex your feet so your toes face outward and your heels are directly behind your knees.
  3. Option to place additional padding (e.g. blanket) under your knees or walk your knees closer together.
  4. Walk your hands forward a little or a lot. If you have room, place your forearms on a block or on the ground.
  5. Reach the crown of your head forward and your tailbone back. Keep your hips in the same plane as your knees (if you saw yourself from the side, knees would look like they’re under your hips).
  6. Lift your belly away from the ground.
  7. Hold for up to two minutes, then gently release to child’s pose.

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Bhujangasana: Cobra Pose

Bhujangasana: Cobra Pose

ADJUSTMENTS    |     BENEFITS    |     SEQUENCING    |     SANSKRIT    |     STEPS

Bhujangasana (boo-jang-GAHS-anna) is a great way to strengthen the upper back and is often practiced as part of a transition back to downward-facing dog in vinyasa yoga. Practicing cobra pose regularly can improve your lung capacity, reduce stress, and stimulate many of the internal organs in your body.

Philosophy + Origin

Although often perceived as evil or dangerous, snakes also have a rich history of power and worship. In some yoga traditions, the energy of kundalini is represented by a serpent resting coiled at the base of the spine. By awakening this snake, we enliven our body’s energy and create a pathway towards enlightenment. This connection with enlightenment is also seen in many portrayals of the Buddha where he is shown with a cobra over his head.

ADJUSTMENTS/MODIFICATIONS:

  • Option to swap cobra pose for sphinx pose by placing your forearms on the floor.
  • Lengthen the back of the neck to avoid straining the neck and upper back.
  • If you experience discomfort in the lower back, bend the elbows more.
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