Poses

At Bliss, we offer several heated vinyasa flow classes, as well as a variety of non-heated, specialty, and meditation classes. The word vinyasa means “breath-synchronized movement.” In other words, the teacher will instruct you to move from one pose (asana) to the next on an inhale or an exhale. We are excited to offer this library of poses for your reference.

Cat Cow Downward Facing Dog Cobra Standing Forward Fold Bridge

Cat Cow – Marjaiasana Bitilasana

  1. Begin in table top with the wrists aligned under the shoulders and the knees under the hips.
  2. Bring a natural and even spread into the fingers and root down through all 10 base knuckles and all 10 fingerprints.
  3. Turn the big toes in slightly and press down through the tops of the feet.  
  4. On an inhale begin to tilt the pelvis forward so to turn the tailbone upwards and arch the lumbar spine.  Draw the shoulders back to widen the collarbones and lift the chin away from the chest, eyes look up.
  5. On the exhale, begin to turn the tailbone down tucking the pelvis under, press your hands and feet into the ground, sculpt the belly in and round the spine.  Bring the chin towards the chest, and look towards your navel.

Repeat 5-10 rounds to promote flexibility in the spine, and mobility through the pelvis and shoulders.  Cat cow is also an excellent movement for physical, emotional and energetic grounding, while creating unity between breath and body.

Downward Facing Dog – Adho Mukha Svanasana

  1. Begin in table top with the wrists aligned under the shoulders and fingers spread naturally and evenly.
  2. Press into the L of your forefinger and thumb to lift your hips up and back.
  3. With knees bent, root through your hands and lengthen the spine by reaching the sits bones up and apart.
  4. Tone the abdominal area by drawing the belly towards the spine.
  5. Maintaining the extension of the spine, slowly begin to straighten your legs until you feel tension along the back line of the legs, (this might mean that your knees stay a little bit bent), eventually rooting the heels towards the ground.
  6. Stay rooted through the inner edges of the hands and lengthen the crown of your head towards your thumbs.

Downward Facing Dog has been celebrated for its full body benefits, creating strength and stability through the shoulders and hips, while also lengthening the back line of the body.  Great for stretching hamstring and calf muscles, while also supporting some of the same benefits we receive from inverting the head below the heart, like improved circulation and lymphatic flow, while also allowing us to view life from a different perspective.

 

Cobra - Bhujangasana

  1. Begin lying prone on the ground with the hands aligned under the shoulders.
  2. Bring the big toes in slightly and root the tops of the feet into the mat.
  3. Engage the legs, press the pubic bone down into the mat and draw the elbows back and towards one another.

Standing Forward Fold – Uttanasana

  1. Starting in Tadasana, align the feet under the hips with the second toe pointing straight forward.
  2. Begin folding at the hip crease while softening the knee joints.
  3. Lay the belly on to the tops of the thighs as you place the hands on the floor on either side of your feet.  You can also use blocks under the hands or place them on the legs for support if needed.
  4. Inhale to lift the chest just slightly so to lengthen the spine, and exhale to fold in, bringing the forehead towards the shins.

Uttanasana is one of the best poses for releasing the back line of the body, from heels all the way to the crown of the head.  It is also a partial inversion with the head below the heart, which is great for heart and brain health as well as the circulatory system.  Energetically, forward folds are very calming and great for activating the parasympathetic response in the nervous system.

Bridge – Setu Bandhasana

  1. Begin lying on the back, knees bent with the feet planted on the mat in front of the sitting bones.  Ensure the feet are tucked in nice and close to the hips so the heels stack under the knees with the shin bones vertical.
  2. Align the arms alongside the body and draw the shoulder blades towards one another to widen the chest.
  3. Root into the feet pressing evenly into the big toe mound, pinky toe mound and heel plate to initiate the lifting of the pelvis away from the ground.
  4. Walk the shoulder blades in a little closer and root down through the upper arms and back of the skull.  Optional variation of interlacing the palms together underneath the back staying grounded through the upper arms.
  5. Focus the root of the feet into the big toe side to stay toned through the inner legs and to maintain alignment through the hips, knees and feet.
  6. Soften the gluteus muscles just slightly so they are not clenching, and focus the strength into the mid and upper back to encourage the spine to lift and the heart to open.

Bridge pose is a great way to tone and strengthen the entire back line (hamstrings, glutes, back muscles), while opposing our more common flexed spinal position to restore balance through both the back and front lines of the body.  Bridge also opens the chest and shoulder fronts, lengthens the abdominal wall and hip flexors, and promotes spinal mobility.