Patricea Chow | The Yoga Agency SingaporeFeb 10, 2020 18:10:29

5 Yoga Poses for Absolute Beginners Pt 1

You've never done yoga before but you're ready to take the plunge. But as a complete yoga newbie, you're also not sure what to expect from a yoga class.


For absolute yoga beginners, familiarise yourself with these basic yoga poses before you hit the mat at the studio.


BALASANA | CHILD'S POSE

Yoga Child's Pose Balasana | The Yoga Agency Singapore

This is a seated yoga pose. It is used as a resting pose in between other poses. You will encounter it often in a Beginner Yoga class.


How to do Balasana Child's Pose

  • Begin by kneeling on your mat.
  • Bring your knees and big toes to touch.
  • Sit back on to your heels. Allow your body weight to sink into your sit bones, down into your heels, thus pressing the tops of your feet firmly into the mat.
  • Fold forward from your hips. Allow your hands to fall outstretched on the mat, or bring them alongside your legs.
  • Keep your sit bones pressing into your heels. If your hips rise off your heels, bring them back down and support your head with a block.
  • Exit by lifting your head and returning to sitting upright.

ADHO MUKHA SHVANASANA | DOWNWARD FACING DOG

Yoga Adho Mukha Shvanasana Downward Facing Dog Pose | The Yoga Agency Singapore

A pose that looks like an inverted V, this pose is an inversion as it brings the head lower than the heart. It is usually included as part of a sequence of poses, especially in Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutations.


How to do Adho Mukha Shvanasana Downward Facing Dog

There are many ways to get into this pose. Here is the simplest way for newbie yoga practitioners.

  • Stand at the front of your yoga mat. Have your toes and knees facing front.
  • Place your hands on the mat, on the outsides of your feet, by bending your knees.
  • Spread your fingers wide apart then grip the mat with the pads of your hands and fingertips.
  • Press your palms into the mat and feels table before stepping first one foot backwards, followed by the other. Come onto your toes with a microbend in your knees.
  • Lift your hips high and think of reaching your tail bone to the ceiling.
  • Activate your inner thighs (imagine that you have a resistance band around your thighs and you need to keep it taut) so that your toes and knees point to the front of the mat, and your heels point to the back.
  • Begin to push the mat towards the front with your palms and the mat towards the back with your feet.
  • Exit by walking your feet towards your palms, plant your feet firmly into the mat, then rise your torso up slowly with your head coming up last.

VIRABHADRASANA 1 | WARRIOR I

Yoga Virabhadrasana I Warrior Pose | The Yoga Agency Singapore


Named after the warrior Virabhadra, this pose stretches & strengthens the entire core, especially the hip flexors and psoas.


How to do Virabhadrasana Warrior I Pose

There are many ways to get into this pose. Here is one suggested method for newbie yoga practitioners.

  • Stand at the front of your yoga mat. Have your toes and knees facing front.
  • Place your hands on your hips for balance, and fix your gaze on a spot opposite you.
  • Ground down through the base of your feet and balance your body weight on your right leg.
  • As you breath out, take a big step back with your left foot. Angle your left foot so that your toes point out 45-degrees to the left. Place your heel down so that it is aligned with your right heel.
  • Bend your right knee so that it is stacked directly above your right ankle.
  • Press down through both your feet, including the outer edge of both feet.
  • Tuck your pelvis in so that your tail bone points down to the mat. Keep your torso facing forward.
  • As you breathe in, stretch your arms up so that your fingers reach up to the ceiling/sky.
  • To exit, bring your hands back to your hips, step your left foot forward next to your right foot, and return to standing at the top of your mat.
  • Repeat on the other side.

VIRABHADRASANA 2 | WARRIOR II


This is probably one of the most recognised yoga poses. It is also the one post that will invariably be included in most of the yoga classes, especially Vinyasa flow, Hatha flow, and Hatha yoga.


How to do Virabhadrasana Warrior II Pose

There are many ways to get into this pose. Here is one suggested method for newbie yoga practitioners.

  • Stand at the front of your yoga mat. Have your toes and knees facing front.
  • Place your hands on your hips for balance, and fix your gaze on a spot opposite you.
  • Ground down through the base of your feet and balance your body weight on your right leg.
  • As you breath out, take a big step back with your left foot. Angle your left foot so that your the outer edge of your foot is parallel to the back of the mat. Place your heel down so that it is aligned with your right heel.
  • Bend your right knee so that it is stacked directly above your right ankle.
  • Press down through both your feet, including the outer edge of both feet.
  • Tuck your pelvis in so that your tail bone points down to the mat. Keep your torso facing 45-degrees to the left.
  • As you breath in, raise your left arm back and to shoulder level while raising your right arm to the front at shoulder level. Stretch your arms in opposite directions—right fingertips forward, left fingertips back.
  • As you breath out, feel the base of your feet press firmly into your mat.
  • To exit, bring your hands back to your hips, step your left foot forward next to your right foot, and return to standing at the top of your mat.
  • Repeat on the other side.


VRIKSASANA | TREE POSE

Named after (you got it) trees, this pose requires concentration to stay balanced on your standing leg. It strengthens the legs as well as stretches the hip flexors.


How to do Vrikshasana Tree Pose

  • Stand at the front of your yoga mat. Have your toes and knees facing front. Keep your spine straight and the sides of your body extended.
  • Place your hands on your hips for balance, and fix your gaze on a spot opposite you.
  • Shift your body weight to your right leg.
  • Bend your left knee and draw it up towards your chest.
  • Open your knee to point to the left.
  • Gently place the sole of your left foot on your right inner thigh, near the root of the thigh aka slightly past the knee cap.
  • Keep your right leg straight, and find your balance.
  • You can stay with your arms on your hips for balance. If you feel ready, slowly bring your palms to meet and place your thumbs in the middle of your chest (see photo).
  • To exit, slowly turn your left knee to face the front as you release your left foot from the right thigh. As you breath in, lower your left foot onto the mat and return to standing tall.
  • Repeat on the other side.

NEW TO YOGA & WOULD LIKE TO PRACTICE SAFELY, WITH FOCUSED GUIDANCE?


Contact us now http://www.theyogaagency.com/contact.htm to experience a Private Yoga Class at your home or work place.

The Yoga AgencyFeb 10, 2020 12:51:18

Limited Offer - Free Yoga Class

To encourage everyone to stay healthy & fit during this period, we have a special Limited Time Offer on our Trial Yoga Class!


Take a 60-min Trial Class, and get it FREE when you purchase a 4-class package within 48-hours after taking the class.⁣

T&Cs

  • Only for 1st time customers in Singapore.
  • Class must be taken by 29 Februrary, 2020.
  • Class package must be purchased within 48-hours after Trial Class.
  • Class will be held at a venue & time agreed on between teacher & client.


Book your class now! Write to info@theyogaagency.com or WhatsApp 82835509.



Patricea Chow | The Yoga Agency SingaporeJan 30, 2020 14:07:43

7 Things Your Yoga Teacher Wants You to Know

"You're a yoga teacher. So you have all the answers about yoga, right?"


There is a general idea that those who work in the fitness & body movement industries have all the answers for training, strength, flexibility, and more.


However, most of us teach from what we know. We certainly aren't the Wikipedia or Bible on fitness. But we have our personal stories for how we got into what we do. Most times it is either due to looking for a way to recover from an injury or simply to get fit.


Becoming coaches or instructors was a way to share our passion for the movement that has transformed our lives.


Along the way, many coaches and yoga instructors have discovered many things. Here are


7 Things that Your Yoga Instructor Would Like You to Know


1. Don't Waste Money on Expensive Yoga Gear


Practicing on a S$250 mat or wearing a pair of S$150 yoga tights is not going to improve your practice. 


As long as you’re not practicing on your mat to practice, nothing changes in your mind or body.


2. Teachers are Also Students


Yoga instructors are also yogis; that is how we started on our journey! This means that we continue to practice on our mat, as much as you do.


So if you bump into us at other teacher's classes in Singapore, come say hello and share your practice with us.


3. Not All of us can do the Wheel, Handstand or Headstand


Just as yoga teachers specialise in different types of yoga and we're all differently physically, our strengths also differ.


Some yoga instructors are more flexible, so backbends like the Wheel comes easily for them. Some have a strong core, which enables them to easily invert into a handstand or headstand.


Think of it this way: Your friend is skilled at numbers but numbers makes your head spin. Or you excel at organising things but your collegaue prefers execution.


Everyone has different skills and specialisations. And yoga teachers in Singapore are no different from everyone else.


4. It's Ok to Belch, Moan, Pass Wind in Class


Yes, yoga teachers have experienced this in class anywhere in Singapore. In fact, we're quite happy to hear/ smell / see our students doing so.


Why?


Belching & passing wind indicates that the digestive system is stimulated. Moaning implies that you’re getting some good feels from the poses that you're holding.


So, it’s all good!


5. We Teach What We Know


This relates back to different teachers with different styles. As yogis, each yoga teacher has an interest in working on certain poses for themselves.


And the more we practice these, the better we become at understanding how the pose benefits the body. Which means that we become better equipped to teach our understanding of these asanas to practitioners.


6. Your Yoga Journey is Yours Alone


Yoga teachers are mainly guides. We provide a map and directional signs for yoga by demonstrating the poses and breathing.


But it is up to you how you travel on the journey, and whether you continue the journey with your own self practice outside of class.


7. Techers See You


Most teachers don't say it, but regardless of where you position yourself during class, they see you.


Unable to lay still in savasana. Scolding yourself for being unable to hold chaturanga dandassana. Cursing through adho mukha svanasana.


Yes, the teacher sees everything in just one glance.


But it is okay. Because yoga instructors know that each person has their own internal dialogue, all the time.




However, all yoga teachers want to say this:-


Let go of your internal dialogue and self-judgement when you're on the mat, and just be where you are for the moment.


Release all expectations & thoughts, and just move..


8. You Make Yoga Teachers Love What They Do [bonus]


The biggest reward for any yoga teacher is when the student turns up on the mat.


They understand that work schedules or family commitments in Singapore can prevent anyone from turning up. So seeing you on the mat makes the yoga instructor love what they do.


Additionally, knowing that you have found some peace of mind in that one-hour of class is the biggest reward for the yoga teacher.


TOO SHY TO PRACTICE AT THE STUDIO


Experience Yoga at your home or work place.

Contact us http://www.theyogaagency.com/contact.htm for packages & pricing.



Patricea Chow | The Yoga Agency SingaporeJan 10, 2020 15:52:33

5 Reasons Why You Need Yoga

Yoga Meditation | The Yoga Agency

You would think that with the proliferation of yoga classes in Singapore, people will have an understanding of what yoga is.


Here are some common phrases heard when yoga is suggested as a fitness activity:-

  • "I'm not flexible, I can't do yoga."
  • "Yoga is for for ladies! I'm a guy, so it's not for me."
  • "I don't need yoga, I already workout."


In reality, yoga is not only about flexibility — it can be a workout on its own, working on strength conditioning. Plus, you don't do yoga because you are flexible, you do yoga to become flexible.


So whether you're male or female, here are


5 Reasons Why You Need Yoga


1. Yoga Makes You Physically Stronger


Do you know that stress can cause you to fall ill? Especially when your immune system is weak.


One of the contributing factors of a strong immune system is physical health. Physical strength allows our body to handle stressful situations easily without falling sick.


The poses practiced in hatha classes build physical strength in the body's core. These are all the muscles from the neck to the toes—shoulders, back, arms, abs, obliques, gluteals, inner thighs, quads, calves. [If you think about the core of an apple, you'll get the idea of what the body's core means.]


When we have a strong core, we have a better sense of our body movement. So that we have better stability to prevent falls.


In yoga classes that focus on core strength, there will be ab-activation poses such as planks & crunches. We also incorporate the yogi push-up aka chaturanga dandasana, which is a variation of the push-up where the elbows are tucked close to the body & bent so that they point towards the toes instead of allowing them to point out sideways. The side plank and its variations work the upper arms and shoulders as well as the entire side body, including the abdominals and obliques.


Other core activating asanas include Pattita Tarasana aka Fallen Triangle, Eka Pada Vasisthasana aka One Legged Side Plank, Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana Three Legged Down Dog into Eka Pada Phalakasana Three Legged Plank, Uttkatasana aka Chair, Naukanasana aka Boat (transitioning from high to low for a few rounds).


All these poses will provide a good burn to your muscles for building a strong core.


2. Yoga Complements Other Fitness Activities


It may not seem obvious but yoga complements other fitness activities. Whether you are running, doing Cross Fit, lifting weights at the gym, rock climbing, swimming, doing MMA/ Muay Thai, calisthenics etc., yoga provides a balance to the active pounding that you're subjecting your body to.


Notice that your hamstrings are tight? Or perhaps your shoulders are sore? Maybe there's a slight ache in your lower back? Or your hips seem immobile?


Yoga has many poses that work on bringing more mobility to tight areas of your body. Once these parts are stretched out, you will experience more mobility in these areas. This is the so-called flexibility that comes with yoga—simply, creating more mobility in various areas of your body.


Interesting fact: Hatha and Yin yoga are great complements to the more active forms of yoga such as vinyasa flow, Power yoga, and yoga core classes.


3. Yoga Helps You Be Clear Headed


Yoga helps you to focus the mind on one thing at a time, which enables you to think clearly. This is useful for those who work in stressful environments or need to make many important decisions in a short time.


One of the simplest ways for focusing the mind is by bringing your attention to the breath. The breathing techniques taught in yoga classes quickly helps you to focus and clear your head. This is useful when practicing a variety of balancing poses such as Vriksasana Tree, Virabhadrasana Warrior, Sirsasana Headstand, and Bakasana Crow.


4. Yoga Helps You Be Calm


Becoming calm is a consequence of a clear mind—our emotions are triggered by our thoughts: when we allow our mind to think too much, it will run away & behave like a monkey!


Focusing the mind on one thing at a time will bring about a calmness in our hearts. This is what people call bliss, and many have experienced it on the yoga mat because yoga is about a balance of the body, mind & soul.


When you are calm, you're able to do more as you're mentally and emotionally stronger to power through stressful situations.


5. Yoga Helps You Achieve Balance


While one session does help you to achieve balance, it is not a constant state—humans are creatures of habit and we tend to fall back to old ways.


Thus, constant practice of yoga poses and breathwork is necessary, especially if you’re new to yoga. Just as it is with constant and regular practice in any skill to be able to acquire mastery in it.



START YOUR FIRST YOGA CLASS NOW​


Experience Hatha or Yin Yoga at your home or work place. Contact us now http://www.theyogaagency.com/contact.htm for packages and pricing.