Disclaimers: Consult a doctor before beginning an exercise regime. Never force a pose. Stop if you feel pain or intense discomfort. Yoga is meant to be yummy.
I love vinyasa yoga and I am obsessed with good alignment. This obsession doesn’t stem from a need for perfection, which would be very “un-yoga-like” of me, but from a passion for protecting the body from injury. Most bodies can safely practice yoga on a daily basis, but maintaining sound alignment is essential to your physical wellbeing. In this series, I will break down some common poses—explaining how to stay safe and fully enjoy each posture. Finally, remember to BREATHE consistently while practicing yoga to receive the full benefits of the practice … otherwise, you’re just stretching in Sanskrit. Today’s pose is Cobra, or Bhujangasana.
- Start by lying on your stomach. Bend your elbows at 90-degrees, and bring the hands to rest on the mat near the top of your ribs. Fingertips are spread wide and gripping into the mat.
- Gently press the palms firmly into the mat and lift your torso up, shining your heart towards the ceiling.
- Elbows are hugging in towards the midline, with the shoulders rolling down the back and shoulder blades coming together.
- Gaze a few inches above where your hands are placed, or towards the sky. Whichever is more comfortable for your neck—depending on where you are in the pose.
- Legs remain outstretched, with toes pointing behind you.
- Flex the thighs and the buttocks.
- Release any unnecessary tension in your neck and face.
Practicing yoga on your own can be a ton of fun, but taking a class is a great way to explore new poses under the tutelage of a trained yoga instructor; check out MINT’s yoga offerings, here.
Ashley Binetti received her 200-hour vinyasa yoga teacher training at Saraswatis’s Yoga Joint in Norwalk, CT in 2011. Her favorite pose is Triangle. When she’s not doing yoga, Ashley works as a nonprofit attorney. She is also a MINT Ambassador.