Twisting and Turning Toward Self-Acceptance

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Yoga Poses in this Sequence

Seated Head to Knee Forward Bend

Seated Head to Knee Forward Bend

Paschima is a Sanskrit term for the back of the whole body from head to heels, Paschimottanasana is therefore an intense stretch of the back of the body. It is achieved with a forward fold at the hip joint lengthening the legs and the crown of your head in the same direction. This gravity assisted fold is a wonderful opportunity to relax and unwind after a long day.

Cat Pose

Cat Pose

Cat Pose, or Marjaryasana, is one of the most commonly recognized yoga poses. The shape of the body resembles a stretching, arching cat. This pose is usually done as a partner to Cow Pose, as Cat Pose has the back high while Cow Pose has the back low.

Cow Pose

Cow Pose

Cow Pose, or Bitlasana, is a floor pose which is traditionally paired with Cat Pose. They are the mirrors of each other. Cow Pose shouldn’t be confused with Cow Face Pose. In Cow Face Pose, the legs and arms are all twisted together. In Cow Pose, you are simply on your hands and knees, your dangling abdomen representing the udder of a cow

Thread the Needle Pose

Thread the Needle Pose

Thread the Needle is a simple kneeling pose that provides relief for neck and back tension. It’s considered a variation of Child’s Pose (Balasana) with an added twist and a lift in the hips resembling Puppy Pose (Uttana Svanasana). It can be performed both as a static posture and as a dynamic flow sequence (see modifications).

Fire Log Pose

Fire Log Pose

Fire Log Pose, or Agnistambhasana, is a pose which stretches and opens all of the lower body. It engages the quadriceps, the hamstrings, the glutes and the psoas, demanding the agility of all the joints. Moreover, it is a powerful stimulant of the Root Chakra, exerting self confidence and self awareness.

Cow Face Pose

Cow Face Pose

Cow Face Pose, or Gomukhasana, has a similar name to Cow Pose, but the two are entirely different. Cow Face Pose is a twisting sitting pose where the hands are clasped behind the back. Cow Pose is done on all fours with the abdomen hanging low. Cow Face Pose got its name because the twisting legs look like a cow chewing its cud. This pose invites thoughtful contemplation, amidst all that twisting. Note that this pose does require a fair amount of flexibility, so be prepared to warm up or build up to this pose.

Happy Baby Pose

Happy Baby Pose

The Happy Baby Pose, or Ananda Balasana is a wonderful opportunity to give your back a proper, deep massage it has always needed. It relaxes the whole body and has a positive calming effect, reducing stress and anxiety. At the same time, muscles of the main body parts are being actively stretched and engaged.

Corpse Pose

Corpse Pose

Corpse Pose, or Savasana, is one of the simplest poses in the entire yoga repertoire. You simply lie on your back. But within that is a wealth of power. Interestingly, while many yoga teachers love to use Western names for most poses as they are easier to remember, many also use the Sanskrit name Savasana for this particular pose because they find the name “Corpse Pose” to be off-putting for Western audiences. The pose’s alternate name, Mrtasana, means “Death Pose” which is not much better. So Savasana it is.

Elyse Jung-Vrymoed

Elyse Jung-Vrymoed is a Los Angeles based artist and teacher. She is a practitioner of the mantra “Yes, and…” 

A student of yoga to some degree since her early teens, she is a great believer in its restorative value as part of a holistic approach to mental and physical health. In her 10 year work as a teacher of young children she has sought to de-stigmatize discussions around mental health in the arts while passing on a joyful passion for the subject. As an artist, though her subjects remain thoroughly adult, they are influenced by the ridiculous and playful spirit of her students. Interested in the ever poignant human topics of sex, myth and mortality; her artwork playfully points at life’s big j...