Yoga Basics: 3 ways to engage your muscles

≤15 min. Get to know 3 methods of toning and strengthening your muscles to protect your joints and enhance your practice in this Yoga Basics practice. An important first step is the Yoga Basics practice wherein you learn to move with your breath. We will start standing and learn the first method while you feel the engagement of arm and leg muscles in such a way that it feels like a strong protective measure for the bones and the associated joints. Not only will you start to notice the strength, but a feeling of confidence, courage, and integration also develops as you stand in mountain pose, or tadasana -- the home base for standing poses. Method 2 teaches us to draw our power through strong isometric action of pulling the feet toward each other to the midline in open hip poses like prasarita padottansana and virabhadrasana 2 as well as a closed hip pose such as parsvottanasana. A third method of gaining muscular support comes when we learn how to draw from the fingertips up the arm, and from the toe tips up the leg to the pelvis. It is as if you are putting on tight gloves and leggings to contain your muscular energy. We will work with this and all of the methods of engagement in a side angle pose, or parsvakonasana to integrate the actions. To assimilate the practice please be sure to find ease in savasana.

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