Yoga with Melissa 153 Beginner Yoga: Mountain Pose and Tree Pose

by Melissa West on November 22, 2012

Props Needed for Today’s Class: Yoga Mat, yoga strap, tennis ball

Optional Props: Blanket for Savasana if you get chilly, eye pillow for savasana, bolster, blanket or pillow for behind head in savasana if you need it

Yoga Postures/Asanas: savasana (corpse pose), keyhole stretch (figure four or thread the needle stretch), supta pandangusthasana (reclined hand to toe pose), marjaryasana (Cat Pose), Dandasana (Seated Staff Pose for Foot Series), Tadasana (Mountain Pose), Vrksasana (Tree Pose) , Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold), Anuvrittasana (Sanding Backbend), Marichyasana (Bound Sage Pose), Janu Sirsasana (Head beyond knee stretch), Savasana (corpse pose, final relaxation).

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Yoga with Melissa 153 Beginner Yoga: Tree Pose and Mountain Pose

What to expect: Welcome to Yoga with Melissa, I’m so happy you’ve decided to try a beginner yoga class. Whether this is your first class or you are a seasoned practitioner with beginner’s mind all are welcome here. I will begin by sharing what to expect in this yoga class.

You will start by lying down on your back in savasana/corpse pose, which is just a fancy way of saying you will lie on your back on the floor. There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, it allows you to transition from the multi-dimensional focus and demands of your day to day life to the singular focus of your yoga practice. During your time on your yoga mat you will have the luxury of just focusing on you.  Doesn’t that sound wonderful? Secondly it gives you an opportunity to settle in and center yourself. I will guide you in this process by asking you to focus on your breath. Finally it gives your body a chance to let go to the pull of gravity. The muscular tension of your body can already begin to release here even before you begin practicing yoga postures.

After savasana you will stay lying on your back for some “warm-up” postures, not in the sense to warm-up your body like doing a cardio warm-up, but more to prepare your body for other postures to come. So today you will do some hip openers to encourage external rotation of your hips in preparation for tree pose lying on your back.

From lying down you will gradually move up to seated and kneeling on all fours. Here you will begin to warm up your spine, hips and feet in preparation for your standing postures. This will be the end of your warm up postures before you come up to standing for your standing postures.

The next part of the class will be standing. In this class, these are your main postures. You will be practicing Mountain Pose and Tree Pose. These poses teach you about how to stand and how to balance.

We will counter these poses with some standing forward folds and standing back bends to release these postures from your body and open up your chest. Counter postures simply help to release the main postures from your body and provide balance and symmetry in your practice.

From these standing positions you will return to sitting on your mat to finish up with some seated twists and forward bends to complete your practice. You can see that you cycle back to where you started. Your practice ends again with savasana/corpse pose, deep relaxation in order to integrate and receive your yoga practice deeply into your body.

The poses we will be focusing on in today’s class are two standing postures: mountain pose (tadasana) and tree pose (vrkasana). Mountain pose allows you to focus on your posture and standing on your own two feet. Tree pose is a balancing pose and in addition to helping you with balance it helps you with your ability to focus.

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