Seated Poses + Forward Bends


YOGA VIDA
Posture Center

SEATED SPINAL TWIST

English/Sanskrit Seated Spinal Twist/Half Seated Fish, Ardha Matsyendrasana

Level Basic

Alignment From a Lunge, sit your back knee down outside the front foot. Sit down inside your back foot and see that both sitz-bones are anchored down evenly into the floor. Make sure the front heel is in-line with your knee. Take the same hand behind your low back as the top leg, lift your opposite arm and lengthen through your side ribs. Twist in the same direction as your top leg, and hook your elbow outside your thigh with your fingers facing up. Gaze behind you.

Modifications If both sitz-bones don’t anchor down and one hip stays lifted, try this posture with your bottom leg extended straight forward. If the lower back is rounding, sit on a blanket.

Do not perform if you have sacrum instability or a serious sacrum injury.

If you're pregnant, twist in the opposite direction as the top leg.

Benefits Stretches hips and spine, stimulates internal organs, and improves digestion and elimination. Balances ego.
Posture Center

ANKLE TO KNEE POSE

English/Sanskrit Ankle To Knee/Fire Log Pose, Agni Stambasana

Level Basic

Alignment Sit down, and stack your shins directly on top of each other. Keep your top ankle over the bottom knee, the bottom ankle under the top knee, and flex your feet. The space in between your thighs should make an equilateral triangle. Bring your hands in line with your hips and lift your chest. Fold forward as you maintain the length in your spine.

Modifications If your top knee is lifted up, place a rolled blanket under it so your groins can release.

If both sitz-bones don’t press into the ground, extend the bottom leg straight forward.

If your back is rounding, keep your torso up and work on drawing your shoulders down your back. Sitting on a blanket will also help.

If you are unable to perform Ankle to Knee Pose, start by bending your bottom knee so your foot presses onto floor. Take the ankle of your other leg, and place it on top of the thigh of your bent knee. Lift your chest and press your knee forward.

Do not perform if you have a serious knee, lower back, or hip injury.

Benefits Stretches hips and groins.
Posture Center

ANKLE TO KNEE POSE VARIATION

English/Sanskrit Ankle To Knee/Fire Log Pose Variation, Agni Stambasana

Level Basic

Alignment Sit down, and stack your shins directly on top of each other. Keep your top ankle over the bottom knee, the bottom ankle under the top knee, and flex your feet. The space in between your thighs should make an equilateral triangle. Bring your hands in line with your hips and lift your chest. Fold forward as you maintain the length in your spine.

Modifications If your top knee is lifted up, place a rolled blanket under it so your groins can release.

If both sitz-bones don’t press into the ground, extend the bottom leg straight forward.

If your back is rounding, keep your torso up and work on drawing your shoulders down your back, as shown here. Sitting on a blanket will also help.

If you are unable to perform Ankle to Knee Pose, start by bending your bottom knee so your foot presses onto floor. Take the ankle of your other leg, and place it on top of the thigh of your bent knee. Lift your chest and press your knee forward.

Do not perform if you have a serious knee, lower back, or hip injury.

Benefits Stretches hips and groins.
Posture Center

ANKLE TO KNEE POSE VARIATION

English/Sanskrit Ankle To Knee/Fire Log Pose Variation, Agni Stambasana

Level Basic

Alignment Sit down, and stack your shins directly on top of each other. Keep your top ankle over the bottom knee, the bottom ankle under the top knee, and flex your feet. The space in between your thighs should make an equilateral triangle. Bring your hands in line with your hips and lift your chest. Fold forward as you maintain the length in your spine.

Modifications If your top knee is lifted up, place a rolled blanket under it so your groins can release.

If both sitz-bones don’t press into the ground, extend the bottom leg straight forward.

If your back is rounding, keep your torso up and work on drawing your shoulders down your back. Sitting on a blanket will also help.

If you are unable to perform Ankle to Knee Pose, start by bending your bottom knee so your foot presses onto floor. Take the ankle of your other leg, and place it on top of the thigh of your bent knee. Lift your chest and press your knee forward, as shown here.

Do not perform if you have a serious knee, lower back, or hip injury.

Benefits Stretches hips and groins.
Posture Center

HEAD OF KNEE POSE

English Head of Knee Pose, Janu Sirsasana

Level Basic

Alignment Sit down with your legs extended forward. Bend one knee into your chest and open it out to the side. Place your foot on the inner thigh of your opposite leg. Lift your chest and turn your shoulders to face the extended leg, maintaining equal length on both sides of your torso. Fold forward, maintaining the length in your spine. Take ahold of your front foot, and reach your chin toward your shin.

Modifications If your bent knee is lifted up above the ground, place a rolled blanket underneath to fill the space.

If your back is rounding, sit on a blanket and work on lengthening the spine.

If you can’t hold your front foot without extensive rounding in the back or bending your front knee, loop a belt around your front foot and inch your torso forward from your ribs.

For hyperextension in your front knee, place a rolled towel under your knee to keep your joint in alignment.

Benefits Stretches hamstrings, groins, and spine. Aids digestion. Calms brain, and helps resolve past.
Posture Center

HEAD OF KNEE POSE VARIATION

English/Sanskrit Head of Knee Pose Variation, Janu Sirsasana

Level Basic

Alignment Sit down with your legs extended forward. Bend one knee into your chest and open it out to the side. Place your foot on the inner thigh of your opposite leg. Lift your chest and turn your shoulders to face the extended leg, maintaining equal length on both sides of your torso. Fold forward, maintaining the length in your spine. Take ahold of your front foot, and reach your chin toward your shin.

Modifications If your bent knee is lifted up above the ground, place a rolled blanket underneath to fill the space.

If your back is rounding, sit on a blanket and work on lengthening the spine, as shown here.

If you can’t hold your front foot without extensive rounding in the back or bending your front knee, loop a belt around your front foot and inch your torso forward from your ribs.

For hyperextension in your front knee, place a rolled towel under your knee to keep your joint in alignment.

Benefits Stretches hamstrings, groins, and spine. Aids digestion. Calms brain, and helps resolve past.
Posture Center

REVOLVED HEAD OF KNEE POSE

English/Sanskrit Revolved Head of Knee Pose, Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana

Level Flow

Alignment Sit down with both of your legs extended forward. Bend one knee into your chest and open it out to the side, lowering your knee to the floor. Pick your ankle up, and open your knee wider out, placing your foot outside your pubic bone. Twist toward your bent knee. Take the opposite hand to your bent knee and lift your chest, keeping both sitz-bones grounded. Lift the opposite arm and lengthen your side ribs. Lean toward your front foot, keeping your toes flexed. Cradle your shoulder into your inner thigh and grab the outside of your front foot. Turn your chest toward the sky.

Modifications If the full posture is not available, it’s not necessary to grab your front foot. Keep reaching through your fingertips. If you need more stability, let go of your knee and place your forearm down to the floor or a block inside your front knee.

Benefits Stretches side body, spine, shoulders and groin.
Posture Center

REVOLVED HEAD OF KNEE POSE VARIATION

English/Sanskrit Revolved Head of Knee Pose Variation, Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana

Level Flow

Alignment Sit down with both of your legs extended forward. Bend one knee into your chest and open it out to the side, lowering your knee to the floor. Pick your ankle up, and open your knee wider out, placing your foot outside your pubic bone. Twist toward your bent knee. Take the opposite hand to your bent knee and lift your chest, keeping both sitz-bones grounded. Lift the opposite arm and lengthen your side ribs. Lean toward your front foot, keeping your toes flexed. Cradle your shoulder into your inner thigh and grab the outside of your front foot. Turn your chest toward the sky.

Modifications If the full posture is not available, it’s not necessary to grab your front foot. Keep reaching through your fingertips. If you need more stability, let go of your knee and place your forearm down to the floor or a block inside your front knee, as shown here.



Benefits Stretches side body, spine, shoulders and groin.
Posture Center

BOUND ANGLE POSE

English Bound Angle Pose/Cobbler Pose, Baddha Konasana

Level Basic

Alignment From a seated position, bend your knees into your chest and open them out to the sides. Lift your chest, and use your hands to open the arches of your feet as the outer edges of your feet press together. Keep a long spine, press your elbows back along the sides of your torso, and fold forward.

Modifications If your back is rounding, sit on a blanket. Keep a long spine and stop folding forward when your back begins to round extensively. Draw your shoulder blades down and across your back, away from your ears.

If your knees don’t reach the floor comfortably, place a rolled blanket under each knee, filling the space to the ground.

Do not perform if you have a serious lower back injury (such as a bulging disc), a serious knee injury, or pain in your knees.

Benefits Stretches groins, thighs, lower back and knees. Stimulates abdominal organs and improves circulation.
Posture Center

BOUND ANGLE POSE VARIATION

English Bound Angle Pose/Cobbler Pose Variation, Baddha Konasana

Level Basic

Alignment From a seated position, bend your knees into your chest and open them out to the sides. Lift your chest, and use your hands to open the arches of your feet as the outer edges of your feet press together. Keep a long spine, press your elbows back along the sides of your torso, and fold forward. Modifications If your back is rounding, sit on a blanket. Keep a long spine and stop folding forward when your back begins to round extensively, as shown here. Draw your shoulder blades down and across your back, away from your ears.

If your knees don’t reach the floor comfortably, place a rolled blanket under each knee, filling the space to the ground.

Do not perform if you have a serious lower back injury (such as a bulging disc), a serious knee injury, or pain in your knees.

Benefits Stretches groins, thighs, lower back and knees. Stimulates abdominal organs and improves circulation.
Posture Center

INTENSE STRETCH POSE

English/Sanskrit Seated Forward Fold/Intense Stretch Pose, Paschimottanasana

Level Flow

Alignment From a seated position, extend your legs forward. Press your hands down in line with your hips and flex your feet. Lift your chest. Release your shoulders down your back and draw your navel in. Fold forward as far as you can while maintaining length in your spine. Hold the outside of your feet if it is available. Modifications If your back is rounding, sit on a blanket, and don’t fold as far. Instead, keep your hands in-line with your thighs or knees, and work on pulling your chest and ribs forward, lengthening your torso up away from your hips. If you can’t reach while maintaining length in your spine and legs, loop a belt around the arches of your feet.

For hyperextension, place a rolled towel under your knees to protect the joint, or keep pressing the backs of your knees toward the floor without lifting your heels.

Do not perform if you have sciatica or any serious hamstring or lower back injuries.

Benefits Stretches hamstrings and spine. Stimulates abdominal organs and improves digestion. Invigorates nervous system and calms mind. Resolves past.
Posture Center

PIGEON PREP POSE

English/Sanskrit Pigeon Prep Pose, Eka Pada Rajakapotasana

Level Flow

Alignment From Down Dog Split, roll your chest forward until your shoulders are over your wrists, and draw your knee into your chest. Place your knee behind the corresponding wrist, and move your shin as parallel to front edge of the mat as is comfortable. Square your hips forward, lengthen your back leg, lift your chest and draw your navel in. Fold forward. Walk your arms forward. If your shin is parallel to the front edge of the mat, flex your foot. If your shin is at a diagonal to the front edge of the mat, point your foot. Modifications If there is a lot of space under your hip, place a rolled blanket under your hip and extended thigh.

If your hips are flexible, move your front shin parallel to the front edge of the mat and flex your foot. Place a rolled blanket under your hip and extended thigh to create space in the hip joint.

Do not perform if you have a hip injury or knee pain.

Benefits Stretches thighs, groins, psoas, and hips. Stimulates abdominal organs.
Posture Center

PIGEON PREP POSE VARIATION

English/Sanskrit Pigeon Prep Pose Variation, Eka Pada Rajakapotasana

Level Flow

Alignment From Down Dog Split, roll your chest forward until your shoulders are over your wrists, and draw your knee into your chest. Place your knee behind the corresponding wrist, and move your shin as parallel to front edge of the mat as is comfortable. Square your hips forward, lengthen your back leg, lift your chest and draw your navel in. Fold forward. Walk your arms forward. If your shin is parallel to the front edge of the mat, flex your foot. If your shin is at a diagonal to the front edge of the mat, point your foot.

Modifications If there is a lot of space under your hip, place a rolled blanket under your hip and extended thigh, as shown here.

If your hips are flexible, move your front shin parallel to the front edge of the mat and flex your foot. Place a rolled blanket under your hip and extended thigh to create space in the hip joint.

Do not perform if you have a hip injury or knee pain.

Benefits Stretches hamstrings and spine, strengthens legs. Stimulates abdominal organs and improves digestion. Develops grounding.
Posture Center

TABLE TOP

English/Sanskrit Table Top/Purvottanasana

Level Flow

Alignment From a seated position, bend your knees and place your feet on the floor parallel and hip-width distance apart. Place your hands about 6 inches behind your hips with your palms facing down and your fingers facing forward. Press into your hands and feet, and lift your hips up in line with your knees. Release your head back.

Modifications If you're lightheaded or if your hips are not in line with your knees, keep looking forward.

If you have tension in your lower back, squeeze a block in between your thighs and press your hips up.

Do not perform if you have severe wrist pain or an overactive thyroid.

Benefits Stretches thighs, groins, psoas, navel, chest, shoulders and wrists.
Posture Center

BOAT POSE

English/Sanskrit Boat Pose, Navasana

Level Advanced

Alignment From a seated position, bend your knees into your chest and hold behind your thighs. Pull your chest forward and balance on your sitz-bones. Point your toes and extend your legs up. Reach your arms forward with your palms facing each other and parallel to the floor. Lift your chest, draw your navel in and sit forward on your sitz-bones.

Modifications If your spine rounds, bend your knees, keep your toes and knees in line, and pull your chest forward.

Do not perform if you have a serious back or neck injury.

Benefits Strengthens abdomen, spine and hip flexors. Draws waist in and develops core. Improves digestion and stimulates kidneys, intestines and thyroid gland.
Posture Center

SAGE MARICHI POSE A

English/Sanskrit Sage Marichi Pose A, Marichyasana A

Level Advanced

Alignment From a seated pose, keep one leg extended and bend the other knee into your chest. Place your foot a few inches away from your thigh, keeping your heel in line with the sitz bone. Lean into your hand on the same side as the extended leg. Press your hand down in line with your hip. Reach your other arm straight up and lengthen your side ribs. Lean forward and reach your arm in front of the shin of your bent knee. Bend your elbow, and take a bind behind your back. Lift your chest. Fold forward toward your extended leg.

Modifications If the bind isn’t possible, use the same hand as your bent knee, and reach for the outer edge of your front foot. Place the other hand outside your hip. Work on getting low, and pulling your chest forward.

If the bind is almost possible, use a belt to connect the space between your hands.

If you have limited mobility in your pelvis, sit on a blanket.

Do not perform if you have serious lower back or hamstring issues, or sacrum instability.

Benefits Stretches spine, shoulders, and hamstrings. Stimulates abdominal organs and nervous system.
Posture Center

SAGE MARICHI POSE A VARIATION

English/Sanskrit Sage Marichi Pose A Variation, Marichyasana A

Level Advanced

Alignment FFrom a seated pose, keep one leg extended and bend the other knee into your chest. Place your foot a few inches away from your thigh, keeping your heel in line with the sitz bone. Lean into your hand on the same side as the extended leg. Press your hand down in line with your hip. Reach your other arm straight up and lengthen your side ribs. Lean forward and reach your arm in front of the shin of your bent knee. Bend your elbow, and take a bind behind your back. Lift your chest. Fold forward toward your extended leg.

Modifications If the bind isn’t possible, use the same hand as your bent knee, and reach for the outer edge of your front foot. Place the other hand outside your hip. Work on getting low, and pulling your chest forward, as shown here.

If the bind is almost possible, use a belt to connect the space between your hands.

If you have limited mobility in your pelvis, sit on a blanket.

Do not perform if you have serious lower back or hamstring issues, or sacrum instability.

Benefits Stretches spine, shoulders, and hamstrings. Stimulates abdominal organs and nervous system.
Posture Center

SAGE MARICHI POSE C

English/Sanskrit Sage Marichi pose C, Marichyasana C

Level Advanced

Alignment From a seated pose, keep one leg extended and bend your other knee into your chest. Take the same hand as your bent knee behind your lower back. Lift your other arm up, and lengthen your spine. Hook your elbow outside your bent knee, and twist in the direction of your bent knee. Wrap your arm around your knee, and clasp your wrist behind your back. Follow the twist with your gaze.

Modifications If the bind isn’t available, hook your elbow outside your bent knee, and keep your fingers facing up.

If your spine is rounding, sit on a blanket.

Do not perform if you have serious spine issues.

Benefits Stretches spine, shoulders, and hamstrings. Stimulates abdominal organs and nervous system.
Posture Center

SAGE MARICHI POSE C VARIATION

English/Sanskrit Sage Marichi Pose C Variation, Marichyasana C

Level Advanced

Alignment From a seated pose, keep one leg extended and bend your other knee into your chest. Take the same hand as your bent knee behind your lower back. Lift your other arm up, and lengthen your spine. Hook your elbow outside your bent knee, and twist in the direction of your bent knee. Wrap your arm around your knee, and clasp your wrist behind your back. Follow the twist with your gaze.

Modifications If the bind isn’t available, hook your elbow outside your bent knee, and keep your fingers facing up, as shown here.

If your spine is rounding, sit on a blanket.

Do not perform if you have serious spine issues.

Benefits Stretches spine, shoulders, and hamstrings. Stimulates abdominal organs and nervous system.
Posture Center

3 LIMBS FACE ONE FOOT POSE

English/Sanskrit 3 Limbs Face One Foot Pose, Trianga Mukhaikapada Paschimottanasana/Ardha Virasana

Level Flow

Alignment From a Lunge, lower your back knee down and point your back foot. Move your hips back, and sit down inside your pointed foot. Keep your knees together, and lift your chest. Fold forward and hold your front foot.

Modifications If you feel unbalanced, or if there is unequal pressure in your sitz­‐bones, place a blanket under the sitz­‐bone of your extended leg.

If your spine rounds extensively, come onto your fingertips and keep them in line with your thigh, knee, or ankle. Focus on reaching your chest forward.

Do not perform if you have a serious knee or lower back injury.

Benefits Stretches and cleans ankle, knee, and thigh. Stimulates abdominal organs and increases circulation in pelvis.
Posture Center

3 LIMBS FACE ONE FOOT POSE VARIATION

English/Sanskrit 3 Limbs Face One Foot Pose Variation, Trianga Mukhaikapada Paschimottanasana/Ardha Virasana

Level Advanced

Alignment From a Lunge, lower your back knee down and point your back foot. Move your hips back, and sit down inside your pointed foot. Keep your knees together, and lift your chest. Fold forward and hold your front foot.

Modifications If you feel unbalanced, or if there is unequal pressure in your sitz­‐bones, place a blanket under the sitz­‐bone of your extended leg.

If your spine rounds extensively, come onto your fingertips and keep them in line with your thigh, knee, or ankle. Focus on reaching your chest forward, as shown here.

Do not perform if you have a serious knee or lower back injury.

Benefits Stretches and cleans ankle, knee, and thigh. Stimulates abdominal organs and increases circulation in pelvis.
Posture Center

COMPASS POSE

English/Sanskrit Compass Pose, Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana

Level Advanced

Alignment From a seated position, bend one knee and cradle your shin into your chest in-­between your forearms. Hook your knee as high as possible over the same shoulder. Place your hand beside your hip and lean into your hand. Extend your arm. With the opposite hand, grab the outside of your foot, crossing your hand on top. Look under the armpit of your lifted arm and extend the top leg. Lean back and roll your chest open toward the ceiling.

Modifications If you have limited flexibility in your hamstring or hip, keep cradling your shin into your chest.

Do not perform if you have a serious hip, shoulder, hamstring or groin injury.

Benefits Stretches groins, hamstrings, shoulders, hips and the sides of your body. Stimulates abdominal organs.
Posture Center

COMPASS POSE VARIATION

English/Sanskrit Compass Pose Variation, Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana

Level Advanced

Alignment From a seated position, bend one knee and cradle your shin into your chest in-­between your forearms. Hook your knee as high as possible over the same shoulder. Place your hand beside your hip and lean into your hand. Extend your arm. With the opposite hand, grab the outside of your foot, crossing your hand on top. Look under the armpit of your lifted arm and extend the top leg. Lean back and roll your chest open toward the ceiling.

Modifications f you have limited flexibility in your hamstring or hip, keep cradling your shin into your chest, as shown here.

Do not perform if you have a serious hip, shoulder, hamstring or groin injury.

Benefits Stretches groins, hamstrings, shoulders, hips and the sides of your body. Stimulates abdominal organs.