One of the most useful things my yoga teacher taught me was to think about the essence of each pose. I still use this every day, in my own practice and teaching.
The essence of the pose brings your focus on the purpose of the pose. It helps you to understand which parts of your body are stretching and which parts are relaxing. Sometimes the essence of the pose is about how it makes your mind feel (eg. relaxed, focused) rather than about your body. Once you’ve identified the essence of the pose, you can work to modify it to suit your body, while still retaining that essence.
Over the next few months, I’m going to go through 20 of the main poses that we practise in vinyasa yoga. We’re going to start with our spinal warm-up and sun salutations.
For each pose, I’m going to provide you with the essence of the pose, some things to think about and focus on in the pose and a couple of alternatives so you can adapt the pose to suit your body.