3 Iyengar Yoga Warm Up Poses

A Quick guide to 3 Iyengar Yoga poses that are excellent as a daily warm up.  Adho Mukha Viransana – downward facing hero pose, Adho Mukha Svanasana – downward facing dog , Ardha Uttanasana – standing half forward bend

  • Adho Mukha Viransana (downward facing hero pose)
  • Begin with kneeling, big toes touching and knees apart. Knees are the distance of your rib cage apart.
  • keep buttocks on heel Or use support (see below). 
  • Spread your hands. Arms straight, elbows up
  • lengthen your back body towards your buttocks
  • Roll your buttock bones under towards the backs of your thighs ( keep them rooted) and lengthen your front body towards your head
  • Feel and create length  and  space on the front and back  body
Adho Mukha Virasana - Forward Hero Pose
Kulbir demonstrating Adho Mukha Virasana – Forward Hero Pose

 Adho Mukha Virasana with support

  • If you have knee problems take more height under the buttock and/or support with a folded blanket behind knee joint
  • If the buttocks are  not firmly pressing on your heels place a pad(s) or blanket under the buttocks
  • Head must be supported on a pad or blanket or the floor
Adho Mukha Virasana - Forward Hero Pose - with supports
Kulbir demonstrating Adho Mukha Virasana (supported) – Forward Hero Pose with a block under buttocks and a brick for the head

Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward facing dog)

adho mukha svanasana with supports for hands
Kulbir doing adho mukha svanasana with supports for hands. The bricks are placed against something solid to stop them from moving
  • Start in Adho Mukha Virasana with hands on bricks
  • Spread and press your hands, separate the knees, come onto the balls of the feet, lift your hips up to the ceiling, start with knees bent
  • Take your outer shoulders back, lengthen the sides of your trunk to the hip, take the hips up to the ceiling. Keep that action as you start to straighten your legs
  • Take front thighs up towards your pelvis and back behind you. Stretch your heels down towards the floor
  • crow of the head facing the floor, look between your legs

Ardha Uttanasana (standing half forward bend)

  • Stand with feet hip width apart, hands on hips
  • Keep the front thighs lifted
  • bend forwards from your hips, lengthening your side ribs forwards
  • Place each hand under your shoulders on bricks or the floor
  • Legs straight and vertical. Grip your hips towards each other to the midline  of the body
  • Lengthen your side ribs  forwards towards your head, concave your back/shoulder blades onto your back
  • Look up if no neck problems and you have a good concave back. Otherwise gaze straight ahead, do not drop your head towards floor
  • To come out of the pose keep a strong grip in the hips, place the hand son the hips , lift the chest up and stand in Tadasana.

How to concave your back

  • If you round your upper back or want to work more gradually into the pose – take more height by using a wall or hands on a ledge / window sill or chair  and follow the instructions above
  • It is really important to keep your back concave
Half Uttanasana demonstration
Half Uttanasana with bricks. Keep a concave back!
3 Iyengar Yoga Warm Up Poses
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