10 Yoga Poses for Artists
Written by Kyle Miller
Yoga allows us to learn about ourselves and gain insight into the world. We learn tools that make handling life easier, more joyous, and integrated. By taking ownership of our physical health, we empower ourselves to go further, to fully own our narrative threads, our emotions, and our lives. These are simple postures that will help you bring your imagination into your body! Move energy and inspire yourself!
1. Strike the Match:
This is a pranayama (breathwork) technique to stoke our internal fires. Sit up on a block or cushion, kneeling like I am, or cross legged. Begin to rock forward and back, creating friction, contact and heat! Your whole spine and central nervous system will warm up and you will feel energy moving upwards!
2. Down Dog:
Come to a plank pose, then lift your hips up to create an inverted V shape. Take a slight bend in your knees, so you can really revolve the sit bones up. Hands should be shoulder width apart and feet, hip width. Start with 5 breaths and build from there. Moving from plank to dog and back again several times can feel really nice.
3. Pyramid Pose:
From Dog, step one foot forward, and bring the back foot in, so you have a short stance, about 3 feet. Take an inhale to pull your chest forward, and on the exhale fold towards your front leg. This is an incredible posture for lengthening the back of the legs and alleviating back pain! Start with 5 breaths, per side.
4. Warrior 3:
This is a powerful and empowering posture. From standing, take a small bend in one knee as you raise the other leg behind you. Allow the torso to cantilever forward. One option (that I always take) is to put your hands on blocks for added support. 5 breaths, each side.
5. Standing Forward Fold:
Take your feet hip width apart or wider and have a nice, generous bend in your knees. Allow the torso the drape, drip, hang and release over the support of the legs. You can grab opposite elbows, allow the arms to dangle, use the hands for support on the earth or any other arm variations you can think of. 10 slow, deep breaths.
This posture is for fun and joy so absolutely don't take it too seriously. Allow your energy to move! Hands down shoulder with apart, look forward on the mat 6 inches in front of your hands. Start with small controlled hops, keeping your legs together!
7. Side bend:
From sitting crossed legged (or however works for you) take a nice bend, opening up the side body channels. Breathe into the length and space!
8. Seated forward fold:
Turn inward for inspiration with this simple and humble posture. From sitting extend your legs forward, and take a generous bend in each knee. Try to fold forward and fit your armpit son to your kneecaps. Drop your head and take 10 slow, deliberate breaths.
Open up the front body with this simple backbend. Lay down, press your elbows into the mat, lifting your chest up and allowing the crown of the head to make contact with the earth. You can reach your arms overhead like I am in the pic, or keep your elbows down. Alternatively, you can slide a pillow under the bra line and take a supported fish, which has all the same benefits.
10. Reverse Prayer:
From sitting, take your hands behind your back into a reverse prayer. If that isn't working, interweave your fingers. Close your eyes and take a few breaths, allowing the collarbones and shoulders to reset.