Thanks so much for sending your yoga questions in! Keep 'em coming, I'm happy to help!
Question 1: Hi! I'm a yoga beginner. And a problem I always have is that my knees hurts when I'm in child's pose, tabletop position, anytime the bones are touching the floor (sometimes I get bruises). Is there anything i can do? Thanks!
Answer 1: I deal with knee pain too, so I can totally relate. You can try folding the yoga mat once or twice for a little extra padding so the knees don't hurt when you're in yoga class. You might also want to come to class a few minutes early and do your own little warm up for the knees.
Question 2: I'm so glad I found your page! I've just started doing morning yoga and yoga for strength and flexibility every morning :) I was wondering what the pose is called in 1:53 and how I can increase my flexibility on that pose? Thank you!
Answer 2: To be totally honest, I don't know the name of this pose. I would think it'd be called something like eka (one) pada (leg or foot) marjaryasana (all fours) variation? Either way, it's a pretty intense front body stretch, so to increase flexibility you'll want to work on the hip flexors, shoulders and chest. Pigeon pose is a good choice because while it focuses on the hip flexors, it also gently works the shoulders and chest. Bow pose is another good pose for front body flexibility (just use a yoga strap looped around your feet if you're not quite able to do it without). Keep practicing and the flexibility will come!
Question 3. Hi! Would you consider creating an industry-specific sequence? I work in the hospitality industry and most of us are on our feet all day (12+ hours), and often bottling emotional stress so that others may enjoy the 'experience'. This results in some seriously frazzled nerves and bodies at the end of the night! Most hospitality professionals suffer from: strain on our backs (especially low backs), super sore feet, tight shoulders, cramped necks and tennis elbow from carrying trays, chopping veggies or lifting heavy weights throughout the shift. Thanks in advance!
Answer 3: No problem! If you prefer a video, the yoga for feet sequence might feel really good. And the gentle yoga for core and flexibility video is a good option too, as a lot of low back issues tend to stem from weak abdominals. Also, check out the poses above. The hospitality industry is so stressful, so I chose a more restorative route, and picked five poses that I think address the aches and pains you describe. Breathe five to seven deep full breaths in each pose before repeating on the other side for poses two and three.
1. Child's pose - A great place to start, child's pose is a nice centering and grounding pose to calm down the mind and quiet down the thoughts. Try to actively press the hands down into the mat until you feel the armpits press toward the mat.
2. Child's pose variation - This thread the needle pose is another way to open up the shoulders and back.
3. Revolved down dog - Regular downward dog is great, but this is a nice variation. The little twist in there makes it a gentle detoxing pose. To really get the full benefits, visualize the twist initiating from the navel, look out underneath the armpit as you turn, and keep actively pushing the mat away.
4. Gorilla pose - I love this pose because it releases tension in the low back and neck, brings length to the hamstrings and provides a nice massage for the hands. The trick here is to make sure to let the head hang completely free - no tension in neck - and step on the hands until your toes are touching your wrists. The first picture here is the modified version (bent knees).
5. Happy baby pose - Good luck doing this without laughing (maybe that's part of the reason I included this in there?). Despite feeling ridiculous in it, this pose is a nice hip opener and great for the back. Tip: tilt the chin slightly down toward the chest for a long spine. If you struggle with grabbing the outside edges of the feet, just grab hold of wherever you can on the legs.
Hope that's helpful!