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Yoga where you are: Practice any time, anywhere

Experience Fitness

Practice any time, anywhere. Fitness guru Vanessa Martin’s guide to her “Top 10 Poses.” 

Practicing yoga is about respecting and adapting to “where you are at” mentally, spiritually and physically. Because yoga is intended to be done within a small space, there is really no reason to miss a yoga workout because you are traveling, stuck in your office, etc. Let go of the limitation that you need a mat or an instructor. If you practice carefully and mindfully, you can practice on carpet, grass or whatever surface you find yourself on (drawing a common sense line at things like jagged cliffs and shell driveways, of course). If you have practiced yoga before, you already know many of the poses, but the first time you put together your own practice can be a little daunting. As a reminder of some of the most fundamental and beneficial yoga poses to work in to your practice, and how they should look, founder of fitness concierge service SIN (Strength in Numbers) Vanessa Martin has curated her “Top 10 Yoga Poses.”

Before beginning, take a couple of minutes to clear your head and set an intention for your practice. Just sit calmly for a moment, even closing your eyes. Steady your breathing and think about what you hope to achieve with this practice or your yoga practice in general. With your breathing calm and steady and your intention in mind, you are ready to begin.

1. Downward Dog (adho mukha śvānāsana)
Not only does downward dog stretch and strengthen your body, it can decrease anxiety and increase circulation.

2. Updog/Cobra (urdhva mukha śvānāsana / bhujangasana)
Updog or cobra will strengthen your back, stretch your abdomen and open your heart.

3. Warrior I, II, III (virabhadrasana)
Each of the warrior poses has different benefits, but all can help you develop aspects of your physical and mental strength.

4. Triangle (trikonasana)
Done properly, triangle pose stretches and strengthens the legs and back and is also good for digestion.

5. Tree (vriksasana)
Tree pose teaches balance while toning the legs.

6. Crow (bakasana)
Crow pose strengthens the arms and wrists, as well as the abdominal wall.

7. Pigeon (eka pada rajakapotasana)
Pigeon is a hip opening pose, which can also relieve pressure on the lower back.

8. Wheel/Bridge (urdva dhanurasana / setu bandha sarvangasana)
Backbending poses like wheel and bridge strengthen the spine, open the chest and boost energy.

9. Headstand/Shoulder Stand and Other Inversions (sirsasana / salamba sarvangasana)
Inverted poses reverse the actions of gravity on your body as you practice them, with benefits to your cardiovascular, endocrine, lymphatic and nervous systems. Practice headstand with caution, particularly if you are practicing alone.

10. Corpse Pose (shavasana)
Enjoying the peace and relaxation of corpse pose is the reward for the work you’ve put into your practice; don’t skimp on it. It lowers blood pressure and heart rate, along with a host of other benefits.

September is National Yoga Month. Celebrate by expanding your vision of the time and place for yoga. If you are traveling in NYC in September, stay at the Benjamin and put that resolution into practice in your hotel room. Notify the concierge or another member of our staff, and we will deliver a yoga mat to your room. You’ll find Vanessa’s “Top 10 Poses” Guide in your key card insert.

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