This Halloween, mix it up with these fun and funky yoga poses.
Halloween is just around the corner! That means it’s time to get into the spooky spirit of the holiday. Besides the scary decorations, loads of candy and crazy costumes, you can also take advantage of the holiday by adding some new, fun moves to your yoga routine.
The poses below offer some twists on your classic everyday yoga moves. These are playful and funky, and the perfect way to bring out more of your inner child to enjoy Halloween to the fullest this year! Happy Halloween!
By Jessie Wren
Extended Child’s Pose
Bring the heels of your feet together and spread your knees as wide as is comfortable. Allow your belly to rest on your thighs. Walk your hands as far forward as you can and “tent” your fingertips. Be creative; imagine your hands are spiderwebs sticking to the floor or picture yummy Halloween cupcakes under the palm of your hands. As you reach your arms forward, slide your shoulders down your back to prevent tension. Stay here a few breaths, and then make your way into Downward Facing Dog when you feel ready.
Crescent Lunge with Cactus Arms
Step your right foot between your hands into Low Lunge. Before lifting your torso, engage your inner thighs, send your right hip back and your left hip forward, ground down with your front heel and use your core to lift your arms overhead. Take five deep breaths. Then get funky and “cactus” your arms as you slowly lift your chest. Make sure to lift from your chest so you don’t compress your lower spine. Engage your belly toward your spine to protect your low back. After three breaths, slowly bring your hands down to the mat and step your right foot back to meet your left. Flow through a vinyasa or press back to Down Dog.
Half Moon Variation
From Low Lunge, spin your back heel flat and come into Warrior II. Shift your weight to your front foot, place your front hand to the top right corner of your mat, and lift your back leg to the sky. Keep your hips and shoulders stacked on top of each other. Engage your core and lengthen your tailbone toward the heel of your floating leg. Add the fun Chapasana variation in Half Moon by bending the lifted knee and grabbing the foot or ankle with your top hand. From there, keep your core engaged and continue to gently kick the foot into the hand. Stay here for a few deeps breaths.
Goddess with Eagle Arms
Bring your hands to your hips and step your feet into a wide stance (about four feet apart). Turn your heels in, toes out, and slowly begin to squat down. There should be a natural curve in your lower back, no tucking the tailbone or over-arching it. Feel your gluteus medius muscles (the side butt) engage as you drop lower into your Goddess Pose. To add the Eagle pose arms, bring your right arm under your left and wrap your forearms to allow the palms to touch. If your shoulders are tight, give yourself a hug by bringing palms to opposite shoulders instead. Your shoulders should be protracting here, meaning they are spreading away from each other and broadening your upper back. Stay in Goddess Pose for five deep breaths, then release the bind and straighten your legs. Slowly exhale and bring your hands to the floor for a Wide Legged Forward Fold. Repeat the same pose but switch arms so the left arm swings under the right this time for Eagle arms on side two.
Revolved Half Moon
From Ardha Chandrasana (Balancing Crescent Moon pose) on the right side (right foot + hand planted, left foot + hand lifted), slowly revolve your left hand down towards the mat as you lift your right arm skyward. As you lift the right arm, allow your right hip to drop down and square towards the mat. Microbend your standing leg and engage the quadricep muscle to prevent hyperextension, rooting down with your right big toe. Twist from the center of your body (think belly button) – not just the chest. Get funky by bending the lifted leg and kick your heel toward the ceiling like you’re trying to step on it. Take a few breaths, then repeat on side 2.
Revolved Chair Pose
With both feet at the top of your mat, bring your big toes to touch, squeeze your inner knees together, and sink down into a low Chair pose. Bring your hands to heart center, and hinge your torso forward over your thighs. From there, bring your left elbow to the outside of your right knee and begin to twist over the right side. Start with your thumbs pressing into heart center, and then try to straighten both your arms for a deeper twist and added playfulness. Take a few breaths in this twist. Repeat on side 2.
Revolved Side Angle Pose
Step your right foot between your palms. Spin your back heel flat with a slight angle and rise up to Warrior I. Pause in Warrior I and find length in your torso by hugging your lower belly toward your spine. Next, bring your hands to heart center and twist to the right. Place your left elbow onto the outside of your right knee and keep your back foot planted. If your back heel lifts (which is very common in such a deep twist) try a Twisted Crescent Lunge instead. Once you find the twist, press your back foot into the mat and try to keep your hips as square as possible. This is a deep twist and you should really feel it in your stomach. Take five deep breaths. Unwind and flow through a vinyasa and repeat on the other side. End in Down Dog.
Camel Pose with Lion’s Breath
Begin on your knees with the tops of your feet pressing firmly into the mat. To invite more length in your lower spine, you can tuck your toes. Press your palms into your low back with your fingertips facing the floor. Gently squeeze your elbows toward each other to find length across your chest and collarbone. Slowly lift your sternum toward the ceiling, and shift your hips forward while lifting the chest up. You should feel the backbend in your upper – not lower – spine. To protect your low back, engage your core by drawing your belly in toward your spine. Now, let’s have fun with Lion’s Breath! Take a big inhale through your nose, then open your mouth as wide as possible, stick out your tongue and exhale an audible, “Haaaaaaaaaa” sound. Feel free to take a few Lion’s Breaths to release any unwanted energy.
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All images courtesy of YogiApproved.com.