At Salamba Yoga, we are huge proponents of props – after all, “salamba” means “with support”! However, we also understand that affordable props are not always accessible but if we take a closer look at our surroundings, we would find that walls, counters, windowsills, doors other household objects can act as a perfect prop for our yoga practice.
One such place that’s full of easily available props is your kitchen. Yes, you read it right, it’s your kitchen. This blog will shed light on how to do some yoga asanas in your kitchen area, in between cooking your favorite recipes.
Ardha Uttanasana/Half Forward Fold:
Ardha Uttanasna is a good starting posture – it relaxes the back and brings a sense of calm and relaxation as you move into other asanas. Use your kitchen counter to move into this pose to help loosen up your lower back and stretch your hamstrings. Here are some instructions to move in and out of the posture:
- Rest your hands on the kitchen counter at shoulders width apart or slightly wider for stiff shoulders.
- Walk your feet back until the point your trunk gets parallel to the floor and bring your hips and ankles in one line so that they stack on top of each other.
- Anchor your hands nicely by pressing into inner and outer sides of the palms equally and rotate the shoulders externally, this will bring the shoulders away from the ears.
- Bring the lower ribs into the body and don’t let your ribcage to sink toward the floor.
- Push the thigh bones back and pull the knee caps up.
- Stay as long as you feel comfortable.
Parsvottanasana/Intense Side Stretch Posture:
Use your kitchen counter to do this “kitchen” variation of the posture which really works on stretching internal rotators of the shoulder joint. You need a kitchen counter and a water bottle to do this yoga asana.
- Rest your elbows on the edge of the kitchen counter. Grab the plastic bottle or something non-breakable in between the base of the palms. Fingers should be pointed. You can use a folded towel to rest your elbows on the edge of the counter in case the edge creates discomfort in the skin.
- Step your left foot back and right foot should be facing the front. Back foot can stay facing the front as well.
- Press the back foot’s outer heel firmly down and spread the front foot’s toes nicely.
- Push your buttocks backward and try to keep both legs straight.
- Sacrum should move into the body and space between back of the shoulders should spread nicely.
- Stay in this yoga posture as long as possible and repeat to the other side.
Trikonasana /Triangle Posture:
Triangle posture is a good groin opener and gives good exercise to the trunk provided we do it correctly. The kitchen counter can be used again to gain nice length in back of the legs and to feel opening in the rib cage area. Trunk elongation becomes easy in this “kitchen” variation.
- Spread the feet one leg distance apart with your back touching the counter. Bring the right outer foot touching the base of the counter and left foot pointing out 90 degrees.
- Left foot can stay slightly away from the counter and right leg can touch the counter.
- Exhale and bend the trunk over to the left side by bringing your hand forward on the counter.
- Bring your right arm stretching diagonally out to the side away from the body.
- Try to move the left side of the trunk away from the counter and right side toward the counter as much as you can to work on the trunk.
- Release the posture and repeat on the other side.
Parsvakonasana/Side Angle Posture:
- Spread the feet one leg distance apart with your back touching the counter. Bring the left outer foot touching the base of the counter and right foot pointing out 90 degrees.
- Right foot can stay slightly away from the counter and left leg can touch the counter.
- Exhale and bend the right leg at the knee keeping the knee in line with the ankle. Press the back foot firmly to the base of the counter.
- Bring the right arm forward on the counter so as to elongate the trunk.
- Release the posture and repeat on the other side.
Kapotasana/Standing Pigeon Posture:
Problems like sciatica and lumbago are easy to manage with the standing pigeon stretch. It releases the tensions from the piriformis muscle and also provides relief from the piriformis syndrome. We will use the kitchen counter again for this pose, however, if the counter height is too much for you, you may use a stool or blocks to adjust. If that is the case, make sure that the floor is not slippery and perhaps use a yoga mat to keep the stool from slipping.
- Bring the right foot up on the counter. The right shin bone is resting on the counter as well. Roll the top of the right foot to the counter.
- Left foot should be placed right under the left hip.
- Keep the trunk straight and chest lifted.
- Try to keep the grounded leg strong and firm.
- Lift the arms up and rest it on the wall in front (if available) by bringing the hands into cup shape.
- Trunk should be elongated and side ribs should be moving along.
- Release and repeat to the other side.
Urdhva Marichayasaana/Standing Twist Posture
This posture provides a good hamstring stretch along with a thoracic twist. The kitchen countercan be used for this yoga asana as well.
- Bring the right leg up on the counter by keeping the right leg straight at the knee joint. Left grounded foot should be in line with the left hip. Stool or a yoga block can be used underneath the grounded foot in case of higher kitchen counter.
- Lifted leg’s ankle and knee cap should be facing the ceiling and left grounded foot should be pointing forward as well.
- Press the sacrum into the body and lift the arms up overhead.
- Exhale and rotate the trunk to the right with your arms parallel to the floor and moving sideways as shown in the picture.Please note that women in period should twist to the left side and should attempt the closed twist.
- Inhale Bring your arms and trunk back to the center and repeat the posture to the other side.
We hope you found our cues helpful and make this a part of your kitchen routine.
We are currently offering online yoga teacher training courses and personalized online yoga classes, group and individual. Contact us today for more information or to book your complimentary initial consultation.
Salamba Yoga also conducts yoga teacher trainings and retreats in Nepal and India. Our yoga courses are designed carefully to cater to the needs of different individuals in a method centric way. Prop usage and yoga adjustments are an important part of our yoga programs. For more information on yoga courses in Nepal click here.