Stretch To Strike: Yoga Poses for Stretching your Body


What better start of a morning than stretching your body, with basic postures of Yoga? Relax your muscles and joints to let the flow of good vibes prevail in the body and mind. Stretching improves the circulation of blood in the body thus, keeps at ease your muscles for the proper functioning of body and mind. The focus on the alignment of your body through the postures becomes more strong. Boost your energy levels to have a power-packed going of the day. Join the Best Yoga Teacher Training in Bali to help yourself and others to have the body, with proper functioning systems.

Raised Arms Pose

Take your arms over your head and remain grounded in the heels. Move your shoulders away from the ears while reaching the fingertips. Look up to the hands and stretch. The pose is known to have a focused alignment of the body.

Garland Pose

Bend your knees after moving the feet to the outward edges of the mat and form a squat posture. The pose is common in children, but as adults, it helps in countering the effect of long sittings on the chairs.

Standing Forward Bend

While exhaling, bend your spine forward and fold your legs into a forward bend. Let the head hang heavy, and you can try to straighten your legs slowly. Continue the pose for 5 breaths and release. The pose helps in strengthening your thighs and legs.

Lunge Pose

To stretch your hips, quadriceps, and gluteus muscles, practice the lunge pose of stretching. While keeping your legs straight, move the feet back under your hips while your left leg is stretching to the back of the mat and bend your right knee for a deep lunge. Repeat the lunge with the left foot forward and right foot stretching to the back of the mat.

Plank Pose

After the lunge stretching, put your left foot back so that it is just next to the right foot. This is the initialization of a pushup. Hold the pose for 5 breaths and make sure the hips do not rise too high or go too low.

Seated Forward Bend

While exhaling, bring your torso over the legs in forwarding bent by remaining seated. Hold your feet with your arms stretched in front. Hold the pose for 5 breaths and release. It helps in the proper functioning of the abdominal organs.

Join the Best Yoga Certification in Bali to become a professional in the genre of Yoga and Meditation. Help others to attain peace and proper functioning of the body.

Yogic Breathing Exercises for Relaxation and Calmness


Stress is what causes the body and the brain to not be at ease. Overthinking or worries can lead to a state of physical and mental distortion, which in turn traps the human into the state of depression. 

The Connectivity between our Body, Mind, and Soul is Breath.

Stress affects adversely on the body and causes psychological deteriorations. And, this cycle is autonomous; it happens without any bound. The way to tone down the stress levels is by achieving peace. Practicing breathing Yoga regularly escalates the aligning of your body and brain to relieve from stress. Join the 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training in Bali to become a professional in Yoga and Meditation. Relieve not just yourself but the people around from stress professionally.  Have a look below to get the information about the 3 most relaxing yogic breathing practices to lower down the stress levels.

Anulome Vilom or Nadi Shodhana

The exercise of Alternative Nostril Breathing is known to be for everyone. However, pregnant women should avoid retention in the process. Delve into knowing how it is done:

  • Form Vishnu Mudra with your index and middle finger inwards to the palm.
  • Put the thumb of the right hand on the right nostril and the ring and pinky finger on the left nostril.
  • Close the right nostril and breathe through the left one.
  • Count till four and inhale.
  • Close the left nostril with the fingers to shut both the nostrils.
  • Hold the breath for a count of eight.
  • Keep the right nostril closed, free the left nostril and breathe out entirely for a count of eight.
  • Continue this for 10 minutes.

Brahmari

  • Keep focusing on your natural breathing while closing your eyes.
  • Form a Shanmukhi Mudra by closing your ears with your thumbs, placing your index finger on the lower part of the eyelids and the middle fingers to slightly close the nostrils. Place the ring finger above your lips and pinky finger below your lips.
  • The above mudra closes the mouths of six senses in the human body.
  • Breathe from your nostrils.
  • Create a snoring sound by contracting your glottis and involving your vocal cords.
  • After the completion of inhaling, exhale for a long time.
  • Create a humming sound while exhaling.
  • Visualize the sound flowing through the Third Eye Chakra, which is between the eyebrows.
  • Repeat this for six to eight times.

Become a Yoga Instructor with the Yoga Certifications in Bali. Join the 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training to achieve professionalism in maintaining peace in yours as well as others’ life.

Yin Poses for Better Sleep and Yoga Teacher Training in Bali


Need a relaxing sleep after a hectic day or facing inconvenience in having a sound sleep? Yin Yoga is the answer for it. Yin Yoga is all about maintaining a balance between your energies. Anything that is keeping your brain occupied or a physical ailment that is causing a hindrance in sleeping can be overcome by the simple yoga practices of Yin. One can join the Yoga Teacher Training to effectively learn and teach both Vinyasa and Yin Yoga. Maintain a daily routine of the postures mentioned below to have a relaxed and soothing course of sleep:

Child’s Posture

An easy and effective posture that calms the heart down. It helps with a way to restrict the outside world from affecting us inwardly and focuses our mind on the necessities. Keep your knees together and put your arms down to the side. Rest your forehead to the floor and support your torso with a bolster.

Reclined Butterfly Posture

To conciliate your mind, hold the reclined butterfly position. It lets more flow of oxygen to all organs by opening the lungs and chest while relaxing the muscles to soothe your energies. Support the area from your tailbone to the neck with a bolster and lie down with your back on the ground. Allow your knees to fall open by bending them with touching your feet and make a block under your head.

Reclined Twist Posture

Sometimes a mental detox is also required along with the physical one. The reclined twist detoxifies the brain while helping your muscles in relaxing.  Lay with your back on the ground and bend the knees, letting them fall to one side.  Look to the opposite side from the direction of your knees and cactus the arms.

Yoga Teacher Training in Bali

The 200 hours yoga certification 2019 lets you effectively teach and maintain the sequence of both Vinyasa and Yin Yoga. It provides a better understanding of how the human body works which will help in rectifying the student’s postures, and also in bettering your own practices. The certification includes the study of history and philosophy of yoga. Daily schedule for Yoga training would be:

  • 06:30-07:30 Pranayama and Meditation
  • 07:30-09:00 Vinyasa practice
  • 09:00-10:15 Breakfast
  • 10:15-12:45 Philosophy
  • 12:45-14:00 Lunch
  • 14:00-16:00 Teaching lab or Asana clinic
  • 16:00-16:30 Afternoon break and snack
  • 16:30-18:00 Yin Practise
  • 18:30-20:00 Dinner

In the course of Yoga Teacher Training in Bali, you can learn the skills of meditation along with the anatomy and physiology. The art of Chinese medicine and sequencing your body will also be a key part in it. The 200 hours yoga certification will complete with all the requirements and you can start training the students with immediate effect in any part of the world.

5 Hatha Yoga Poses and their Benefits


Most modern yoga practitioners know that hatha yoga is one of the most common styles of yoga that is practiced nowadays – next to ashtanga yoga and modern vinyasa flow yoga. This post will unveil some of the most common hatha yoga poses and explain in detail how to practice them.

Read more about our 200hr Vinyasa Yin Yoga Teacher Trainings in Bali

Hatha Yoga explained

Hatha-Yoga-Poses-Wheel

Hatha yoga is a branch of yoga that involves the physical practice of yoga asanas (postures), pranayama (breathing techniques) and meditation (dyana). Also meaning willful or forceful, hatha is often seen as the yoga of activity. Translated from Sanskrit, “ha” means sun and “tha” means moon. Therefore, hatha is the practice of balancing both, the solar and the lunar energies within you.

Hatha yoga includes most of the other styles of yoga that we know: the modern style of hatha was popularized in western world by Krishnamacharya through forms such as ashtanga (Pattabhi Jois), vinyasa (T.K.V. Desikachar) and iyengar Yoga.

As such, there is no set definition on how a hatha class looks like. Attributes that can be related to a typical hatha practice though can consist of hatha yoga poses, that is held for several breaths. This creates a slow pace exercise which can get quite intensive. Contrary to a flow style class – such as ashtanga or vinyasa yoga – where asanas are mainly held for a brief moment and where transitions from one posture into another are more smooth creating a merging character.

Read on: Yin Yang Yoga

Hatha-Yoga-Exercise-Mermaid

Hatha Yoga Asanas explained

With all postures mentioned in this article, the most important thing to know is: No teacher and no advice that you find on the internet can tell you what is best for you if it doesn’t feel good for you. Always listen to your own body what feels correct and best to you.

1. Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Hatha-Downward-Facing-Dog

One of the most famous asanas in a hatha practice is downward facing dog pose. Downward facing dog or ado mukha svanasana is main part of a typical vinyasa sun salutation flow, also known as surya namaskar.

Benefits of Downward Facing Dog Pose

Downward facing dog pose increases the blood flow as well as oxygen levels in your brain. Doing downward dog correctly, it helps with opening your chest and shoulders as well as strengthening both your arms and your shoulders. The pose also stretches the back of your legs and your spine.

How to practice Downward Facing Dog Pose

Place your hands and knees on the ground, both hip width apart with your knees right below your hip and your palms underneath your shoulders firmly grounding onto the floor. Spread your fingers so that your middle finger is pointing straight ahead. Keep your neck straight while gazing down to a point in the middle between your hands.

While exhaling, start engaging your core and slowly lift your knees away from the ground. Simultaneously, press your palms even firmer onto the ground so that your torso is lifting and your chest and shoulders start to open.

Keep your legs still bend, and allow your chest to open deeper while maintaining engagement in your core so that you’re not dropping with your ribcage. If you feel ready, now can be a good time to slowly straightening your legs even more and allowing your heels to touch the floor while maintaining the openness in your chest. Only straighten your legs to a level that it is creating a nice stretch in your hamstrings without overdoing It. Draw your navel towards the spine and try lifting your pubic bones even higher. Your gaze is pointing towards your legs and your palms press into the mat.

2. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

Hatha-Postures-Cobra

Benefits of Cobra Pose

Cobra pose stretches the whole front line of the body, creating a deep opening of the chest, shoulders, and the hip flexors as well as an opening of the intercostal area.

How to practice Cobra Pose

Cobra pose works towards an even bend in the whole spine, and – with the support of your abdomen – a deep stretch in the front body.

To start with cobra, lie down with your belly onto your mat. Place both of your hands next to your ribcage. Slightly hung your elbows in. Keep your legs straight – a little bit more than hip-width apart with the top of your feet placed on the floor.

Activate your abdomen to support your lower back in this quite intense backbend. Firmly press your pubic bones onto the ground, which again helps to support your lower back, which is crucial in this pose!

With your inhale and with the engagement of your abs, start lifting your chest with your sternum reaching up and both of your arms slowly straightening. Keep your core engaged while allowing the breath to flow in and out.

Tipp: Imagine a slight pull of your palms towards your upper body. It is important to keep your shoulders away from your ears and to draw your shoulder blades to your back. Don’t collapse with your lower thorax / ribs and lift your sternum up.

3. Warrior II Pose (Virabhadrasana II)

Benefits of Warrior II Pose

Yoga-Asanas-Warrior-2

On a physical level, warrior II helps with strengthening your legs and to open your hips, shoulders and chest while helping with a straight and upward spine. On an emotional level, warrior II pose gives you confidence and a clear focus on into which direction you want to head into. If you have something In life that you want to work on, warrior II helps with giving you a clearer direction, more concentration, and a strong will to achieve those goals.

How to practice Warrior II Pose

Starting with a standing position at the front of your mat with your feet hip width apart. Step your left foot to the back of your mat. Thoroughly ground the sole of your left foot and press it firmly onto the mat with your foot in a 90 degree angle. Next, start bending your front leg into a 90 degree angle, with your knee pointing straight forward. Feel the front of your left hip opening and your right buttocks engaging. Your front knee is in one line with your front ankle: when gazing towards your front knee, you’ll still be able to see your front toes.

With a firm and strong foundation that you set through your legs, start directing your focus to your upper body: Straighten both of your arms so that they are in one line parallel to the floor forming a natural t-shape. Your front hand is pointing straight in front of you and your gaze follows your front hand. Your spine is upright and your core is engaged, but allow the curve of your spine to remain natural. Keep your shoulders are away from your ears. Repeat on the other side.

4. Extended Sideangle Pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana)

Yoga-Asana-Extended-Sideangle

Benefits of Extended Sideangle Pose

Extended side angle pose is an amazing posture to create more strength and agni (fire( in your legs and core. At the same time it helps with lengthening and stretching the whole side line of your body. This can be either on your left or right, depending on the side that you are working on.

How to practice Extended Sideangle Pose

An easy way of entering extended sideangle pose is from warrior II pose. Place you feet hip-width apart, keep your front leg bent in a 90 degree angle with your knee pointing straight forward and your upper leg parallel to the floor. Create a nice and stable foundation with your back leg straight and your back foot placed firmly on the floor in a 90 degree angle.

Next, place your front arm onto your front thighs. As a result, your torso will create a diagonal line. Don’t collapse here by engaging your core muscles, so that your torso can almost support itself without using your arm as a foundation. Start raising your back arm up and over your head. If you can, either gaze straight ahead or up towards your from arm. Repeat with your other side.

5. Half Lord of the Fishes (Ardha Matsyendrāsana)

Benefits of Half Lord of the Fishes Pose

Half Lord of the fishes pose, also known as half spinal twist pose, helps with increasing abdominal fire and improves organ function.

  • Twists improve spinal flexibility
  • Exercises that are focusing on rotations generally improve organ function, especially function of liver and kidneys
  • Rotations of the lower spine also increase the abdominal fire – digestion and metabolism improve.
  • Twists also help with stress relief by calming the mind and nervous system

How to practice Half Lord of the Fishes

To practice half lord of the fishes, sit down on the floor with both of your legs straight in front of you. Bend both of your legs and start with your right side: Slide your left knee under your right leg, your left knee is pointing forward and your left foot is placed next to your right hip.

With your exhale, use your core to slowly rotate your torso towards your right. Place your right palm behind you on the floor, your left hand takes hold of your right knee or you can simply place your left elbow outside of your right knee, with the palm pointing away from you. Your gaze follows. With every inhale lengthen your spine and get tall in your upper body. With every exhale, see if there is a little bit more space that has been created which allows you to twist even further. Repeat on the other side.

Hatha-Poses-Half-Spinal-Twist-

Hatha Yoga Poses and their Benefits

Likewise to many styles of yoga, the aim of having a regular hatha yoga exercise is to create a healthy body, mind and soul which allows us to connect with our higher self. Combining both a physical practice of the poses with breath, creates an awareness in movement of the body as well as a mental focus. Ultimately leading to a body that is aligned, balanced and a mind that is calm is an ideal preparation for meditation.

Using hatha yoga as a holistic exercise, its health benefits mentioned above will result in better sleep, less stress, improvement of fitness, increased organ functions, and an overall healthy self. Creating a regular exercise of hatha yoga poses will help you to adapt the benefits you receive on the mat to your daily life.

Create your own Yin Yoga Sequence for better Sleep and lower Stress levels

Yoga-Teacher-Training-Bali

See our 2020 yoga teacher training courses in Bali

5 best Detox Yoga Poses to clean your Body


Our bodies all have an in-built capability of self-cleansing and detoxing which is often done automatically without us noticing it. But when we are overloaded with toxins or our organs are not working properly, the natural functions of our body to get rid of toxins weakens. This can be due to a lack of movement or other factors.

Thanks to Christmas, New Year and holiday season, most of us feel motivated to give our bodies a boost by doing some extra moves, drinking green juices and eating healthy food. But better than that, we can complement our yoga practice with a few extra poses to support our bodies’ natural ability to detox.

Especially twists, revolving poses and inversions are really helpful in getting rid of all the toxins in the body. The poses improve the blood flow, digestion, spinal health, our hormonal balance and overall energy. This supports our body to reset and give it a fresh boost.

Here are the 5 best detox yoga poses for your next practice. To help detoxing your body without the need to stress yourself with annoying diets and exhausting workouts in overladed gyms.

Find out which yoga style is the right fit for you here

1. Revolved Triangle Pose (Parivrtta Trikonasana)

Revolved Triangle Detox Yoga

Revolved triangle pose is done by standing with straight legs while twisting our upper body and bending forward which requires balance and flexibility. But at the same time, the pose helps to increase your ability to balance and flexibility of your spine. Revolved triangle pose stretches the legs and groins, opens the chest, shoulders and gives your lungs a lift.

Major benefits that come with the pose is an increase of energy and focus, a relieve of stress and tension, a greater flexibility of the spine, better digestion and an elimination of toxins in the whole body.

Twist safely by inhaling and lengthening the spine first, before going into the rotation. Engage your core and start the twist from the lower spine working your way up. Always be careful or avoid the pose when you have injuries with your lower back, knee or ankle. Feel what is best for your body.

2. Three Legged Dolphin Pose (Catur Svanasana)

Three Legged Dolphin Yoga Detox

Three legged dolphin pose is performed in prone position and involves an inversion and forward bend of the body. It increases blood flow throughout the body and improves digestion.

Lift one leg high while holding your dolphin pose with your forearms resting on the ground for an extra boost of energy, confidence, fun and blood circulation.

3. Revolved Chair Pose (Parivrtta Utkatasana)

Yoga Detox Sequence

Revolved chair pose strengthens and tones your legs and hips while simultaneously opening your chest and gently massaging your abdominal organs. Mindfully use your breath to expand your ribcage and flush your body with fresh oxygen with every inhale. Then, deepen your twist with every exhale.

Through breath and that deep rotation of the spine, your inner organs like the heart, liver and spleen are getting massaged and blood circulation is being improved.

Your digestion, respiratory and lymphatic system will highly benefit from this pose.

4. Half Lord of the Fishes (Ardha Matsyendrasana)

Half Lord of the Fishes Pose helps with gaining flexibility in the spine, chest and shoulders while at the same time stimulating digestion.

As we slowly twist and breath our way deeper into the pose, our abdominal organs and connective tissue are being massaged and firmly compressed. When releasing the twist, blood and lymphatic flow is being increased. Just imagine a sponge which, when squeezed, releases all of its accumulated metabolic waste products: It gets receptive again to soak up fresh fluids.

When done carefully working with your breath, you can get really deep in this beneficial pose.

5. Revolved reclining Hand to big Toe Pose (Supta Parivrtta Padangusthasana)

Revolved Hand to big Toe Pose (Sanskrit: Supta Parivrtta Padangusthasana) is a reclining pose done lying on the floor and practiced mostly in the closing of a yoga class. It is also a great Yin Yoga Pose as releasing and letting go of tightness in the muscles and tissue plays a much bigger role than strength and activity.

Supta Parivrtta Padangusthasana allows a deep stretch of your hamstrings and IT band, while at the same time twisting your torso and opening your chest and shoulders. A gentle massage of your abdominal organs promotes a digestive cleanse and purification as well.

Bring back balance to your life and your body during our transformative 200 hr Yin Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training at our luxurious retreat center in Bali, Indonesia. 

See our upcoming 2019 dates and courses here.

The final Pose – why Savasana really matters


Savasana is also called the ‘king pose’ of all asanas. It’s said to be the most important pose in yoga.

Many of us do have like a love-hate relationship with Savasana: From the outside, it looks like Savasana is nothing more than a well-deserved resting pose in the end of a yoga practice. We’re entering a moment where sweat starts to dry, where the heartbeat slows down, where muscles are getting tired due to heaps of sun salutations, high planks and downward facing dogs.
Then, our practice comes to an end. We are entering Savasana. It all seems so easy but yet so many of us struggle with the final pose in yoga, named as corpse pose or Savasana.

Lying still for a few minutes after a yoga class full of asanas – for many students it’s the easiest and hardest part at once.

Why is Savasana so hard to practice for many of us?

As soon as we enter Savasana, closing our eyes and trying to be still for a moment, our thoughts are kicking in with all power. Instead of being present in the moment, our brain is getting really creative in keeping us busy and distracting us from finding stillness.

Of course, there are so many things to be concerned about in Savasana. Thoughts are coming up like ‘I can’t wait to finally having my breakfast. I feel like I’m starving’. Then we judge ourselves thinking ‘why didn’t I reach the floor with my whole palm in this practice?’, or getting upset with things happening around us like ‘why is the breath of my neighbor so noisy?’, or ‘why is that little fly tickling my face now?’

Whatever it is… Our mind gets creative when it is supposed to be still. We feel stuck in a feedback loop of thoughts and judgement. And this is one of the main reasons why most of us struggle with Savasana.

How I discovered my Love for Savasana

Too often, I asked myself at the end of each class: ’Why do I need Savasana?’ I followed the instructions of my teacher because I didn’t want to refuse. All the other students in the yoga shala seemed like they were lying on their mats in serenity. And of course, I didn’t want to be the only one leaving the room, frustrated of not being able to survive those last ten minutes. But to be honest, I thought Savasana was useless. And as it was just part of the practice I surrendered to it and did what I have been asked to do.

To surrender was the one thing that I needed to learn. In Savasana, we are doing nothing from the outside. But just because it’s not visible, it doesn’t mean there is no deep work going on.

What I had to learn over time is that life isn’t just movement, strength, exercise, excitement and action. As in traditional Chinese Medicine, for every Yang side there is a Yin. For every motion, there is stillness. For every hold, there is release. For every fight, there is surrender. And for every life, there is death. This is where Savasana joins the game.
In Savasana, our practice comes to an end. It literally dies. We enter a state of surrendering, of finding relaxation, stillness and ease. Savasana provides a space for us to be still and lets our body process all the work that has been going on just a few minutes ago.

Being still for a moment allows our system to Integrate those information in order to make change and transformation happen.

How to practice Savasana?

In Savasana, there is no need to achieve something. On the contrary – the only thing you are meant to do here is to be present. It doesn’t mean you’re supposed to fall asleep. On the contrary – Savasana is there to be fully present in the moment.
To help you with Savasana, I’ve put together a few tips on how to keep your presence and how to tune into your body.

1. Breath

One method that helps you to stay in the present moment is to focus on your breath. Notice the air flowing in and out. Feel how your ribcage is lifting with every inhale and how your chest is lowering down with every exhale. Observe how it rejuvenates your mind, body and soul. Guide the air throughout your body: imagine how the fresh oxygen is being transported into your lungs, your blood vessels, and into your cells.

2. Focus on Sensations

Once you closed your eyes and found your stillness, start noticing what is happening in your body. Do you feel any heat, tingling, softness, ease or just liveliness?

Feel into those positive sensations and give them space to expand by paying attention to them. Feel them taking over your whole body and stay with that feeling for a while.

3. Relaxation

Intuitively choose an area or a muscle in your body which feels tight and calls for relaxation. It can be your shoulders, your neck or the space between your eyebrows for example.

Focus on that point and start guiding your breath into this area. With every inhale, expand the contracted muscles and with every exhale let go a little more: allow your shoulders or your neck to sink a bit deeper towards the ground while you’re breathing out. Allow the space between your eyebrows to become wider and soft.

Final Relaxation in Savasana – Benefits of corpse pose

Savasana complements the Yang part of our yoga practice with Yin. Without Savasana, our yoga practice wasn’t complete. Together, it represents the life circle of extension and compression, of inhaling and exhaling, of life and death. Savasana is the death of our practice, and gives space to what comes after.

I wish you a beautiful Savasana for your next yoga class.

Feel like you’re ready to make the next step in your yoga journey? We offer 200 hr Yoga Alliance certified Vinyasa & Yin Yoga teacher trainings on the beautiful island of Bali. Find out more about our upcoming dates here.

Marie Heintges is a yogi, writer and health passionate. She did her Yoga Teacher Training in Bali with Inner Yoga Training in May 2018.