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Day 4: Beginner

Standing Poses with Jason Crandell

Standing poses like Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I Pose), Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose), and Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose) are among the first things we learn when we take up yoga. That's because their benefits are wide ranging. Practicing standing postures improves our awareness of our bodies; builds strength, endurance, flexibility, and balance; and prepares our bodies for other categories of asana. But just because they're basic doesn't mean they're simple. It can take years (or a lifetime) to master them.

In this sequence, Jason Crandell presents about 10 standing postures, including 2 balancing poses: Vrksasana (Tree Pose) and Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose). Whether you're practicing them for the first time or the thousandth time, you'll likely come away with something new. Interestingly, you'll start this exploration of standing postures on your back, creating more length and spaciousness in the legs and hip joints with the aid of a strap. A block will also come in handy.

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Challenge Tip

If you haven't invested in yoga props such as blocks, straps, and bolsters, you can always improvise. A stack of books can do the work of a block, a bathrobe belt is a good substitute for a strap, and a folded blanket can stand in for a bolster.

Today's Recipe: Chewy Granola Bars

Perfect for a pre-practice snack, these granola bars will stay fresh and chewy for days.

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