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Bryant Park Yoga is back in New York City for its 12th season, featuring teachers curated by Yoga Journal. This week’s featured instructor is Terri Bahr Barnett of Lyons Den Power Yoga, who taught at Bryant Park last week.
Practicing yoga outside reminds you to connect with the earth. The following FIVE poses root down into the ground, allowing you to expand and create more space within your body and mind. Hold each pose for 5 breaths.
Tree Pose (Vrksasana)
Start in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Stand tall and ground down into the earth with your left foot, drawing the muscles of your left thigh upward. Bend your right knee and place your right foot high up on your left thigh. Press your right foot firmly into your left thigh as you press your left thigh into your right foot, creating a balance of energy. Bring your hands together at your heart in Prayer and find your balance as you set your gaze out in front of you. Take a deep breath in and gracefully raise your arms over your head. Take 5 deep breaths in Tree Pose (Vrksasana), then gently bring your hands back to your heart. Release your right leg down to meet your left and bring your arms down to your sides to Tadasana. Repeat on the other side.
2. High Crescent Lunge
From Tadasana, step your left foot back into High Lunge, keeping your back heel raised. Ground down into the earth with your front foot and the ball of your back foot. Engage the muscles of your thighs and hug into your midline. Interlace your thumbs together and from your foundation, reach your arms high into the sky.
3. Airplane Pose (Virabhadrasana III variation)
From High Lunge, root down with the four corners of your front foot, reach both arms back, hover your chest over your right thigh and take flight in Airplane Pose. Create more stability by engaging your left leg and foot, pressing back as you square off your hips. The more you press into your standing foot, the higher your heart can soar.
4. Standing Split (Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana)
From Warrior III, bring your hands to your heart and bow forward, folding your torso over your right leg in Standing Split. Place your hands on either side of your right foot and ground down with your standing foot. Firm up your standing leg by lifting your kneecap as you draw energy from the earth up through your right leg, allowing expansion into your forward fold. Use your breath to draw your left leg up and expand all the way through your left toes.
5. Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana)
From Standing Split, bring your hands to your heart, place your right hand down directly under your right shoulder and bring your left hand to your left hip. Stack your left hip directly over your right hip and align your left shoulder directly above your right. Root down into the earth with your standing leg as you lift up and extend out of your raised leg and arm. Expand in all directions. Take 5 deep breaths in Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana), then release out of the pose by bending both knees and bringing your left foot to meet your right foot. Ground down with both feet as you rise up to stand, arms to your sides in Tadasana. Repeat poses 2–5 on the other side.
READ MOREBalance Mind & Body: Half Moon
Bryant Park Yoga classes take place every Tuesday and Thursday through Sept. 23rd. Follow the Bryant Park Yoga series at #YJendlessYOGAsummer.