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Yoga Journal USA - June_2016

practice well YOGAPEDIA

practice well YOGAPEDIA Poses of the month How to move from Matsyasana to Camatkarasana By Cyndi Lee Matsyasana } matsya = fish · asana = pose Fish Pose PHOTOS: RICK CUMMINGS; MODEL: CYNDI LEE; STYLIST: EMILY CHOI; HAIR/MAKEUP: BETH WALKER; TOP: LULULEMON; BOTTOMS: LUCY Benefits Opens the shoulders and chest; softens the often-tight middle back; stretches the neck and thyroid; offers a balance of opening without grasping, and of relaxing without collapsing Instruction 1 Sit in Dandasana (Staff Pose), with your legs extended in front of you and your spine long. 2 Slowly roll onto your back. Press your palms down and lift up onto the top of your head. 3 Walk your fingers toward your feet until your arms are straight—your elbows should be off the floor. Again press down firmly with your palms, and tuck your shoulder blades into your back; this will lift and open your chest and support your neck. 4 Keep your legs and feet strongly engaged. If it feels like there’s too much pressure on your head or spine, see the modifications on page 32. 5 Place your attention on the sensation of your breath right at the edge of your nostrils. Don’t think about or visualize the breath, but actually tune in to the feeling of the wind energy passing in and out of your body. Let your mind settle into this practice of close attention. OUR PRO Teacher and model Cyndi Lee is the first female Western yoga teacher to integrate yoga asana and Tibetan Buddhism. Founder of New York City’s OM Yoga Center (1998–2012), she now owns Yoga Goodness Studio in central Virginia and teaches workshops and trainings worldwide. Author of Yoga Body, Buddha Mind, Lee regularly writes for Yoga Journal, Real Simple, Lion’s Roar, and other magazines. She holds an MFA in dance from the University of California, Irvine, is a longtime student of Gelek Rimpoche, and is currently training for ordination as a Zen Buddhist chaplain. Learn more at cyndilee.com. Matsyasana Matsyasana modifications, page 32 Camatkarasana prep, pages 34–35 DON’T collapse through the chest and scrunch your neck and shoulders. DON’T let your feet flop open to the sides. This can put pressure on your low back. Camatkarasana, pages 36–37 june 2016 yogajournal.com 31