LAUSD BEYOND THE BELL
FAMILY YOGA PHOTO CONTEST

  1. Teach a family member or relative either the Tree Pose or Warrior Pose shown below.
  2. Take a photo of your family doing one of these yoga poses together, and email your photo to LAUSDyogacontest@gmail.com or fill out the form below with your name, school, grade, & home phone number as well as the answer to the following question: ~ Describe how yoga can help your family get healthy together
  3. Take a picture of the completed contest entry form for Students Teaching Families and email that as well to LAUSDyogacontest@gmail.com or fill out the form below.
  4. ONLY 1 Picture allowed per student, and the deadline to submit picture via text March 2, 2018.

Instructions for Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

Tree Posture is a standing yoga posture that can be practiced anywhere and anytime, and benefits people of all ages and athletic abilities.  Vrksa means ‘tree’ in Sanskrit and asana means ‘pose’; hence the name Tree Pose.  It is a great posture to try with your family to improve overall balance, coordination, and concentration.

Benefits of Tree Pose:

  1. Stretches the thighs, groin, and shoulders
  2. Builds strength in the ankles and calves
  3. Helps to remedy flat feet
  4. Opens up the hips
  5. Increases focus and concentration
  6. Improves balance and physical and mental steadiness

Modifications:

  1. Ways to adapt Tree Pose to your current abilities:
    • If you are unable to bring your foot to your thigh, try resting it against your calf or ankle of your standing leg instead.
    • If you are unsteady, try practicing Tree Pose with your back against a wall or placing your fingertips on the back of a chair.
    • Bring your arms overhead and close your eyes for a greater challenge. (Exception: if you have a history of high or low blood pressure, do not raise your arms above your head; instead keep palms together in front of the chest.)
  2. If you have medical conditions, talk to your doctor before practicing this or other yoga poses.

Instructions:

  1. Start by standing with your feet together as you begin to balance and ground through your legs, like a tree with strong roots.
  2. Next, begin to shift your weight onto your left leg as you slowly bend your right leg and place the soul of your foot onto the inner side of your standing leg.  Depending on your balance, you can place your foot on the inside of your ankle, calf or thigh.
  3. Take a deep breath in through your nose as you press through the foot of your standing leg.  Exhale your breath and bring your hands into prayer position in front of your heart.
  4. Focus your gaze on a single spot as you take several deep breaths in and out through your nose.
  5. If you fee steady, slowly raise your hands into the air above your head, creating more space in your spine.
  6. Hold this pose for as long as you feel comfortable before switching sides.  Yoga works each joint and muscle of the body evenly, as opposed to most other forms of exercise which focus on one-sided or repetitive movements.

Instructions for Warrior II Pose

Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II) is a simple but powerful pose which is great for leg and core strength. Have fun practicing this posture with your family!

Benefits of Warrior II Pose:

  1. Strengthens the arms and legs
  2. Opens the chest and shoulders
  3. Tones the abdomen
  4. Builds stamina and concentration
  5. Develops balance and stability

Modifications:

  1. If you have neck problems, avoid turning your head to look over your front hand; instead continue to look straight ahead with both sides of your neck lengthened evenly.
  2. If you have medical conditions, talk to your doctor before practicing this or other yoga poses.

Instructions:

  1. Start by standing with your feet together as you begin to balance and ground through your legs.
  2. Next spread your legs wide apart with your feet facing forward and shoulder width apart.
  3. Turn your left foot out so it is at a 90 degree angle with your toes pointing away from your body; to maintain stability and balance, turn your right foot in slightly.
  4. Now raise your arms out to the sides, keeping them straight and pointing out to either side of you with your palms facing the ground. Your arms should be in line with your shoulders.
  5. Turn your head and look towards your left hand, focusing on your fingertips as you stretch your arms out to the side.
  6. Bend your left knee and relax your shoulders as you breathe in and out through your nose in this position for around 5-10 seconds before straightening your legs and switching sides.
  7. To perform this posture on the other side, simply repeat the steps above, turning your right foot out to 90 degrees while bending your right knee and looking towards your right hand.

Thank you so much for your participating in the LAUSD Beyond the Bell Family Yoga Contest!

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