WSSM YOGA: Laughing with the Crow

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LIFESTYLE . . . Daily Fitness


BENEFITS: F Stretches the toes, feet, thighs, hips, shoulders, neck, and arms. F Strengthens your core, especially the abdomen muscles. F Improves focus, concentration, balance, and endurance.

Laughing with the Crow

Check with your doctor before doing this or any other exercise program.

By Zofia Karubin | Certified Yoga Instructor


Spinal Twist: Ground yourself in standing pose, relax your arms out, inhale and roll your shoulders up and down, exhale and bring your shoulder blades together, then turn your torso and head to the left and look left, then to the right and look right, as your arms swing gently back and forth, while breathing in and out.

Crow Pose | Variation (Kak-Asana) The crow pose makes me laugh every time I practice it, and it’s a very healing pose for your spine, all the way down to your tail bone because it invigorates the abs and back muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints. Balancing yoga poses work on a mental level by clearing the mind and boosting the power of concentration. Yoga poses also stimulate the glands that balance hormone levels which makes us much happier. It’s always good to practice yoga before and after going surfing or doing any kind of strenuous activity, even mental activity, because it prepares and restores your body, mind, and spirit, and helps you stay focused, balanced and calm. The crow pose has many variations, once we learn one, it’s so much fun trying all the others, and the key is to breathe and stay centered on all levels.

Side Stretch: Inhale, reach up slowly with your arms up over your head and hands together, now gently stretch the arms and torso sideways to the left as you exhale, inhale and lift up to center, then exhale and stretch sideways to the right, and come back to center as you inhale again, then continue to the forward bend.


Begin by exhaling as you get into a squatting position with the feet far apart, and the arms between the knees. Make sure to practice on a soft surface, such as a yoga mat, on the beach, or on the grass, before attempting to perch on a rock. Place your hands on the ground below your shoulders. Fingers are spread apart, palms turned in slightly, with finger tips pressing into the ground.

Forward Bend: From a standing position, first inhale and stretch the arms up and over your head. Slowly breathe out and bend forward, reaching the arms forward, then reach the arms down, and relax your head, neck and shoulders down, while keeping the knees slightly bent, and listening to the breath. When you’re ready, lift up and roll up slowly as you inhale and ground yourself in standing pose.


Exhale, bend your elbows out and place your knees on the upper part of your arms, as close as possible to the armpits. As you inhale, gently and slowly shift your body forward while balancing on your hands until your feet come off the ground, one foot at a time may be easier at first.

REMEMBER: F Breathe deeply, stay relaxed and focused on one point in front of you. F Be very gentle with yourself and listen to your body. Don’t force or strain in any way. F Just one or two poses practiced daily will give you great benefits.


Keep your head lifted up and focus your gaze on one point in front of you. Continue breathing gently, bring the big toes together and point the toes back. Hold the pose as long as comfortable, gradually increasing the number of breaths as you practice and are able to balance longer. Finally, exhale while releasing your feet down slowly to the ground, and repeat three times. A good counter pose is the forward bend as described in the warm up and cool down section. Namaste: My inner light bows to your inner light. F

Location: Malibu, California

Zofia is a certified yoga instructor who resides in Los Angeles, California where she’s been teaching yoga for more than 15 years and practicing yoga since childhood with her mother who is also a yoga teacher. Learn at your own pace how to incorporate yoga into your busy lifestyle through the online collage of Zofia’s yoga routines from previous issues of WSSM. Go to | Outfit by Graced By Grit | Photos by: OnIt Pro LLC (

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