Yoga mat for sweaty hands – As noted in “Wii Fit Yoga Pose Overview” and “Seven Additional Poses on the Wii Balance Board”, the Wii Fit trainer, one of the most popular yoga games, often provides instructions for players to see the full expression of the yoga poses profiled, but does not include modifications, safety notes or ways to make the pose relaxing, comfortable or safe for users who are unfamiliar with yoga.
The last four yoga poses a Wii Fit player can unlock on this one of the famous yoga games are performed on the yoga mat for sweaty hands, without monitoring by the Wii Remote or Balance Board at all.
Yoga Games – Cobra Pose
Considered to be one of the most basic backbends, Cobra Pose, or Bhujangasana, strengthens both the front and back core muscle groups. Cobra is a key component of the full Sun Salutation, and is a beginner pose leading up to Upward-Facing Dog.
Safety note: When you are first practicing the cobra pose on yoga mat for sweaty hands, do not try to achieve a great deal of height in your backbend. It is better for your back muscles if you can perform a “baby cobra” pose without using your hands for support at all.
Try allowing your head to raise on inhales and lower on exhales, keeping the shoulders down and back, the elbows tucked in; let the breath lead you in and out of the pose.
Suggested modification: The pose on the Wii Fit actually begins in Sphinx Pose, a great gentle backbend if Cobra feels like it’s too much for you. Picture the famous Egyptian sculpture, with the shoulders aligned directly over the elbows, and lower the shoulders away from the ears as you actively arch your back upward.
Yoga Games – Bridge Pose
A more advanced backbend than Cobra Pose, Bridge Pose is called Setu Bandha Sarvanasana or the foreshortened Sanskrit term Setu Bhandasana. Bridge can be done safely by beginners, and is frequently performed in beginner yoga classes in studios.
A few notes on safety and form that the Wii Trainer neglects to mention:
Before beginning, the feet should be planted flat on the floor as close to the glutes as possible
Try to keep your toes pointed forward, and when you are in the backbend, try to keep your knees striving toward parallel – as if you had a grapefruit squeezed between your knees.
Place a folded blanket or towel under your shoulders and shoulder blades to protect the bony processes of the neck by providing a little distance between the neck and the floor.
Change it up:
The pose is demonstrated on the Wii in its static form. To try the dynamic version of bridge, try easing upward on exhales and rolling back down one vertebra at a time on inhales.
For a relaxing supported version of bridge, try placing a yoga block under your sacrum.
For the same backbend benefit without the pressure on shoulders and cervical spine, try Camel Pose or Ustrasana.
Yoga Games – Spinal Twist Pose
There are dozens of variations of reclining spinal twists (sometimes called Jathara Parivritti ) that can be done safely. These poses should feel relaxing and restorative.
The Wii Fit trainer’s instruction to hold the top knee down while keeping the shoulders firmly on the ground is well and good for the gymnasts dabbling with Nintendo. The recommended modification for the average human would be as follows:
Allow the upper knee to drop to the opposite side, and release any tension in the hip, letting the leg fall where it may.
Ultimately the goal is to keep the shoulder on the ground, but let it float up so that you can relax into the twist.
Feel the knee and shoulder drop on their own as you breathe into the upper ribcage and concentrate on lengthening your spine
Your breath should be long, and full. A spinal twist like this is frequently the last pose before studio instructors guide students into Final Relaxation Pose.
Yoga Games – Shoulder stand Pose
Among the yoga poses presented on the Wii Fit, Shoulder stand is perhaps the least appropriate for beginners. Shoulder stand, or Salamba Sarvangasana in Sanskrit, is most likely included to give players the benefit of an inversion. Shoulder stand Pose also provides a great stretch to the muscles deep in the neck and shoulders and can help ease jaw and neck tension.
However, it’s also fairly easy to hurt yourself if you’re doing this pose unsupervised.
First, place at least one folded blanket or towel under your arms and shoulders, allowing the head and neck to rest off of the blankets on the floor. This will prevent the bony part of your neck from being injured by bearing your weight into the floor.
Concentrate on using your core muscles in this pose
Don’t fret if you can’t get your feet all the way over your head in a perfectly straight shoulder stand. If your hips are bent a little, you’re still getting the benefits of the pose.
Recommended alternate inversion: Viparita Karani or Legs-Up-The-Wall pose. This Pose is exactly as it sounds. With the feet and knees above the head, it’s a bonafide inversion, but it is relaxing and restful without placing strain on the practitioner.
Recommended alternate neck stretch: Bridge Pose will provide the same stretch, as will Halasana or Plow Pose, which the Wii Fit guides you into prior to the shoulder stand, where you bring your feet to the floor behind your head.
In closing, there has been a great deal of skepticism regarding the concept of a yoga video game: whether it is effective, whether it takes the “soul” out of yoga. This review does not attempt to delve into opinion. For a critical review of Wii Fit, please see “A Yogi Speaks About Wii Fit Yoga”.
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