Strike a Pose!

SDYC Presenters tell us why they love their favorite yoga poses.

The powerful effects of yoga poses, or asanas, are what bring and keep most people coming to their mats. Asana is a Sanskrit word for pose or posture. And, while everyone has their favorites and their reasons why, we thought it would be fun to share some of the most-loved asanas of a few of SDYC's past and present Presenters.


Marilyn Castilaw, East Wind Yoga, Roseville/Auburn

2017, 2018, 2019 SDYC Presenter

Favorite Pose: Triangle (Trikonasana)

Why: It is perhaps the friendliest pose that I am acquainted with. But my favorite pose is usually the one I am working to get closer to " getting" with but still requires more dedication to access its secrets. Well, I guess that is all of them then, huh?


Gail Bowers, Yoga with Gail, Ft. Lauderdale

2016, 2018, 2019, 2020 SDYC Presenter

Favorite Pose: Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)

Why: It is a powerful and grounding pose.



Laurie Johns, USD Wellness Center, Vermillion

2018, 2020 SDYC Presenter

Favorite Pose: Triangle (Trikonasana)

Why: In a well grounded triangle I am able to radiate outward to the far reaches of the universe.


Clarissa Thompson, Spearfish Yoga, Spearfish

2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 SDYC Presenter

Favorite Pose: Cobbler's Pose (Baddha Konasana)

Why: Hard to choose honestly. I love so many. One of my favorite poses is Cobbler's pose because of the connection of the feet and hands. They create a circuit of energy in the body and I love that reminder that everything is connected, applies to us and to everyone we encounter. I also love the stretch!


Monique Mueller, Kula Yoga, Sheridan WY

2019, 2020 SDYC Presenter

Favorite Pose: Half Moon (Ardha Chandrasana)

Why: Freedom.



Tara Ledbetter, Chadron NE

2019, 2020 SDYC Presenter

Favorite Pose: Mountain (Tadasana)

Why: It helps to ground me and settle me. Finding a solid foundation for myself and reconnecting to the earth always helps to quiet my mind and appreciate whatever is going on around me.


Cary Thrall, Cat Scratch Designs, Lower Brule/Deadwood/Lead/Spearfish

2019, 2020 SDYC Presenter

Favorite Pose: Seated Side Bend (Parsva Sukhasana) and Extended Side Angle (Utthita Parsvakonasana)

Why: There's so many, and it shifts for me. Right now, there are two worthy of favoritism. I love these poses for the deep side stretches they provide in my torso, neck and shoulders. The Parsva Sukhasana is good for my warm up and once I'm flowing, the Utthita Parsvakonasana because I feel my whole body subtly harmonizing in power and grace and the stretch is incredible.



Scottie Bruch, Sturgis Yoga, Sturgis

2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 SDYC Presenter

Favorite Pose: Supported Bridge with a Block (Setu Bandhasana)

Why: This is currently my favorite pose because I just love how it FEELS. The block supports my sacrum perfectly, making me feel open but safe at the same time.


Rajni Puranjot Kaur, Lotus Studio at Moccasin Springs, Hot Springs

2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 SDYC Presenter

Favorite Pose: Reclined Pigeon (Supta Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)

Why: I have L4 Spondylolisthesis which can cause lower back & hip pain. It’s become part of my daily sadhana.


Jillian Anawaty, Vibrant Life Yoga & Pilates, Rapid City

2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 SDYC Presenter

Favorite Pose: Wheel Pose (Chakrasana)

Why: I am not good with choosing favorites. But if I must, the first that came to mind is chakrasana, or wheel pose. I find it incredibly liberating.



Charmaine Houck, Wildly Aligned Wellness, Brookings

2019, 2020 SDYC Presenter

Favorite Pose: Goddess Pose (Utkata Konasana)

Why: I have big thighs and it makes me feel strong.


Shannon Steele, Big Sky, Montana - Santosha Wellness Center & worskshops at The Station Foundation

2020 SDYC Presenter

Favorite Pose: Funky Cat/Cow (Marjaryasana/Bitilasana Variation)

Why: This pose allows me to really tune into my body. Physically, I become attuned to areas where I am holding tension and areas that feel really good... I am able to wake my body up - moving in my shoulders, neck, spine and hips. I am free and playful in this pose, making shapes that emphasize FEELING good and am not concerned about what the pose looks like. I can easily connect my breath with movement in this pose, creating rhythm in my practice.


Cat Croteau, Sol Yoga Collective, Rapid City

2018, 2019, 2020 SDYC Presenter

Favorite Pose: Corpse (Savasana)

Why: So often I'm working, playing with kids, and dealing with life. To be able to lay down and do nothing but breathe, what a gift!



Do you love these asanas as much as the Presenters? And, for the same reasons? If not...that's one of the beautiful parts of yoga! Everyone is different and the asanas that call us back to our mats hold their own unique powers, mysteries, and results for each of us. Go experience your favorite asana right now and then reflect on why you love it so much!


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© 2019 by SD Yoga Conference

Mountains and Plains Yoga Conference   SD, WY, ND, NE, MT, CO, MN

PO Box 804, Sturgis, SD 57785

sdyogaconference@gmail.com