Yoga Isn’t Just for Beginners
If you’ve been practicing yoga for some time now, you might be ready to take your sessions to the next level. Yoga isn’t just for beginners, and there are so many challenging poses you can work toward during your yoga practice with our personal trainers in Mobile. You may have read our previous article on meditation with yoga, but let’s take a look at some of the more advanced yoga poses and the right technique you need to follow in order to perfect them this year.
Crow pose is one of the best yoga poses for anyone who is looking to build up their arm strength. It’s one of the best arm balances to try if you are aiming to advance your practice, and there are various modifications you can make to continue to challenge yourself. Crow pose involves you starting in a low squat with your feet hip-width distance apart. You’ll place your elbows inside your knees and then slowly start to lean forward with your hands on the floor. Make sure you keep your chin slightly lifted up, and keep bending your knees until they reach a 90-degree angle. You’ll slowly work up to lifting one foot then the next while sending your hips up into the air. Try to maintain your balance for as long as possible, but don’t get frustrated during your first attempt.
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Arm and head balances are one of the most exciting parts of a yoga practice for our team at Braxton Fitness. If you’ve not tried headstands yet, this is a good place to start before continuing on to forearm stands and handstands. Make sure you create a good base for yourself when starting a headstand, and cradle your head with your hands. Keep your arms shoulder-width apart and then slowly start to tilt your weight up. We don’t recommend kicking up into a headstand, and instead, you need to work on getting the core strength to lift up into a tucked position slowly. Once you feel comfortable on your head, you can work through various leg positions to have more fun while upside down.
Pincha, which is also known as a forearm stand, is one of the most challenging yoga postures available. We recommend positioning yourself in front of a wall to begin, but then you can work away from the wall when you feel more comfortable. Start in a downward dog, then lower your forearms to enter dolphin pose. You’ll then want to lift one leg up before lightly kicking the other to join. If you are near a wall, you can let your feet touch the wall before working to correct your posture. This position involves a lot of upper body strength, so start by practicing dolphin if you aren’t as strong in this area.
If you’ve been working out a lot with our team at Braxton Gilbert Fitness, we recommend trying mermaid to give yourself a good quad stretch. It’s a pretty posture that gives you a very deep stretch, so be patient with yourself if it’s your first time trying mermaid. It’s easiest to start this posture from pigeon pose. From there, you’ll bring the back leg up and aim to catch it with your elbow. The full variation of mermaid involves clasping your two hands, but this will certainly take some work. This is a fun posture to try after a long training session with various types of fitness instructors and will give you a deep stretch after running and cycling.
When you see pictures of yogis sitting serenely in lotus pose, you might not be aware of how challenging this position is. It’s a great position to start and end your practice, but it takes a lot of hard work to get into full lotus. When sitting down on the ground, have both of your feet extended in front of you. Start by loosening up the hips, and then bend your left leg in towards your hip. If you feel comfortable in half lotus, bring the right leg over on top.
Make sure your feet are flexed and pressed down into your leg. When you start practicing the lotus pose, don’t expect to be able to hold it for very long. It can be tough on your feet and legs, so don’t force yourself into any position which might hurt you. Take a few deep breaths in the lotus pose, and then release this posture when you are ready.
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One of the biggest challenges of flexibility in yoga is the splits or monkey pose. If you’ve been working on half monkey pose recently, this is the progression to the full splits. Of course, you need a lot of hamstring and hip flexibility for this posture, and it won’t come overnight. Many people spend years working towards the splits, so keep this in mind when trying this out at gyms in Mobile.
Start in half monkey, which involves kneeling on one knee with the other leg extended out in front. If you feel comfortable in this position, slowly start lowering yourself down towards the ground. Move inch by inch to avoid injury, and ensure you stop as soon as you feel any pain. Hold the position where you feel comfortable for a few minutes, and then repeat on the other side. Make sure you always stretch both sides to avoid becoming more flexible on one side than the other.
These advanced yoga poses will help to keep you challenged when training at a gym in Mobile, AL. You’ll find that many of these postures will take months or years to perfect, which is why they are ideal for advanced yogis. Of course, make sure you aren’t pushing your body too far, as this will only result in an injury. We encourage you to continue practicing yoga on a regular basis if you are looking to become stronger and more flexible. Yoga is the ideal way to stretch out and relax after training at our gym, which is why so many of our team at Braxton Gilbert Fitness Mobile recommend yoga to their clients.