8 Great Poses to Power Up Your Practice
By Danielle Mika Nagel • October 5th, 2012 • 8106 Views
These eight great poses are the perfect addition to power up your practice! If you are new to yoga asana, you may want to practice the first four postures for a while before attempting the last four. Arm balances and inversions require a heightened sense of body awareness and integration. Remember that the practice of yoga is not about “getting somewhere” but accepting exactly where you are right now. A truly advanced practice is a practice where one maintains the union of breath, body and mind.
1. Start by strengthening your entire body with plank pose. Shift your body weight forward into an upper push-up “plank” position. Make sure that your hands are about shoulder distance apart and the creases of your wrists are somewhat parallel to the short length of your mat. Your shoulders should be directly above your wrists or slightly forward. Draw your abdominal muscles in and up towards your spine and engage your legs. Stay for ten breaths and then rest in Child’s Pose or Downward Facing Dog.
2. Work your way to Chaturanga Dandasana. From plank pose, yield your shoulders slightly forward of your wrists. Keep your entire body engaged. Start to bend at your elbows and lower yourself so that you are hovering off the earth. Your arms should be at a ninety-degree angle. Make sure that your shoulders are not lower than your elbows. Hold for a full cycle of breath and rise back up to plank pose. Avoid caving into the lower back, lengthen down through your tailbone and draw in your abs.
3. Side Plank Pose / Vasisthasana. Start in Plank Pose. Bring your feet together to touch at the back of your mat. Walk your right hand up about a hand’s distance and extend your left arm towards the sky. Always keep a slight bend in your elbows. Bend your knees and lengthen the tailbone down. Keep your abdominals engaged and draw your bottom ribs in. If you feel stable, keep your left foot on top of your right foot. If your breathing is labored, place your left foot on the floor in front of the right foot. Stay for five to ten breaths and repeat on the other side.
4. Boat Pose / Navasana. A strong core is essential to maintaining ease in arm balances and inversions. Start seated. Bend your knees and place your feet flat...
Yoga, asanas, inversions, handstand, power yoga, poses, arm balances, plank pose, side crow, crow pose, danielle, danielle mika nagel, 8 Great Poses to Power-Up Your Practice, advanced practice