Maybe you’ve now begun practicing yoga on a regular basis, a few times a week, for maybe a few months now. Maybe even a year or two. You feel like you are becoming stronger and need to advance things to the next level. Here are some tips on how to do that.
It all starts with a downward facing dog. In yoga, we do a lot of downward facing dogs and planks because it is a great transition into other poses and is great for building core strength.
Some people love them, some people hate them. In my opinion, if you hate them, something in your form is off. Hands and feet should be the same width apart; hip-width apart. This will keep your body weight equally balanced. Then shifting your hips back towards your ankles is important. Next squeezing your shoulder blades together. The final step and most important is to breathe! You should now be comfortable in this position.
Once you are comfortable in downward facing dog, you can begin having fun with it, adding variations. First is a 3 legged dog. Raising one leg, continuing with your breathing and keeping your hips in line. Try to imagine someone hanging from your ceiling with a string wrapped around your raised foot stretching your leg away from your body.
Add another variation. Bend your right knee, stacking your hips. You can also begin to open up your body, leaning towards your right side. This will teach you how far you can push your balance.
Let’s add another variation. Come back into downward facing dog. Come down onto your forearms. Walk your feet closer to your elbows in a dolphin pose. Bearing more weight onto your forearms. This variation will build your strength to come into a forearm stand. A forearm stand requires so much core strength. I still struggle with it.
Final tip. A beautiful pose that I think most people can work up to is a crow pose. I recommend using a yoga strap placed right underneath your shoulders for this pose to keep your elbows from going out to the sides. With your hands on your mat, (hip-width) began leaning forward coming up onto your tiptoes. And you can lean forward and back testing your balance. When you feel you are ready to advance the pose, lean forward resting the inside of your knees right underneath your shoulders; a few inches above the strap. You can also place a pillow in front of you to catch you if you fall. Gaze forward and round your back.
There’s no rush and no need to feel it needs to be perfect. Each time you practice, you will improve. But you do need to practice. It’s the only was to improve and build your core strength.