Beginners Yoga eventually branches to amature yoga. As you, the yogi grow in flexibility and in strength it slowly becomes a more difficult process. All of your muscles are sore, or you feel that you've done enough so you can take a break for the reason being that your body is where you want it to be. No pain no gain though, these seven suggestions mainly challange you to stick to your breath and push yourself to your best ability.
- Dolphin Pose
You benefit from this pose because it opens and strengthens the shoulders, the hamstrings are extended so it preps your body to be upside down in the downward dog position. While you're in downward dog just stretch to make sure your head is in between your arms, maybe pedaling your heels and pushing them into the matt to really stretch those hamstrings. From downward dog you kneel and bring your forearms down to where your elbows and palms are flat on the matt. Spread your fingers comfortably and just feel that pressure evenly through your forearms as well as your elbows and wrists. This is where you can sync your breath and take a few big inhales and some long exhales. Doing this before you get into the position is a warm up and it also creates a line of energy that helps you with stability to balance on your forearms. Now curl your toes under and keep your shoulders parallel to your elbows and lift your legs up to downward dog and keep the forearms pressed into the matt. Place your ears in line with your upper arms and keep the shoulders lifted so your neck can relax and lengthen. Inhale as you press your heels into the matt and exhale when you release. Don't let the shoulders position behind the elbows this engages the muscles your shoulders.
2. Standing Forward Fold
The benefit from this stretch is that it stretches the hamstrings and activates your inner legs. You start at a standing position with your feet together and slightly bend your knees as you fold your torso over your legs moving from the hips not your lower back. Place the hands on the mat in front of you. Inhale and as you exhale slowly straighten your legs to your best ability. Take another breath and when you exhale round your torso and try to line it up with your legs. Don’t round your upper back and roll your shoulders forward. Don’t lock your knees and round your lower back.
3. Downward Dog
Externally rotate the shoulders, spreading the shoulder blades and straightening the arms. Press into the hands to lift up. Tuck the chin under and gaze toward your navel. Engage your quadriceps and press down into the bases of your big toes. Suck your lower belly in and draw the pelvic floor upward. When you're in downward dog be sure to keep the ears lined up with your arms with your head in between. Don't make the mistake of rounding your back, try to lift your hips high so your back and core is engaged.
4. Meditation Pose
Come to a comfortable seated position. Close the eyes and focus on the breath, counting the breaths in and out to steady the mind. Hold this position for at least one minute in silent quiet reflection. Each time the mind wanders gently ask it to come back. Remain equanimous and free from judgment. Start and end this sequence with at least one full minute in silent reflection on the breath to create a calm and steady mind. This benefits you with a strong mindset and peace. Be sure to keep the back straight and keep track of your breath. Maybe try to count your inhalations and make it a goal to exhale longer than your inhale.
5. Boat Pose
Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. Press your hands on the floor a little behind your hips, fingers pointing toward the feet, and strengthen the arms. Lift through the top of the sternum and lean back slightly. Exhale and bend your knees, then lift your feet off the floor, so that the thighs are angled about 45-50 degrees relative to the floor.Lengthen your tailbone into the floor and lift your hips toward your navel. Slowly straighten your knees, raising the tips of your toes slightly above the level of your eyes. Stretch your arms alongside the legs, parallel to each other and the floor. Spread the shoulder blades across your back and reach strongly out through the fingers. If you can't straighten your legs you can keep them bent. As you do this make sure your back doesn't round, continue to lengthen the front of your torso.
Every pose should consist of 30-60 seconds. For maximum results do this everyday and do them in a sequence like a workout.