Pt 3. of my yoga blog is going to consist more of the core workout and the arm balance aspect of my power yoga practice. This is the part of yoga that really strengthens my core and stabilizes my shoulders for strong paddling while on the water. It is also my favorite part of yoga because of how challenging it is!
Chair is the base of multiple separate poses, this pose is naturally going to strengthen your glutes and thighs while working on balance, placing your weight on your heels. Keep your back straight and try to tuck your pelvis so you are not sticking your bum out. Sit as low as is comfortable for your knees and your strength.
You can go into boat from chair by slowly lowering your bum to the ground and then lifting your feet. A variation of this would be to keep your knees bent. This pose is brilliant for your abs, from this pose, lower down into canoe so your shoulder blades and your ankles are hovering off the floor, then lift back up again. This is great for your lower back and your abs to build core strength. You will also relieve stress and improve your digestion!
For crow, start back in chair position and place your hands on the floor while putting your knees on your elbows or into your arm pits. Slowly, lean forward onto your hands (make sure you get a good base to ensure you don't hurt your wrists). This pose will start with you just lifting one foot off the ground and then you will get two and then you can become a little balancing ball on your hands! This pose is great for increasing your arms and abs. It also stimulates confidence and reignites energy while also learning balance.
Dolphin is awkward the first time you try it, this pose really builds stabilization to your shoulders all around and I am positive it has made my shoulders stronger and much more stable. Starting in downward facing dog, place your forearms on the floor directly under your face, making a 90 degree angle with your arms and shoulders. Your legs stay in the shape as downward facing dog. You should feel a stretch in your hamstrings and also strength building to your shoulders and lower back. This posture naturally relieves stress.
To start on forearm stand, make sure your base is strong to ensure no un-needed injuries happen. Use a wall to help you when you first start this pose. From dolphin, begin to kick one leg up and slowly you will catch your balance. This pose, like most inversions, calms the brain and helps relieve mild depression. This pose also strengthens your shoulders and your core, along with your sense of balance.
This is one of my favorite poses. From forearm stand, touch your toes together and balance while bringing your feet behind you. This pose is great for stabilization and strengthening of your shoulders, also it naturally elevates your heart rate. You also are opening your hip flexors and stretching your abs. This pose is great to be practiced next to a wall.
The opposite of Scorpion is Camel. Stabilize yourself on your knees and slowly lean back, supporting your back with your hands, if you can't see the wall behind you, go no further. This posture makes you feel very vulnerable by pushing out your chest and all of your vital organs. It also is going to stretch your psoas muscles and even improve your posture. This pose is going to naturally give you a head rush, you are doing the opposite with your body that you usually do. I always feel like it gives me extra energy also.
|Knee to elbow|
Some core building moves for you are the knee to nose, knee to elbow series. From downward facing dog, lift one leg straight up. Using your core, pull your knee to your nose, curving out your back like a cat. Hold here for a second, feel where you are tight and feel your abs contracting. Lift your leg back up and then place your knee on your left elbow. Just tap at first, as your core gets stronger you will be able to bring in the balance aspect of this pose and "fly" with it.
|Knee to opposite elbow|
After tapping your knee to your elbow, bring your leg back up into three legged dog. Then, once again, using your core twist and place your elbow on the opposite knee. When starting, just tap your knee to your elbow and as your core gets stronger you can "fly" with it again.
Moving on, a lot of people have been asking to how to do a handstand. Handstands are about core strength, balance, arm strength, and huge positive mindset. From Crecent, lift off and go to Warrior III, these poses are from my previous blogs. From Warrior III use your core to lean forward and place your hands on your mat in front of your leg. Once here, start hopping with that leg to lift both of your feet off the ground. These hops are going to teach your brain what it feels like to be upside down with your arms holding your weight. Take this slowly and use a wall if you need.
After building that core strength and balance you too can do a handstand. Use a wall if you need for support but don't make it like a crutch otherwise you won't be able to do a handstand in the middle of the floor. :-)
This is my final "yoga" blog. I hope you guys found it fun to read and informative. I want to let people know that yoga is for everyone, no matter what size, shape, gender, or color. I hope this worked!!
I am now in Glenwood Springs, Colorado getting ready to head to Vail for the GoPro Mountain Games and Homestake Creek Race. Wish me luck!!
See you on the river.