6. Crescent Lunge
This is another commonly used pose in yoga sequences. It builds strength in your legs, and is a great hip opener for those of you with tight hips.
Crescent Lunge Instructions:
- Start in in Tabletop, the bring your left foot forward to come in between your hands.
- Step it forward enough so your leg forms a 90 degree angel and your back leg is in extension. Your knee should be directly over your ankle.
- You can place your hands on your front thigh to help yourself get a deeper hip stretch, or choose to inhale as you reach your arms up overhead to come into a mild backbend.
7. Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)
This is the second of the warrior pose family, and is a great pose to build stamina and concentration. Your body is completely open to one side of the room, you are bending through your front leg, and engaging your entire body.
You will build strength and improve your focus if you practice this pose every day!
Warrior 2 Pose Instructions:
- Start off in mountain pose with your feet hips distance apart and your palms facing forward.
- Exhale and bring your right foot back around 4 feet and have your toes pointed at a 45 degree
- Keep your toes of your left foot facing forward and make sure your left and right heel are aligned.
- Reach your arms out to the side with your palms facing downward.
- Slowly bend your left knee over your left ankle.
- Make sure your torso doesn’t lean over your thighs and keep the shoulders directly over the pelvis. Face your head forward looking over your fingers.
8. Plank (Kumbhakasana)
Plank is a very well known pose in the yoga world and the fitness world in general. People often say planks are one of the single best exercises you could perform to build core strength. If you get this pose down and can comfortably stay here with good alignment, you are doing wonders for your body.
Plank strengthens your core, your shoulders, and legs, and is a great pose to build stamina and patience. Try increasing the amount of time you hold it each time!
Plank Pose Instructions:
- Start in table top pose with your hands and knees on the ground. Make sure your hands are aligned with your shoulders and your knees with your hips.
- Bring one foot back at a time as if you are about to do a push up.
- Keep you tail bone tucked in and engage your core
- Make sure your shoulders aren’t near your ears and your elbows are drawn inward.
- Maintain a straight back.
- Hold this pose for 5 breaths
9. Seated Spinal Twist
Twists are great for your spine, and are actually great and releasing stress and tension from your body. Doing Seated Spinal Twist is also a great way to consciously improve your posture, as you need to maintain a straight back throughout this pose.
Seated Spinal Twist Instructions:
- Seated on your mat with your legs extended outward and your palms faced down on the ground (Seated Staff Pose)
- Bend your right knee and cross it over. Make sure your right foot is planted on the floor next to your left thigh.
- Bend your left leg and place your foot next to your right glute.
- Put your right hand behind your right glutei and twist gently towards your right side.
- Bring your left elbow toward your bent right knee and on the exhale go deeper into the twist.
- Hold here for 5 breaths. Lengthen on the inhale and go deeper into the twist on the exhale. Follow your breath and relax into the pose.
This may not look like much of a “pose” but I truly think it is one of the most important ones to learn and the one that is the most beneficial to your body. This is a resting pose, and the point here is to integrate the mind with the body.
You don’t need to be an active meditator or super zen yogi to practice this pose!
Corpse Pose Instructions:
- Lie down on your back.
- Spreed your feet and flop them open.
- With your palms facing up bring your arms out to the side
- Close your eyes and focus on your breath. The goal is to rest your entire body and help it restore after a long practice.