Yoga 101: Length & Strength

Welcome back to my Yoga 101 series! I am so excited to share a few more powerful yoga poses with you all! If you aren’t familiar with this series, I encourage you to check out my last two posts before reading this one, but it is completely up to you! I will link my first post here, and the second one here. In each post, I share a few yoga poses with you and I describe in detail how you will get into the poses. I have been doing yoga for a year and a half now, and I have seen incredible improvements with my flexibility, strength, and overall wellbeing (including my mindset). With that being said, please keep in mind that I am not qualified to teach yoga and I am still learning myself, however I do feel that my practice has allowed me to confidently know these poses inside and out. I hope you will take in what I want to share today!

In my last post, I discussed the warrior poses, however there was one that I missed. So, today I will be sharing reverse warrior, side angle, and triangle. These poses are all about lengthening the body, and staying strong (as are most yoga poses). These are not exactly the easiest poses to stay in, but trust me when I say you do feel very powerful when you get it right! Remember that these poses are often done in a flow, however it is important to learn how to do them on their own before moving at a faster pace in a flow. I recommend watching along with the videos in my Yoga 101 highlight on my Instagram, @sacchere14) Especially if you have never done yoga before. If this is your first time getting into these poses, you are probably going to think I am typing complete gibberish! If you are more advanced, you may not need a video, but it will always be on my Instagram if you do! Try your best to follow along, and take your time!

Reverse Warrior

For this pose, we are going to start as if we are already in warrior II. Again, if you need to refer back to my last post  or my Yoga 101 highlight on my Instagram, please do. Starting off in warrior II, your feet are going to stay exactly as they are. When you are in warrior II, your palms are facing the ground, however that will change slightly for this pose. With the hand that is out in front of you, you will turn the palm to the sky. The back hand will slowly land either directly above or below the back of the knee (you never want any lateral pressure on your knees. This can cause pain or discomfort). If you aren’t feeling very flexible, place it above the back of the knee, and if you are more of an experienced yogi, try placing it below the back of the knee. As for the arm in front, you will lift it up to the sky. Any time your arms are lifted above the head, it is easy to allow your shoulders to lift too, but try to keep that front shoulder down as the arm lifts high. Keep in mind that in yoga, height is not exactly the priority; it is all about length. Although your back arm is down, try not to collapse or allow your side to scrunch into this pose. Lift and lengthen the body. When in this pose, you can keep the gaze low.

Side Angle

Once again, let’s start off in warrior II. Your feet are going to stay in the same position for this pose, but your arms will be moving. Make sure you are bending into that front knee, and that your knee is right above your ankle (in a right angle). Then, you will bring your front arm down as the forearm lands on the thigh gently. Remember that you shouldn’t press too hard into your thigh, it is really your thigh that should be strong in order to lightly support the forearm if it is needed. When you are here, your back arm is going to lift straight up. Make sure that your shoulders are not scrunched up to your ears. Relax them down as you reach up. If this is already intense for you, then you can stay here. If you are looking to advance in your practice a bit more, try moving the back arm over your head to feel an even deeper stretch. Be sure that you are not collapsing into the front hip. It is all about lengthening and lifting the body, even when you are in a pose where your body looks like it is leaning off to one side, you should never let it fall. When you are here, you can either look straight forward or up to the sky if you want a challenge.

Traingle

Starting off in Warrior II again, you are going to want to adjust your feet to get into triangle. Instead of having your back foot angle in slightly, as you do for warrior II, you are going to have it facing out to the side completely. Once you’re here, you will straighten the front leg. Remember not to lock out your knee; you want a very slight bend in it so that you do not cause any knee injury. Now, you will place your front hand down on your shin (or above the knee if you cannot get that low). Your back hand will once again lift up to the sky. I know I’ve said it before, but I will say it again: never collapse into these poses. Although it seems like you can just relax into these poses, you really want to lengthen and lift to be able to feel and see the benefits. Plus, if you just allow gravity to take over and dip too low, you wouldn’t be doing the poses correctly. Think of it as lifting up and out of these poses rather than sinking down. Your torso should be long and strong. You can keep your gaze down toward your feet or up to the sky. When doing these poses in a flow, try to move gracefully as you go!

I hope you have enjoyed today’s post! I love doing yoga, and I really do want to share those benefits with you, so if you are hoping to start learning yoga, now is a great time! Be safe and know that you may not get it 100% right on the first try. You have to have the determination and understanding that with time, effort, and practice, you will get it in to time! Thank you for reading!

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