When you are trying a new pose, or one that requires a little more strength, what is your inner dialog like? Yoga is very much a mental as well as physical workout.
Take note of your thoughts and self commentary as you work through these intermediate strength based exercises.
You will want two blocks for this.
- Modified Child’s Pose to Modified Push Up – Start kneeling, with hips and big toes hip width apart. Sink your hips back to heels and walk your hands forward, like a modified child’s pose. As you inhale, shift forward shoulders over wrists. Keep the elbows alongside the ribs as you bend down into a little push up. Exhale, lifting up and returning hips to heels. Do 10 rounds.
2. Thread the Needle with Leg Lift – Come to table top, shoulders over wrists, hips over knees. Reach the left hand through, lowering down onto ear and shoulder. Try extending the right leg back. Keep the right hip internally rotating as you try to lift the leg up off the ground. Squeeze the glutes and draw from the abdominals. Return to table and repeat on other side.
3. Hip Flexor Work – Come back to a neutral table top, engaging the core. Come up on the right fingertips. Flex the right foot as you lift the knee and open it out to the right, keeping it in line with the hip. Stay with knee bent or extend the leg straight out (as pictured). Lower the toes to tap them down, then lift back up. Do 10 rounds. Lower right toes down, lift upper body and take a big side bend (right hand on right leg, left one up and over) before switching sides.
4. Plank Box – Tuck the toes, walk the hands ahead slightly, lift the hips up and back to downward dog. From here reach the left leg up, bend into the knee and open the hip up. Exhale to shift forward to plank. Tap the left knee to left shoulder. Then drop it down to the left wrist, across to right wrist, lift to right shoulder, then back to left shoulder. Take 2 or 3 rounds. Then extend left leg through to right, bringing the toes down. Push into feet and left hand to reach right hand up to the sky. Return to downward dog and repeat on the other leg.
5. Warrior 2 to Goddess Pulses – Stand up, turning to the long edge of your mat and taking the feet wide. Open the arms out to the sides. On an inhale, turn the left toes to the short edges of the mat, bend into the left knee in Warrior. On an exhale, come back to center with heels in and toes out slightly, bending into both knees in goddess. Lift up, turn right toes out to short edge, bending right knee back to Warrior. Pulse through these poses about 10 times.
6. Reverse Table to L Sit – Grab both blocks and come to a seat. Place the blocks on either side of the hips on their lowest setting. Have the feet grounded on the floor in front of you. Push the hands into the blocks, lifting the hips up in reverse table. As you exhale, send the hips back, straightening the legs and pushing the feet into the mat. Do about 10 rounds.
7. Half Hero Pose – Stay seated, with left leg extended out. Bend the right knee, bringing the foot to the outside of the hip. Have the top of your foot pressing into the mat. Lift your hips up and scoop the tailbone under. Walk your hands back, maybe lowering to the forearms or using blocks to support you for this stretch. Take 10 breaths as you hold. Then repeat on other side.
These 7 exercises come from a 30 minute yoga practice on my YouTube channel and mobile app.