When working towards a more complex yoga poses, or what we call an apex, it is important to prepare your body first. These first 6 poses will help you be ready for Dancer’s Pose.
They will increase overall flexibility and mobility, focusing in on preparing your hips, hamstrings, spine and shoulders.
1. Lying Quad Stretch – Begin laying down on your belly. Bring the forehead to rest on your left forearm. Set the feet hip width apart. Bend the right knee, keeping everything hip width apart. Reach back with your right hand and pull the heel in towards the glute. Push into the pubic bone as you lengthen the tailbone down. Release and switch sides.
2. Lying Butterfly – Stack both forearms, and rest the forehead down. Take the knees just wider than the mat. Windshield wipers the ankles side to side a few times, noticing the difference between the sides. Then bring the soles together with knees wide. Pressing the feet down.
3. Child’s Pose with Twist – Press back with the knees wide and the big toes together. Thread the left arm underneath you, getting the shoulder as far over as you can. Bringing the left ear to the mat. Push into the right fingers to pull the right shoulder back. Melt the hips to the heels. Switch sides for the thread.
4. Standing Forward Fold with Side Bend – Come to stand at the top of the mat. Fold down, bending both knees. Bring the fingertips down. Cross the right foot behind the left, rolling to the outer edge of the foot. Walk the hands over towards the left side of the mat. Keep the left knee bent but straighten the right leg. Repeat to the other side.
5. Three Legged Dog Crunches – From downward dog, kick the right leg up to the sky. Inhale to reach up, then bend into both knees bringing the right ankle behind the left one in hovering table top. Then press up. Do 5 or so rounds of this. Repeat other side.
6. Standing Pigeon – Stand at the top of the mat with the feet hip width distance apart. Lean onto the left leg. Cross the right ankle over top of the left knee. Flex the right foot. Bend into the supporting leg. Focus on sending the hips back and reaching the chest forward. Keep the hands at the heart or bring the fingers down to the floor.
7. Dancer’s Pose – Standing back up, kick the right foot behind you. Clasp the inside of the right foot with right hand. Keep the legs hip width, not letting the knees splay open. Kick into the palm, lifting the leg up. Reach the left arm forward. Keep the hips square, and avoid letting the chest dip.
Repeat 6 and 7 on other side.
These poses come from a 30 minute deep stretch yoga class I released on both YouTube and my app.