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Yoga Postures: Beginner, Intermediate & Expert

Yoga can be adapted to every skill level. You don't have to be impossibly flexible to start practicing Yoga. There are poses that beginners can do today. You can never outgrow Yoga. Once you master one pose there is a more difficult version to test your skill and work your body. It's an exercise form that will grow with you as you move from a beginner to an expert, pushing yourself and building your strength and flexibility.

 
  • Downward Dog

    1 Beginner
    • Start this pose on all fours. Your hands should be under your shoulders and your knees should be under your hips. Slowly lift your hips toward the ceiling and straighten your legs and arms. Spread your feet so they are hip-width apart. Push your shoulders away from your ears. Drop your head so it lines up with your spinal column. Press your heels to the floor. and lift one leg off the ground and raise it so there is one long straight line from your head through the back and to the toes.
    2 Intermediate
    • In beginner position, press your heels to the floor and lift one leg off the ground. Raise it so there is one long straight line from your head through the back and to the toes.
    3 Expert
    • While in the Downward Dog pose, bring your feet closer together so your body's weight is centered between the right arm and left leg. Lift your right leg into the intermediate position. Once you feel well balanced, lift your left arm to your side so it points the same direction as your right toes.
  • The Crow

    1 Beginner
    • Start in the downward dog posture. Bend your knees and elbows and walk your feet forward until the knees touch your elbows. Lift your feet onto the toes. Rest your knees on the upper half of your arms. Use your abs to press your feet into the upper arms.
    2 Intermediate
    • From the beginner position, pull your abs in toward your spine and squeeze your inner thighs. Shift your weight forward until you feel balanced between your hands then lift your toes off the ground.
    3 Expert
    • Fro the intermediate position, start to lift your right leg toward the ceiling. Spread your toes and stretch. Slowly allow your leg to return to intermediate position and lift your left leg to the ceiling.
  • The Lunge

    1 Beginner
    • Begin in the downward dog position. Step your right foot forward to the inside of your right hand. Keep the knee in line with your ankle, it should not over extend. Drop your left knee to the floor and allow your hips to dip toward the ground.
    2 Intermediate
    • From the beginner position, rotate your left leg so you can press your left heel into the floor creating a strong, straight leg for balance. Press the heel into the ground. Straighten your torso by pulling in your belly and pushing down on your tailbone. Lift your arms over your head, palms together.
    3 Expert
    • From the beginner position, lean your upper body forward from the hips, keeping a neutral back. Slowly lift one leg off the ground as you straighten the other. Stretch your arms out in front of your chest with your palms together.
  • Bridge Pose

    1 Beginner
    • Lay flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet hip-width apart. Your shoulders should be relaxed and your arms should be loose at your sides. Press your heels and shoulders into the ground and lift your hips toward the ceiling. Place a blanket under your shoulders if your have neck problems. Keep your hips and stomach in a straight and elevated position.
    2 Intermediate
    • From the beginners position, clasp your hands together underneath the hips keeping them nice a long. Try to elevate your hips even further off the ground with each inhale.
    3 Expert
    • om the intermediate position, center your balance over your arms, shoulders, and left leg. Slowly lift your right leg and hold it so it forms a straight line with your stomach and hips.
  • Cobra Pose

    1 Beginner
    • Lay flat on your stomach with the tops of your feet lying on the ground. Place your hands on the floor under your shoulders. Roll your shoulders away from your ears. Flex you back and stomach muscles and raise your head and chest off the ground. Don't push off the ground with your hands. As you get comfortable with this exercise, use your hands to push yourself up a little further. You should not feel any pain in your lower back. If you do then stop and reposition yourself or dont arch your back so far.
    2 Intermediate
    • Start in the beginners cobra pose. As you come up into the cobra stance, try to look over your left shoulder to see your right heel. Return your head to the center position then look over your right shoulder.
    3 Expert
    • This pose takes time, practice and lots of stretching to be able to perform. From the beginners pose, little by little lift your chest, stomach, and pelvis off the ground using your upper back muscles and abs. Feel your back arch one vertebrae at a time. Hold each vertebrae position for 15-20 seconds. Repeat this daily until you can bend your entire torso almost straight off the ground. Remember not to bend so far that your lower back hurts. If it does, then you need to continue to build up strength and flexibility. Begin building your leg power in the same way you built your back power, a little at a time, until you can place your feet on your forehead. When releasing from this extreme posture, do so a little at a time. Give your body time to recover.

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