Table of Contents
6: Inhale as you bring your right leg back until your feet are together. Look at the floor just in front of your hands and make sure that your shoulders are directly over your hands and your back is straight, with a straight line through your shoulders and hips to your heels. Don't let your hips sag or 'pike' - flex to take the strain off your abs. This is the Plank pose, or Uttihita Chaturanga Dandasana.
Make it easier: Let your knees remain on the floor.
Take it further: Think about rotating your elbows in, teaching your shoulders to externally rotate into the movement.
Tip: tense your flutes and abs slightly to feel the right position better and stop yourself sagging.
7: Exhale as you lower your weight to your chin, chest and knees. This is called Eight Limbed Pose or Ashtangasana. Keep your hips high and your elbows close to your ribs - ideally, have them touching your ribs.
Take it further: Do low plank instead - slowly bend at the elbows and lower your weight under control.
Tip: Use your back muscles to extend your back as you do the pose, and keep your neck and upper chest in alignment.
8: Inhale as you come into the Cobra or Bhujangasana position. Here, your feet and knees are on the floor, your hips off the floor and your chest and head high. Again, try to elongate your spine and flex backward with the muscles of your back rather than using your hands.
Make it easier: arch your back less, keeping your elbows bent, if you're struggling.
Take it further: do upward facing dog instead, using the same posture but with only your feet and hands on the floor.
Tip: again, use your back muscles. Don't worry too much about how far back you're bending - instead, try to make the curve even through your whole spine, especially in your upper chest.
9: Exhale as you move backward into Downward Facing Dog or Ahdo Mukha Svanasana posture. Rather than push yourself into this posture with your hands, which is hard and not great for the shoulders, pull your hips back and up. Imagine yourself being pulled into the pose by a rope from the ceiling wrapped around your hippos. Once you get the movement, it isn't very difficult. Downward Dog is a good pose for relaxing the muscles on the side of your body as well as your back and hamstrings. You should be a triangle - no forward bend in your back or knees and your hips high.
Make it easier: do Child pose, or Balasana, instead. Put your knees on the floor, leave your hands where they are and rest your forehead on the floor with your hips over your feet, so you're kneeling and bending forward.
Take it further: take one foot off the floor and extend the leg behind you until it forms a straight line with your spine. Switch legs and repeat. Be careful!
Tip: making sure your downward dog is good is a great foundation for further yoga practice.
10: Inhale as you bring your right foot forward into a low lunge. The momentum of changing poses from downward dog should make the transition easy. You should end up in the same low lunge you were in in step 5.
11: Exhale as you bring the left foot back to meet the right and stand up into forward bend posture.
12: Inhale as you stand back up into the beginning posture by raising your arms as you stand, having them meet overhead, then lowering them to your sides.