Triangle - Overview
Beginner: Triangle is an invigorating sequence that will call you to explore your balance, stretch the backs of the legs and the spine. Be mindful of your stance. Bend your legs or change your focus to assist you in the postures. The Heart Opening breath body link will help develop strength in muscles not typically used. Can you feel tension in your ankles and on the hip rotators? Keep your feet parallel to one another. On the inhale, focus on the expansion in the chest. On the exhale focus on contraction, your chin tucked in slightly to elongate your spine.
Advanced: Get right to the core of your practice in this fun sequence! Focus on alignment and even distribution of weight through the foot. Can you reach even farther? Once you are comfortable with the Heart Opening link, focus on your energy. Inhale and extend energy out from your core, letting tension leave with it. Exhale and return your hands to centre with fresh energy. Feel revitalized and open, ready to begin the sequence.
Beginner: Triangle will help you build strength in your legs and ankles while improving your balance and concentration. If straightening your front leg creates an uncomfortable stretch in your hamstring, keep that knee bent while you press through your back leg, super straight. We deepen in triangle by shifting our focus from the earth to our top hand. Careful! It is easy to lose balance here.
Advanced: To deepen your expression of triangle, focus on bringing your chest parallel to the floor as you reach out from center. Squeeze your leg muscles to pull energy through the legs into center. Concentrate on extending the spine parallel to the floor and keeping your shoulders away from your ears. Your fingers are glued together and your chest, open.
Beginner: Revolved triangle will stregthen the ankles and legs while testing the balance of a beginner yogi. If you are uncomfortable, placing your hand on a block may help you attain the posture. You may also keep a slight bend in the front leg if it is uncomfortable to completely straighten it. Placing your hand near the inside of the foot or simply looking down may help you establish balance in the posture as you are growing accustomed to it.
Advanced: Your body easily finds revolved triangle at the advanced stage. Now focus on really stretching and reaching through the arms. Are your legs straight? Lift through your hips and really ground your feet.
Head to Knee
Beginner: Head to knee appears to be a simple pose, but do be very mindful of the width of your stance. If there is too much pull in the hamstrings, bring the back foot in. You may also bend the front knee to be more comfortable in the pose. Hands should be placed on either side of the foot with your head sinking towards the front knee.
Advanced: The advanced yogi can deepen in head to knee by lengthening the spine and lifting the chest while in the fold. Think of laying the whole of the upper body along the length of the front leg. Are your hips square? Make sure your feet and knees are straight and not rotating inward or outward.
Beginner: Begin with an awareness of your alignment. Your front knee should bend to be in line with your foot and go no further. This protects the knee from injury. Keep your hips and shoulders even. Is your back leg completely straight? Is your weight evenly distributed across both legs? You should feel all points of your foot pressing into the ground.
Advanced: As an advanced practitioner, Warrior I is a strong and confident pose for you. Bring your focus to your tail bone, dropping it down and tucking it under as you lift your chest and shoulders up and back. Feel the energy from your core extend through the sides of your waist and straight up through your arms to your fingertips. Take your gaze up to the fingers, feeling the power of your focus.
Beginner: For now focus on becoming familiar with the physical expression of the pose. Check your alignment - is your bent knee directly over your foot? Is your back leg straight? Are your feet in one line? Drop your shoulders and reach with your fingertips. Feel your body's length.
Advanced: Your muscles now know where to take you on the mat. Turn your focus to deepening into the pose. Sink into your hips, opening them slowly by keeping your upper body completely still as you move in and out of the posture. Can you feel your front hip open to allow for this movement? Feel the power of the exhale breath; core is tight; eyes are focused.