Third Eye - Overview
Beginner: The Third Eye Sequence will bring the focus of the beginner to their core. In order to maintain steadiness, you must keep your center strong! This is a challenging sequence. If a pose is too difficult to maintain, feel free to modify by putting your knees on the ground. The link is third eye opening: a call for clarity of thought, insight and wisdom. On an inhale breath, place the fingertips of both hands evenly on the center of your forehead, just above your eyes. From this place, extend your arms and hands up and on exhale, glide them down and back to center. Advanced: For the advanced yogi, the Third Eye Sequence offers continual challenge! As you get comfortable moving from one pose to the next, focus on moving slowly and with as much control as possible from posture to posture. This will increase your strength and your focus! The third eye opening breath-body link allows for calming and clearing the mind while attaining a focus on making space within yourself for postive intent through releasing negative energy.
Beginner: Plank is a fantastic pose for beginners to strengthen their abdominal muscles and spine, as well as arms and wrists. Make sure to distribute your weight evenly across your hands and energize the abdominal muscles. If it is too much at first, you can bring your knees to the floor. Advanced: Advanced yogis can enhance the benefits of plank pose by continuing to widen across the collarbones and pulling the shoulders away from the ears. Check your alignment: is your spine really straight? Is the core engaged?
Beginner: Beginners working into the side plank should focus on proper placement of the grounded hand: the arm should not rotate forward or backward. The wrist of the grounded hand should rest just ahead of the shoulder. If they are stacked, the hips will push up too high. Make sure your elbow is not locked as this prevents the arm muscles from fully activating. Advanced: Advanced yogis can focus on the alignment of the whole body: the spine and hips stay neutral and straight. Are your feet stacked? Try to rest on the very edge of your grounded foot. Keep pulling your shoulder away from your ear, your arms must stay very strong here!
Downward Dog Pose
Beginner: Beginners benefit from downward facing dog as it stretches the muscles of the upper back, shoulders, hamstrings, calves, right down to the arches of your feet! Don't worry if you cannot straighten your legs in this pose, it will come with time. For now, focus on keeping the back super flat and your knees deeply bent. Begin to push the legs straight while the back stays flat, opening into the tight hamstring muscles. If you have wrist problems, be very mindful of any pain you feel in this posture. Advanced: To deepen in downward facing dog, the advanced practitioner can focus on sinking into the heels and lifting the tail bone. Keep your arms super-straight and energize the palms of the hands and fingers.
Beginner: Swan pose can be challenging for the beginning yogi as it is a deep hip opening pose. Be gentle with yourself, and go no further than your hip and groin muscles can afford. While you are learning this posture, you can put a block or towel under the hip of the front leg. The aim is to keep the hips even so give your body the support it needs to express the pose. Advanced: Swan pose is a graceful and elegant posture for the advanced yogi. Tuck your tail slightly and lift the chest. Keep lifting from the back of the head and the shoulders. Your hips are level - beautiful. Now, can you pull belly to spine on the exhale? Focus on lifting the chest, not compressing the spine. Arms are straight, gaze is lifted slightly. Feel the serenity of this pose.