Advanced Yoga Poses for Flexibility!
As you practice yoga, you may begin to see significant changes in your body. However, it’s clear, that investing in a yoga practice is not solely about the physical body. The philosophical components of yoga also have a positive effect on your mental, emotional, and spiritual being. Yet, practicing asanas, does affect bodily structure. Here are 4 questions to answer that will help determine if you’re ready to practice advanced yoga poses for flexibility.
How Long Have You Been Practicing Yoga?
The length of time that you’ve been practicing yoga will help indicate your readiness to practice advanced yoga poses. Consequently, if you’ve had a consistent practice for at least 6 months, you can start thinking about evolving your practice.
Having a daily practice or at least attending sessions several times a week during that 6 month period with good instruction, is a good indicator of advancement.
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How Do You Feel?
In addition to the consistency of your asana practice, awareness of how your body feels, will help you know if you’re ready for advanced poses. With your general practice, you may have experienced gains in your physical strength, mobility, and flexibility. It is also important to be aware of any injuries or other limitations that may hinder you from advanced yoga poses.
Do You Want to See Your Practice Evolve?
Furthermore, may be your mental state toward the practice. Do you still have a desire to see your personal practice evolve? If you’re wanting to grow and continue to experience positive benefits from your practice, then it seems you’d be ready to proceed.
This also means being ready to take on a new challenge. Wanting to achieve greater flexibility with advanced yoga poses, requires patience. It takes time and effort to become proficient in practicing more advanced yoga poses, ultimately to an end personal goal.
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What Are Your Goals?
Know exactly what you want from your new yogic challenge. What parts of your body would you like to gain more flexibility? Be specific when setting your goals. For example, perhaps you’d like to gain more flexibility in your back. Your focus, therefore, may be on advanced yoga backbends. Maybe you’d like to gain greater flexibility in your hamstrings. Practicing the advanced posture of Hanumanasana, can be one way to enhance your flexibility.
Let’s take a closer look at this particular posture:
How to Practice Hanumanasana:
Hanumanasana is a yoga splits posture. It will provide release, strength, and flexibility in your hips, hips flexors, back, and hamstrings. As an advanced yoga posture for flexibility, you will want to ease your way into the pose. You can do this by using yoga props: four yoga blocks and a blanket.
How to practice the splits as an advanced yoga pose.
You’ll need to be on a smooth surface to use this method of Hanumanasana.
- Start by kneeling at the front edge of your yoga mat. Place a blanket or towel on the floor in front of the mat.
- Place your right foot on the blanket (like you’re genuflecting). Have one yoga block on either side of you.
- Stack the remaining two blocks under your right leg.
- Maintain stability and balance by placing your hands on the blocks on either side of you.
- Slowly slide the blanket directly forward to extend your right leg. Make sure the stacked blocks remain under your hamstrings. The blocks act as supportive props to sit on while you move forward into the splits.
- Keep your left knee on your yoga mat as you continue to slide forward.
- Pause when you have reached your maximum stretch. Hold for 10-20 breaths to allow your legs to become accustomed to this challenging posture.
- When you are done, engage your core, and slide the blanket back with your right foot to come out of the pose. Be sure to practice the pose on the other leg.
Over time, you’ll be able to remove the blocks from underneath you. You’ll eventually be able to perform the full splits on the floor with no support.
When practicing the splits or any other advanced yoga pose for flexibility, be sure to mindfully answer the questions regarding your full readiness to take on this challenge.