Part 2 of Ashtanga yoga poses covers the remaining standing postures, from "reverse prayer" to warrior 2.
The next Ashtanga Yoga Pose is prayer forward fold (Utthitta Purvottanasana).
Your hands are in prayer behind the back with legs in the same position as in twisting triangle. You then bend forwards.
If you can't do prayer you can make both hands into fists and put them together, or fist one hand. Or have the backs of your hands together.
To make it easier to get your arms into this pose you can roll your arms inwards and again focus on using pectoralis minor.
Enter this pose by stepping your right leg back and then turning 180 degrees to the right so that your right leg is in front and your left leg behind. Do this on an inhale.
Exhale and fold.
Inhale to stand and turn to face your left leg. Exhale fold.
Inhale up and face the side, reaching your arms out to the side as you do so.
Exhale to mountain pose.
Hold each side for 5 breaths.
One possible aid for remembering how this pose follows the last four is that in the wide leg forward bends the legs are symmetrical and straight forming a pyramid shape. In this pose, the hands are together and form a pyramid shape.
After parsvottanasana (Prayer Behind the Back), the next two ashtanga yoga poses in the standing series are balance poses.
In hand to big toe pose (Utthitta Hasta Padangusthasana) you balance on one leg while holding on to the big toe of your lifted leg.
You could use a strap or belt to lasso your foot. Or you can bend the knee and grab it If you have trouble gripping you could also grab the side of the foot.
Inhale and then exhale to mountain. Repeat on the other side.
In Half Bound Lotus (Ardha Baddha Padmasana) you bend forwards while one leg is in lotus. The bind happens when you grab your big toe from behind your back.
If you are uncomfortable in lotus you can fold your shin to the outside of the thigh. You can then practice balancing even though you aren't in half lotus. Another option is flying pigeon, standing with your standing knee bend and the "lotus" foot resting on the standing leg knee like in pigeon pose.
To help remember the order, think straight leg balancing on one leg first, then bent knee. Or think upright with leg straight and then fold the lift leg and the body as you bend forward.
For lotus, bring the right leg into lotus and reach the same side arm behind the back. Bend forward. Take your time in this.
Exhale to mountain pose. Repeat on the other side.
These three postures are possibly placed at the end of the standing sequence as a way of boosting heat prior to beginning the seated sequence of postures.
You could also think of them as a way to practice stabilizing the legs or strengthening them.
This sequence of yoga poses is a little bit like a modified sun salutation B.
In utkatasana, you can bend your spine backwards or keep it straight. It can feel really nice if you make your lower back feel full.
When you bend your knees sink your hips back. Lean your chest forwards for balance.
Neck long, reach your arms up.
For warrior 1, the hips are square to the front. Sink your pelvis and reach your spin and arms up out of your pelvis. Vary between sinking down low and keeping your pelvis square to the front.
In warrior 2 the pelvis is turned to the side. Use your side thigh muscles to pull the bent knee back so that the knee is over the foot viewed from the front and from the side. Look at your front arm in this ashtanga yoga pose but stay aware of your back arm. Neck long!
From mountain pose, inhale lift the arms. Exhale fold. Inhale reach forwards, exhale to chaturanga dandasana. Inhale up dog, exhale down dog, inhale into utkatasana.
Hold for five then do a sun salute to downward dog. Inhale right foot forward warrior 1.
Inhale stand and turn and exhale into the left side.
Inhale and turn and exhale into left side warrior 2. Then inhale and exhale to right side.
Hold each of these poses for 5 breaths.
After the final warrior 2 do a sun salutation and finish in downward dog. From there jump forward to seated to begin the seated set of ashtanga yoga poses.
Friction and pressure are two simple techniques that I use to help my students get stronger and more flexible. These simple techniques also offer a roadway into not only learning how to activate your muscles, but getting a feel for them and your body. Three challenging yoga poses that I use these techniques in are chaturanga, front splits and side splits. While they might not help you get all the way down into the splits, they'll help you feel stronger, and more integrated as you work towards them. And because I've got to pay for my daughters schooling this week, I'm offering a discount on the frictional muscle control videos. (First 100 people only can save over 30%).
Active stretching teaches you muscle control to not only improve flexibility but also body awareness. You'll learn how to adjust postures for better feel as well as more control through a broader range of motion.
Standing exercises for low back pain plus anatomy that can affect the low back and how to use that anatomical understanding.
Experience your body (and understand it) with sensational yoga poses.
Is it a bad idea to heel strike while barefoot running? What are the possible benefits of heel striking? When should you not heel strike?
These yoga poses for abs work on the abdominal muscles (and hips) in both standing positions and seated positions.
Sensational yoga poses, lessons to help you enjoy the experience of your body.
Here are the Ashtanga Standing Pose Vinyassas, with inhale movements highlighted in red.
These seated yoga poses have been organized into a rough routine and include lotus, virasana, janu sirsasana and marichyasana variations as well as more basic seated poses like bound angle, pigeon and seated forward bend.
In this preparation for compass pose use your arms to pull your leg towards you for a seated hamstring stretch. To modify, use a strap.
Single joint hip flexors include iliacus, pectineus, obturators, gemelli and gluteus minimus. Use them to help improve your forward bends.
Sensational Yoga ebooks and videos are designed to help you experience your body while focusing on specific poses, actions or parts of the body.
Extreme stability teaches you how to work from the ground up when creating stability, whether you are doing poses on your hands or your feet (or some combination of both).
The working towards wheel pose ebook teaches you basic body first so that you can feel and control your spine, hips and shoulders, so that working towards difficult poses (in this case wheel pose) is easier.
The Muscle control for better flexibility ebook teaches you simple muscle activation techniques that can make it easier to improve your flexibility. Techniques focus on forward and back bending the hips but can be applied to other movements also.
Building up on the material for part 1, Yoga for Beginners 2 teaches you how to make your body stable for a slightly different experience of your hips and shoulders.
Video: This set of simple hip control exercises help you to stabilize the hip joint and control it. You may find these exercises help you improve hamstring and hip flexor strength and flexibility.
One approach to learning yoga is to simply practice yoga poses. The approach in Yoga For Beginners 1 is to help you to learn to feel your body while doing yoga poses.
Some of the exercises in Balance Basics includes learning to balance on the fronts of your feet as well as on one foot using weight shifting exercises. It also includes exercises for crow pose. I've included videos based on the balanace exercises in the book on this page.