In cross leg stretches you can twist, side bend and forward bend while sitting with legs crossed. You can also "lift yourself up."
If you have difficulty sitting upright with crossed legs, then an option is to sit with one shin folded to the outside of the thigh in a semi-kneeling posture. This is also a good option if you have difficulty bending forwards with legs crossed.
While sitting cross legged you can practice backward bending and forward bending the spine. Start by lifting and lowering your tailbone so that your lumbar spine alternately bends backwards and forwards, then carry the bending actions up into the thoracic spine. This is a great way to build pelvic awareness.
While sitting with legs crossed you can twist your spine with the help of your arms. Or you can put your hands together in prayer in which case you have to use the muscles of the waist and ribcage (the obliques and intercostals) to drive the twist.
You could also stretch the shoulders.
You can stretch the shoulders while sitting cross legged by clasping the hands and reaching the arms rearwards behind the back. You could also touch them together in prayer behind your back.
You could also stretch the shoulders with the arms in front of the body using the eagle pose shoulder stretch. Another option is the cow face arm position.
To stretch the back of your hips you can bend forwards while sitting cross legged.
While bent forwards try increasing the forward tilt of you pelvis. Push your pubic bone down and back. Pull your tailbone forwards and up. So that your hip muscles are active, try pressing your feet downwards into the floor.
Try to make your arms feel long. Reach your shoulders forwards and make your palms feel open. To add a slight twist lift one arm while pressing down with the other hand (not shown.)
To add a side bend for your spine, reach your arms to the side while bending your upper body sideways. Bending to the left try to expand the right side of your waist and ribcage. You could work on reaching your right-side-ribs away from your pelvis while pulling your left-side-ribs towards your pelvis.
Another option for the cross legged seated yoga pose is to bend forwards and reach an arm across the chest to the opposite side. Then sink the shoulder and ribcage on the side of the arm you are stretching.
Reach the other hand forwards.
From the shoulder stretching position you can bend the elbow and use the shoulder to press it into the floor so that the ribcage lifts.
Then put the hands together in prayer and use both shoulders to drive the twist.
A very simple cross leg stretch is to reach your spine and arms upwards. Work at lifting your ribs up away from your pelvis. Draw you head away from your ribcage. Reach your shoulders up and at the same time make your arms and fingers all feel long.
So that you get a better feel for the action you can relax arms and spine while exhaling then continually lengthen upwards while inhaling.
To practice lifting up with legs cross start by setting up the arms and shoulders.
Spread the shoulder blades then pull the arms inwards to activate the latissimus dorsai muscles. Prevent arms from rotating inwards. To use the lats to help you lift your body, create a downward pull on the arms, at the same time pulling the hips upwards. First lift just your hips and when you are comfortable holding this position then try lifting one foot, then both feet.
The seated get up is a way of getting into the one legged squat from a seated position. Even if you aren't interested in one leg squats this video does include tips on stabilizing the knees (at about the 5 minute mark.) Usual muscle activations for knee stability might include the quads, the hamstrings or any of the glutes. This looks at another set of muscles all together. If you like the video or find it helpful, please do share it! Thanks!
Some tips for learning how to do deep squats (without weight). The first tip is on how to stay balanced while squatting.
How do you learn the body weight safely? How do you work towards this pose even if you aren't sure if you are capable of doing it.
Basic yoga poses: standing, sitting, arm balances, binds, twists, inversions, back bending, front bends.
Scapular stabilization becomes a little bit harder when working agains the weight of the body. It can be easier to learn if you gradually increase the amount of body weight the scapular stabilizer muscles are working againsts..
Some hip flexor strengthening exercises.
These yoga poses can be used as arm strengthening exercises.
Turn yoga poses into leg strengthening exercises using floor pressing actions, leverage and friction.
One way of finding and fixing hip problems is to do standing hip strengthening exercises while balancing on one leg.
Knee anatomy for yoga teachers looks at the bones and muscles that comprise the back of the knee in simple terms.
Working towards a kneeling quadriceps stretch you first need to be able to kneel. If you have difficulty kneeling, you may find it helps to activate your quadriceps.
When doing quadriceps stretching it may help to activate and then relax your quadriceps in these standing, lunging, pigeon and supine yoga pose variations.
Some exercises and yoga poses for working towards a lying quadriceps stretch one leg at a time.
What are the benefits of the Dance of Shiva? Arm strength and balance, learning to learn and improving creativity.
This yoga routine video is designed to help you strengthen your arms and legs via the use of friction and pressure. It also teaches you how to become more aware of your body.
The transverse abdominis muscle can be broken down into three parts. Transverse abdominal exercises can thus affect the SI Joint, lumbar spine and the lower portion of the ribcage.
To improve the resiliency of your knees it can help to exercise them in a variety of positions. The following yoga poses can be used as knee strengthening exercises. The trick is to activate your knees while doing them.
Learn to consciously control your quads and hip flexors with Conscious Muscle Control: Quads and Superficial Hip Flexors. This downloadable video course teaches you how to feel and activate your quadriceps (the vastus muscles) as well as the rectus femoris, tensor fascae latae and sartorius muscles.
For any calf stretch you have to bend your ankle forwards to stretch the soleus and/or gastrocnemius. How you bend the ankle forwards can make the stretch more or less effective.
Yoga for flexibility with stretches for the hips, quads, hamstrings, glutes, psoas, shoulders and arms. These yoga stretches are designed to improve flexiblity.