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  • Yoga Pose Sequences for Flexibility and Strength

    Hip and shoulder yoga pose sequence for stretching and strengthening. Sensational yoga poses, neil keleher

    These yoga pose sequences are ones that I've used in my own classes. I've included notes on the particular order of poses and why I've used them to help you get the hang of creating your own yoga pose sequences.

    Hip And Shoulder Flexibility and Strength 1

    This sequence started with the idea of stretching the shoulders. It ended up including one of my favorite types of hip flexibility routines which includes a preparation for the eka koundinyasana arm balance. The arm balance preparations are a way of strengthening the shoulders after they've been stretched.

    Hip and shoulder yoga pose sequence for stretching and strengthening. Sensational yoga poses, neil keleher

    The final poses are to strengthen the hips after they've been stretched.

    For cross chest and lapasana focus on breathing slowly and smoothly into your ribcage. Use superman as a prep for puppy dog. Reach your arms forwards and try to lift them. Use the same action (with your breath) in puppy dog.

    Do rack first with the palms down and then with the palms up. Optionally repeat the poses with the hands closer together (fingers can touch.)

    For the crossed arm stretch pull your ribcage backwards, away from your feet. For penguin push your elbows outwards against your knees at the same time as you push your knees in. Vary the tension so that your elbows move slowly towards each other.

    From seated twist to the lift up variation do all on one side and then the other. The pictures show the right side first. For prone twist (to the right) look left if your neck is uncomfortable. For upright pigeon and intense pigeon keep the front leg hip on the floor. Position the front shin parallel to the front of your mat. For upright pigeon with the right leg forward lift the chest and push your ribcage to the left. Do the same in intense pigeon.

    Compass prep and compass can be done with a belt either as a substitute or a warm up. For compass prep make your leg feel long and open your chest. For compass, relax the shoulder of the top arm as you work at straightening your knee.

    For lift up focus on using your shoulders to press your hands down and lift your torso up. For the variation push down with the leg onto the arm. Then press down with the hands.

    For wide leg forward bend start with the hands on the floor. Open your chest, slowly lift your hands, then slowly reach them forwards.

    For turtle you can start with your elbows bent and under the arms. Open your chest, push up with your arms and push down against your arms with your legs.

    If you can straighten the arms, do the same thing.

    Recover (Not shown) sit up with legs crossed and bend your spine backwards.

    For half moon focus on your standing leg and foot.

    For triangle twist focus on either your front leg or your back leg. Make either strong and then deepen the twist using your waist muscles.

    For press your feet down into the floor to lift your hips higher.

    For dead dog reach your arms and legs up. Make them feel long.

    Afterwards rest with knees bent and feet flat on the floor, and hands on your chest, then with arms and legs out to the side at an comfortable angle with knees and elbows straight, hips and shoulders relaxed.