yoga challenge
yoga challenge

Abs To Zen Beginner Yoga Stretch (2 Of 2) With Amy Caldwell

Abs To Zen Beginner Yoga Stretch (2 Of 2) With Amy Caldwell

This is a Beginner Yoga Stretch with Abs to Zen’s Professional Yoga Trainer Amy Caldwell. Amy is an expert in yoga and owns her own yoga practice in San Diego.

If you haven’t seen the free audiobook Inner Engineering: A Yogi’s Guide make sure you check it out. It’ll change how you look at Yoga.

Part 2 of 2 takes the yoga practice to the next level. This video will challenge a beginner and enhance their own stretching capabilities.

The text:

hi I’m Amy welcome to your yoga practice today breathe enjoy being in your body and the practice to begin take your feet hip distance apart at the outer edges parallel route down strongly into the ground beneath you let your arms just hang comfortably at your sides then go ahead and close your eyes you’ll be able to hear my voice and if you need to you can certainly open your eyes to check but we’re just going to start nice and simple as you inhale I’d like you to sweep your arms over head towards the ceiling rooting down strongly through your feet and as you exhale let your arms slide back down towards the floor so it’s nice and simple just like that inhale take your arms up and exhale let the breath float your arms back down towards the floor just take one more time inhale you can go slower or faster than I’m moving now let your own unique breath lead you as you exhale letting the hands come back down towards the floor so now you’re not moving you can let the eyes remain closed and bring your hands together at your heart center what’s called and yoga Anjali mudra or a gesture of offering again if you need to open your eyes to peek feel free to do so I’d like to just take a second here and notice your breathing even when the arms aren’t moving can you feel the inhale and exhale and invite that to happen through the nose nice full easy breathing two more breaths at your own pace and on your next exhale let your hands fall back down towards the floor softly open your eyes and then take your arms overhead one more time take hold of your left wrist with your right hand bend the elbows until you feel that you’re nice and open in your heart center you’re gonna lean over to the side keeping the head right between the upper arms roots strongly down for your left foot continue to breathe in and out through the nose and on your next inhale come back up to standing and exhale over to the other side so the elbows are bent you can pull gently up with that upper arm and down with the lower arm but an equal measure keep breathing and notice again that right foot strong on the earth on your next inhale coming back to the center extend both arms up towards the sky and exhale softly float your hands back down towards the floor stand at the front of your mat arrange your feet consciously as you inhale take the arms overhead as you exhale through the centre touch the ground as you inhale rise halfway up nice long spine hands either on the floor or the shins go back in lower belly tone keep breathing there on your next inhale stepping back to your plank pose first fingers are parallel strong core if that feels like it’s a bit much for today lower the knees into half plank will hold there for a few breaths and gaze slightly in front of your fingers so the head is in line with the rest of the spine all of your fingers are active on the mat first fingers are parallel keep breathing strong core but I like it is exhale lower onto your belly but keep the shoulders moving towards the ceiling so once you get to that position stretch both of your feet back behind you so that all 10 toenails are on the floor as you inhale cross it down into the tops of the feet and curl the upper back off the ground turn off the buttocks muscle a little bit and use the back muscles and the tops of feet down into the floor I do exhale you can lower your head inhale and rise up few more like that with your own breath exhale and lower inhale and lift when that’s time on this next breath press down into your knees engage your lower belly and come back to a half plank from there dig your toes underneath you downward facing dog nice long spine knees we Bend for tighter hamstrings or straight if that’s available long spine low back moving in on your next in word breath bend your knees look forward walk your feet towards your hands inhale come halfway up exhale and fold inhale come all the way up to standing root down through the legs exhale back your heart but Sun Salutation a will do one more a little more fluidly inhale tiki arms up exhale and touch the ground inhale lengthen the spine halfway up long side body step back into plank exhale lower all the way down towards the ground inhale Cobra tops of the feet on the floor little baby upper back men and it’s exhale press down the knees engage your lower belly and lift your hips downward facing dog allow the head to relax it should be right between your upper arms on your neck inhale bend the knees walk your feet forward to the hands then even eases you need to inhale lengthen the spine exhale fold inhale sweep the arms up towards the ceiling and exhale to your heart center one last time like that inhale arms up exhale fold let your breath lead you inhale as you rise up and step back the movements will become ever more fluid exhale and lower strong core inhale Cobra tops of the feet heavy elbows remain bent here take an extra breath make sure you don’t straighten the arms k keep them bent lower bellies nice and strong as you exhale press down to the knees downward facing dog nice smooth breathing strong arms legs either bent or straight that’s your gay walk your feet forward inhale once you get there exhale and fold inhale take the arms overhead and exhale back to your heart center great take a nice wide stance on your yoga mat and see that the outer it is the feeder parallel pick up all 10 toes and I don’t help you activate your inner thighs you can even pick up the outer edge of the foot ever so slightly should never tolerate painting your knees if you get pain in the inner knees just don’t take such a wide stance okay so you’ll get one of the principles is non harming that applies in our practice and in our daily life so when you’re ready you’re going to go ahead and turn your right toes in slightly and turn your left toes out completely we’re going to come back into warrior two nice deep bend and that front leg we’re going to settle in their front thigh parallel to the floor find your breathing back inner thigh active and scissoring in a little bit from your front heel to your back art to go ahead and take the arms overhead you’re gonna do is keep the legs just as they are and with our breathing you’re going to inhale take your left arm up towards the sky and as you exhale over to what’s called side angle right arm across and just like that inhale arm rises exhaling across so of course the front leg is working a lot but also bring some attention into your back leg keep breathing inhale and exhale next time you come across go ahead and bring your left forearm onto your left thigh but don’t let the shoulder come forward go and rule the chest open and just take your right arm straight up towards the ceiling for now this is a modified side angle few more breaths nice long spine if you have a regular yoga practice if this feels really comfortable you can slide your left fingertips down onto the floor for more of a challenge all right you’ll your torso the rounds forward go ahead and plop yourself back up onto the time will open the test on your next inhale root down through the feet come all the way up to standing turn your left toes in maybe shorten your stance a little bit outer edges parallel pick up your toes inhale lift your chest and exhale forward holding so we’re going to take a wide leg twist you’re going to bring your right hand down in the center of the test either flat or up on fingertips from that place you’re going to bring the left hand on to the sacrum that phony plate just above your buttocks as you inhale lengthen your spine if your hamstrings are tight then just bend your knees to get your low back to move in and we’re going to exhale twist over to the left side breathing their inner thighs are still engaged legs are either bent and strong or straight and strong for those of you again with a little bit more openness in the shoulders you’re welcome to take that left hand straight up towards the sky you feel well any discomfort in the shoulder just bring the hand back down onto the hip on your next exhale you can untwist forward fold for a breast found on your next inhale come halfway up bring your hands onto your hips your you down strongly through your feet and come all the way up to standing good job so going to the other side nice wide stance turn your left toes in slightly right toes out completely heel to arch in alignment you’re going to bend your front knee make sure it tracks towards your second toe okay lower belly engaged arms out to the sides you’re doing great stay with your breath fill your feet it’s okay to break a sweat right so just be in this moment enjoy this time you’ve made for yourself so on your next inhale you’re gonna take the right arm overhead keeping the legs just like they are as you exhale over to the other side the legs are unwavering inhale and exhale pretty two more like that follow your own breath it can be slower faster than me inhaling as you rise up generally and exhaling as you move across one that’s time on this next exhale you’re gonna allow that right forearm to rest on your right thigh and rule the shoulder open you can take the left arm just straight up towards the ceiling engage the lower belly and breathe here nice long line from the crown of the head to that back heel you can experiment with the bottom hand it can be pumped palm facing up that’s a nice way to keep the chest and shoulders open notice your breath turn your gaze down towards the floor root down to the feet and he’ll come all the way back up final pose this sequence forward fold hands on the hips and he’ll with the chest exhale and fold from here bring a left hand down jos underneath the center of the chest so flat hands our fingertips are okay fingertips will give you a little more height especially if you’re tight in the hamstrings feel free to bend the knees and pick up the toes draw the low back in spine must be long ok on your next inhale get as long as you can and an exhale twisting to the right side hand on the hip for the sacrum breathing here and if you’re feeling lots of openness in your shoulder feel free to take that arm up towards the ceiling to deepen the pose oh it feels too intense let’s bring the hand back on cific count on your next exhale go ahead and untwist hand can walk in any amount towards your feet head can fall towards the floor knees bent if you need to on your next inhale rising up strong inner thighs strong legs hands on your hips keep reading so we do a little half way stop it will help you from getting dizzy from your blood pressure changing to five so take a breath in that middle posture roll the chest open root down through the feet and come all the way back up get an awesome job set your feet together take a breath good work please make your way down into a comfortable seat on the floor we’re going to take what’s called boat posture we’re going to do it in parts so we’re going to start balancing between sitting bones in the tailbone you don’t want to be too far back or too far forward one just be right in the middle where you fill those deep low abdominals support you so from that place you’re gonna have your feet hip distance apart knees bent and you can take your hands just behind your knees so the tendency though sometimes is to drop the chest to take a big inhale and roll the shoulders back just lean back until you feel the abdominals fully engage okay so that’s going to be step one so you can stay here and breathe if you’d like to make it more intense you’re going to pick up the feet and bring the big toes together knees together inner heels together okay you’ll feel the inner thighs fire up core is still strong you’d like to go one further step go ahead and release the hands I like elbows bent sometimes because you just feel the freedom and your upper body let the work concentrate on your core and take a few breaths here so be present with this sensation enjoy the feelings of string and take a break please do you’re going to give yourself a hug wrap your arms around your legs you can let your head and neck relax we’re going to stretch out the upper body make sure that we have that part nice and open for the next time we do boats what I’d like you to do same setup at the legs knees bent feet hip distance apart outer edges parallel bring your fingertips behind you if your thumbs pointing straight ahead take a big inhale again roll the chest and shoulders open bend the elbows slightly towards one another and then go ahead and let the head slide back breathing into that space across the chest that’s saluting down strongly through the city moves and through the feet ok so we’re going to keep that feeling in boat pose we’re gonna take it one more time go ahead and lift up your legs if you need to hold behind the knees that’s going to make it much easier and it’s okay to let your knees be apart if you’re feeling it’s like a lot for you right now if you want to make it more challenging knees together feet together arms release and one final option is to extend your legs straight out in space okay so you’ll still feel a deep abdominals working head and neck relax try to relax the corners of your eyes into the smile helps for sure so a few more breath there shaking okay three give yourself a hug place big inhale if you’d like to exhale through the mouth I’m going to take one more variation of what’s called table pose you’re going to take your feet a little wider same setup utters is parallel this time if you have shoulder issues you’re going to stay with option one the one we did before if you’re okay in the shoulders and a place your palms flat lots of different options for the hands I like thumbs pointing straight ahead so what you’re going to do claw with your fingertips inhale lift your chest and if you feel able lift from your outer hips into a table okay breathing here press down into your feet tendencies to lift the big toe mound so press down into your feet and draw that energy into your core if your head feels really relaxed you can drop it back well we’re first starting off and it helps just to lift the chest and let the chin settle there and slowly lower back down very good so we’re going to scoot up a little bit and lay all the way down onto the pack mine feliz hope take a breath see that the outer edges of your feet are once again parallel we’re just going to do a little pelvic tilt just to make sure we know how that part of our body moves really clearly so I’d like you to do is with your shoulder blades back of the head feet and buttocks on the floor as you exhale press your low back down into the ground and engage your our belly as you inhale go ahead and press your buttocks back your sitting bones down towards the floor and get some space between your low back and the ground and just like that with your own breathing exhale press the low back down it’s a strong tongue lower belly and inhale and create an arch in the low back okay so your next exhale pause there keep a little bit glued down firmly onto the floor and pick up the legs but just like we were doing in the high boat this is a version of Lobo big toes knees touching and this is going to be option one just to stay right here gluing the low back onto the floor if it ever list then you need to stop and take a break okay you’d like to go further exhale keep the low batt glue to the floor and lift the head so don’t look towards me you can look straight up towards the ceiling once you keep your low belly engaged hands behind the head and breathe if at any time the low back list and you need to come down and rest take a few more breaths if you can glue the low back down head and neck relaxed and on your next exhale go ahead and lower and hug your knees into your chest give them a squeeze like big breath in and out the nose with one final pose here you’re doing a great job is equally important to strengthen the core and the back muscles as well as stretch the body the creating health and the inside out so last one like this we’re going to do crossovers so what I’d like you to do is it’s really a variation of boat posture but what makes it yoga is that we pay attention to our breathing and we’re really attentive to what we’re doing and how we’re doing it okay you’re going to bring your hands behind the head glue the low back onto the ground just like we did before as you exhale you’re going to bring one elbow to one knee and twist to the side so you can Chris towards me and then inhale come back to the center and exhale opposite side so as much as you can keeping that low back totally glued down onto the floor each exhale it’s elbow to knee extends away and inhale come back to the center exhale twist inhale Center let’s see one more each side exhale okay so slow you’re doing awesome stick with it rest if you need to though okay breathe listen to your body and time you come to the center give yourself a hug big inhale through the nose and this time if you’d like exhale through the mouth we did a great job please make your way lying down onto your fat I’d like you to flex your left foot and take it on top of your right thigh just above the knee okay so as much as you can see that your hips and pelvis are parallel or level and then if you’re feeling a big stretch already in the outer hip on this side and you’re just going to stay here and take a few guys can take that left foot flex if you’d like to go deeper you’re gonna hug the whole package in towards your body making sure the pelvis stays level and doesn’t switch to the side reach your hands through and take hold the back of the right leg breathe deeply and as much as you’re able press slightly away from you with your left outer ankle and then hug in an equal amount with your hands so you’ll feel a nice stretch around the outer hip few more breaths here and not for everyone but if you have pretty open hamstrings and you’re really wanting to deepen this pose you certainly could straighten your right leg and then change the hand position pull behind your right calf when you do that make sure that both sides of your sacrum are equally weighted on the floor and breathe into the sensations that you feel one more nice big brat to feel really good i hope it does and when you’re ready go ahead and release that by and we’re just gonna switch taking the right leg flexing its the outside of the left thigh but for me pause and in this place notice what’s going on shoulder blades relaxing onto the floor if you’d like to make it more intense and you’re gonna bend the legs reach through take hold of the left hamstrings and hug that whole package in towards your body so keep your right foot flexed and slightly pressing away from you and then hug the left leg in equal measure feeling these long waist and the sacrum that bony part just above your buttocks should be nice and heavy on the floor don’t let that lift you can go deeper you’re welcome to straighten out the left leg and change the hands behind the cap and even in that variation saving let the arm bones settle down into the shoulder sockets near the floor nice big breasts firm list there he did a great job so when you’re ready feels balanced and side to side release the legs hug your knees into your chest let’s rock from side to side mmm a hug into the body and then inhale them away from the body and then one more time hug them in and give so from lying down on your back go ahead and stretch your legs out a little bit wider than your hips I just want you to windmill your feet in and out a little bit and then allow them to relax however they land so from here back of the head is on the floor shoulder blades are on the floor and you can just gently pick up the outside of your thighs and roll them up towards the ceiling and let your inner thighs to send more heavily towards the floor so from that place you should feel a tiny little inward curve at your low back the upper back to be firmly on the ground and a tiny little curve underneath your next is your cervical curve so we’re setting up for final relaxation if you have a ponytail you can just move it over to the side and if you don’t feel like your shoulder blades are flat on the floor press gently into the back of the head pick up the upper back just a little bit and just glide the shoulder blades towards one another not down towards your hips but just underneath you once you’ve got yourself well set up release your arms so they fall away from the body and allow your eyes to close so I’ll talk you through from here on out so don’t open your eyes or look around instead invite the body to relax onto the floor completely just notice your breathing as it naturally comes in and going out don’t have to do anything pay attention how invite the weight of your bones tall deeply for before surrendering to vanity allows in muscles Wow the organism cells within the body to be relaxed the thought should enter the mind which they do just notice thank you and then let those thoughts go with your next exhale and come back to the sensation of relaxing on the floor resist the urge to get up just take one more minute to completely rest your body and mind and integrate all that you experience today in your practice do a few more breaths perhaps noticing those little spaces between inhale and exhale and between the exhale and inhale it’s just a moment of non doing here spacious consciousness allow yourself to reside the next few moments and begin to take a few deeper breaths still lying down on your back a move or stretch your arms in any way that feels most joyful to you and just bend your knees and roll to one side you can prop your head on your arm as if you’re waking up for the first time today mindful the transitions use your arms to press slowly back up to any comfortable seat can be crossed legs it can be one leg bent one leg out to the side doesn’t have to look any particular way just let it be upright steady and comfortable how the hands to rest on the news once again close your eyes for one final minute thank yourself for this time you created notice how you feel in this moment and take that connection with you into the rest of your day connect it to yourself to your breath and to those around you fold your palms together at your heart center in Anjali mudra the gesture of honoring that which is within yourself and all living beings and offering we offer our consciousness through our thoughts speech and actions to peace for ourselves and for all living things thank you so much for practicing yoga with me today namaste great job today take the awareness that you cultivate and your yoga practice and carry it with you throughout the rest of your day..

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