Tips & Tricks
Tips & Tricks

Advance Your Basics I: Stretch and Strengthen

October 14, 2018

Remember your first yoga class? The trembles in your quads as you fought to steady yourself in a high lunge; that single leg balance that was impossible to find even in Tree pose; and the post-yoga aches in muscles that you didn’t know existed? We want to take you back to where it all started… with a Basics class — or 6, to score those 2 FREE classes!

Bending yourself into a pretzel, or going upside down is all the rage in yoga. These poses have their benefits — when done the right way, but getting there is a whole other ballgame… In this three-part series, we're teaching you how you can work on your basic poses to help you level up!

It probably comes as no surprise that there are no shortcuts in yoga. In a Basics class, you'll learn how to set up a firm foundation in fundamental postures. Some might undermine the power of Basics, dismissing it for being too easy, or too slow. However, it's this foundation that will help you find the proper alignment and muscle engagement to progress into more complex poses. Like all of our other classes, Basics is a multi-levelled class. That means, it’ll work you hard, whether you’re a Newbie or a regular — all you have to do is take your options. Regulars, if you'd like to fancify — by all means! It is indeed for everyone, that's why we encourage even the pretzel pros to take it down a notch and go back to basics.

First up, introducing the poses that will get you places in yoga: the Splits and Low Push Up. Once mastered, inversions and arm balances will be a breeze — your hamstrings will be open enough to float upside down, and your arms will be strong enough to hold your body weight!

If you want to do the Splits...

Practice your Half Split. 

From your Low Lunge, shift your hips back until it's above the back knee. Place blocks on both sides of your front leg, and rest your hand on the blocks. Straighten your front leg and flex your front foot towards you. Slide your front foot as far forwards as you can while keeping your hips squared to the front. If you're fairly deep in your Half Split, you may also try sitting on a block or two. 

If you want to do a Low Push Up...

Practice your Half Push Up.

Place two blocks on the mat, shoulder width apart, at its third (highest) height. Place your palms behind the blocks, and come into Plank with your shoulders stacked above your wrists. Lower your knees down, shift your weight forward, and bend your elbows 90-degrees so that your shoulders are resting on top of the blocks. You should feel your triceps working! Feeling strong? Try lifting both knees off the mat, and shifting your blocks to its second height for an assisted Full Push Up.

Start working those arms and loosening those hamstrings to progress into the rest of this series! Get to our Basics classes to learn these fundamentals: book a mat here.