Maybe you've been practicing yoga for a while, either online at home or in regular group classes with a teacher. Feeling limber and flexible enough? And dare to take on the most difficult yoga poses?


To warm up the crow position

This pose is in perfect balance for yogis. Try incorporating it into your routine right after your morning sun salutation. Squat down, keep your feet flat on the floor, don't lift your heels. Keep your feet slightly apart, place your palms on the floor in front of your toes. Then begin to lift your feet slightly off the ground, placing your knees over your elbows, and as you lean forward gradually, resting them fully on your elbows. When you are balanced, lift your head and look straight ahead. Breathe freely, and with the third exhale, slowly return to the squat position. You are now ready for more difficult positions.

Another animal is the dolphin

From the crow position it is only a short distance to the dolphin position, which is even a little more challenging. In yogic parlance, it's called pincha majurasanabut the dolphin is definitely easier to remember. It strengthens your arms and abdominals, and because you're upside down, it supports your lymphatic and cardiovascular systems. Start in cat pose, on all fours. Then drop to the elbows of your arms, which need to be just below your shoulders, and put your feet in a sort of canopy position. From this position, push off with your legs until you can assume a standing elbow pose. It is ideal to practice this exercise against a wall to gain confidence and support where appropriate. Look down below you and try to stay balanced in this stance for as long as possible, at least for two breaths, and with the second exhale, slowly return your "feet to the ground".

Ardha matsjéndrásana

After the strength and balance positions, it's time to stretch a bit too. Just saying the name of this position will stretch your tongue, but for simplicity's sake it is also called "half position of the king of fishermen". The starting point is to assume a comfortable sitting position with your legs straight out in front of you and your spine straight. Then bend your right leg and place your foot on the outside of your left knee. You will feel your hips stretching. Continue to inhale deeply and with the exhale, turn your torso as far to the right as possible. With your left elbow resting on your bent right knee, keep your arm and palm facing upwards. Place the right arm as far to the right behind the body as you can. Turn your head towards your right shoulder and breathe deeply, gaze fixed in the distance. You will stretch not only your hips, but also your spine, abdominal and intercostal muscles. With the third breath, gradually relax the position and continue switching legs and sides.

Scorpio position

And finally, the icing on the cake. How flexible do you feel? Lie on your stomach, palms on the floor at shoulder level, elbows bent up. Prop yourself up on your hands as if you're going to do push-ups, and lift your right leg in the air, bending it at the knee, trying to bring the toe close to your head. Now comes the hardest phase - supported by your arms, start lifting your left leg as well. The result should look like you are holding your body with your palms flat on the ground and your torso and legs vertical in the air, bent down at the knees, the toes of your feet almost at the top of your head. This position is quite demanding on the spine and intervertebral discs, so just practice it carefully, ideally with a retaining wall available. If you can maintain your balance, breathe through this position for a few deep breaths.

After such a strenuous exercise, allow yourself a few minutes of quiet meditation lying on the ground. Lie on your back, put on some music and relax for a while. Ironically, for the Western world, the most difficult position is the "corpse position", which is the one used at the end of the meditation. Relaxing your mind completely and not thinking about anything for a few minutes, just relaxing, will paradoxically make most Europeans and Americans fall asleep. Can you do the most difficult task - not to fall asleep?

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