Side Angle/Extended Side Angle

For side angle pose, begin from Reverse Warrior. Drop the front arm to rest the elbow on the thigh. Extend the back arm up overhead, next to your ear. You want to look like a diagonal line from your extended back leg all the way up through your fingertips. Feel a nice stretch through your side body of your extended arm. Remember, your bent knee should still be directly over your ankle or slightly behind!

For extended side angle, drop the front arm down to the ground in front of and in line with the bent front leg and place your fingers on the ground. Everything else from side angle applies here! Don’t let the upper shoulder drop forward towards the ground. Imagine you are stuck between two boards to keep everything aligned properly.

Warrior II

From Warrior I, inhale and straighten both legs. As you exhale, turn your upper body and open your hips to the side (not straight forward over your front leg anymore). Bring your arms down from overhead to shoulder height so they form a line, and bend your front knee directly over your ankle or slightly behind. As in Warrior I, keep your shoulders over your hips and keep the weight distributed evenly between your feet. Turn your gaze to look forward over your front knee. Stay here for 3-5 breaths.

Warrior I

Begin from a standing position. Step your foot back a full stride (approximately 3.5 to 4 feet, or however far is comfortable for you) and turn the foot out to about a 45 degree angle while really pressing the outer edge of your foot into your mat. One major point about Warrior I is keeping your hips square to the front. It’s easy to let your hips open towards the back leg, especially after angling the back foot, so really focus on keeping them square over the front leg. If keeping your hips square to the front is difficult with your foot at a 45 degree angle, adjust the angle of your foot forward until your hips can stay square comfortably. You should feel your weight distributed evenly between both of your feet, i.e. – one leg should not be bearing more weight than the other. As you inhale, bring your arms up overhead with palms facing each other and as you exhale, bend the front knee until it is directly over the ankle or slightly behind. An important checkpoint here is that you can see your toes below your knee. If you can’t see your toes, your knee is most likely bent over your ankle, which can add unwanted stress to the knee joint and possibly injury. Make sure to keep your shoulders down away from your ears and keep your gaze straight forward, or look up towards your hands for more of a challenge. Your upper body should be tall and straight with your shoulders over your hips (no leaning forwards or backwards!). Stay here for 3-5 breaths.

Squat/Body Squat

Squats are the foundation to building strong legs. Although the movement seems simple, it’s more complex than how the average person practices them. Being a foundational piece to your workout structure, it’s key that you are activating the correct muscles to do them correctly.

This movement can be as simple or complex as you want to make it. For form’s sake, I’m going to go through a basic body squat. Start with your feet about hip distance apart. Keeping your posture tall, sit down and back into your heels. Once you feel the maximum amount of stretch in your glutes, squeeze them as you drive through your heels and return to standing.

Stretch

Body Squats

Squeeze

Body Squats