Yes, You Can Do Yoga: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Yoga Poses
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Fitness

Yes, You Can Do Yoga: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Yoga Poses

Get stronger and more flexible (even if you've never downward-dogged in your life) with these moves from Marc McDonald and Jess Lopez, instructors at the Mind Body Studios at The Sports Club/LA in Boston.

Downward Dog: Beginner

  • Start on all fours with hands directly under shoulders, knees under hips.
  • Walk hands a few inches forward and spread fingers wide, pressing palms into mat.
  • Curl toes under and slowly press hips toward ceiling, bringing your body into an inverted V, pressing shoulders away from ears. Feet should be hip-width apart, knees slightly bent.
  • Hold for 3 full breaths.

Downward Dog: Intermediate

  • Start in beginner position.
  • Straighten your legs and press your heels toward the floor while raising your hips upward.
  • Hold for 5 to 10 breaths, then lift one leg toward the ceiling and hold for 3 full breaths; keep hips level.
  • Lower; switch legs and repeat.

Want more yoga? Check out our free "yoga for weight loss" exercise video.

 

Downward Dog: Advanced

  • Start in beginner position. Straighten your legs and press your heels toward the floor while raising your hips upward.
  • Walk your feet together and lift one leg toward the ceiling.
  • Press your palms and other heel into the mat. Once stable, slowly lift your opposite hand and hold for 3 full breaths.
  • Lower; switch sides and repeat.

Want more yoga? Check out our free "yoga for weight loss" exercise video.

 

The Crow: Beginner

Get into downward dog position (palms pressed into mat, feet hip-width apart) and walk feet forward until knees touch your arms.

Bend your elbows, lift heels off floor, and rest knees against the outside of your upper arms. Keep toes on floor, abs engaged and legs pressed against arms. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths.

Want more yoga? Check out our free "yoga for weight loss" exercise video.

 

The Crow: Intermediate

  • From beginner position, squeeze your inner thighs to lift heels off floor.
  • With fingers spread wide, slowly move body forward until your weight is balanced over your hands.
  • Draw abs inward (as if pulling belly button to spine) to lift your hips up higher, keeping your face forward. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths.

Want more yoga? Check out our free "yoga for weight loss" exercise video.

 

The Crow: Advanced

  • Start in the beginner position and slowly move into the intermediate pose.
  • As your upper body tilts forward, begin lifting your right leg toward the ceiling.
  • Squeeze your glutes, spread out your toes, and hold for 5 to 10 breaths.
  • Lower; switch legs and repeat.

Want more yoga? Check out our free "yoga for weight loss" exercise video.

 

The Lunge: Beginner

  • Start in downward dog position. Step your right leg forward to the inside of your right hand.
  • Drop your left knee to the floor and lift your chest up. Keeping your right knee in line with your ankle and your back straight, place hands on your knee. Hold for 10 breaths.
  • Return to downward dog; switch legs and repeat.

Want more yoga? Check out our free "yoga for weight loss" exercise video.

 

The Lunge: Intermediate

  • From beginner pose, press into the ball of your back foot and lift into a standing lunge.
  • Straighten back leg, place heel down on floor, and turn foot out a few inches. Lift arms toward ceiling (Warrior I). Spread your fingers, turn palms in, and open up chest. Hold for 10 breaths.
  • Switch legs; repeat.

Want more yoga? Check out our free "yoga for weight loss" exercise video.

 

The Lunge: Advanced

  • From lunge position, hinge your upper body forward from the hips and slowly lift your back leg while straightening your front leg.
  • Stop when your back is flat and your entire body is parallel to the floor (Warrior III). Balance here for 10 breaths.
  • Lower; switch legs and repeat.

Want more yoga? Check out our free "yoga for weight loss" exercise video.

 

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, May 2007.

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