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Top Tips for Advanced Yoga

Reading Time: 5 Minutes

Advanced Yoga Teacher Shares Tips

There is always something new to focus on in both yoga classes and self-practice.

This short post looks at some of the focuses for our advanced yoga classes.

Here’s some tips to focus on to keep progressing in your yoga journey! 

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Advanced Yoga at Yoga Theory

Warrior 1 and Warrior 2 Pose

The warrior 1 and warrior 2 poses are a really good place to get the alignment on point.

These poses are great for working the foundations as a lot of the more advance yoga poses build from it.

It’s important to note that Warrior 1 has a lot in common with high crescent lunge.

The main difference is that in warrior 1 the back heel will be down whereas in high crescent lunge it is up.

This is why the high crescent lunge is more common in flow classes as it is easier for beginners. 

[Read our top 5 best beginners tips here]

For example, if you try going from warrior 1 to revolved side angle, you will notice how much harder it than if you just go straight from high crescent lunge.

That’s why we always give the option to have the back foot heel down or up! 

See the picture below:

Advanced Yoga Adelaide

Revolved Side Angle Demonstration

Difference between warrior 1 and warrior 2?

The main difference between warrior 1 and warrior 2 is that the hips are closed in warrior 1 and open in warrior 2.

In Warrior 1 the arms and shoulders should be square whereas warrior 2 your chest and body is parallel to the wall they face.

If you are comfortable in warrior 2 bring the foot out more for greater stretch but keep about 90° and keep opening the chest.

Aligning the arms like a big stick from hand to hand, and you become aware of all the sensations with an even front body.

Gaze at your front hand or keep it neutral. Open and open. Keep smiling, life is good. 

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Almendra Rodriguez, Yoga Teacher

Extended side angle pose tips

Open your chest more

Focusing on the transition from warrior 2 to side angle pose, and extended side angle pose.

It is easy here to dump down and cave in here with the upper chest facing down.

You don’t want that.

You should be keeping the upper chest open facing up or to the side. 

The feet

You want to keep the same foundations as warrior 2 like super glue.

Don’t focus on touching the ground but focus on opening the side body and extending the reach.

Keep back foot pressing down.

This is where the blocks help – use them if you can’t keep the back foot down. 

Only if the back foot is pressing down you should take the bind.

Don’t jump to step 3 if you don’t have step 1.

Ben showing Side Angle (Bangkok, Thailand)

How to do warrior 3 and half-moon pose?

The challenging but fun warrior 3 to half-moon transitions.

Focus on getting that perfect alignment and openness in the chest;

To do that make sure you have a solid warrior 3 pose.

When taking the transitions, start with a block and make sure the side body is even before taking to the floor.

Your chest should be parallel to the side wall;

Make sure both arms are in line with shoulder, fingers spread!

Bend a bit on that front knee if needed but not too much. You want to keep that thigh active and engaged. 

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Almendra Training (Yoga Theory Unley)

How to do hand to foot extensions?

If you are a beginner – focus on bending the top knee to reduce rounding in the back.

This is better than extending the top leg and rounding if you don’t have the reach.

You are still going to get a stretch!

If you are unsure about whether you can do the pose and maintain the alignment, here’s what you should do:

Sit on the floor and try the one legged forward fold to see if you actually have the reach! 

Then you will know.

If you can’t do it sitting down you are not going to be able to do it standing up.

When you are doing the pose, try to keep a strong leg, level hips, level shoulders and take the appropriate option.

All easier said then done, of course.

Ben shows this pose below:

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Hand to Big Toe Extension (Glenelg Beach, SA)

How to do camel pose?

Camel pose yoga tips

  • Align by keeping your knees about hip distance apart and feet pressing down if you are starting;
  • When you come back for the pose after lengthening, imagine you are squeezing a block between your elbows and lift up through the chest;
  • Keep the shoulders relaxed from the ears;
  • The abs and cores should stay strong;
  • Take it slow by keeping the hands to the lower back rather then the feet.
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Advanced Camel Pose (Rishikesh, India)

How to do a headstand?

Tips for headstand

  • Work on your core strength by mastering poses such as plank pose, navasana and dolphin pose; 
  • Start with the base, always. Get a solid foundation through the correct arm placement and hand to head grip/ratio (discussed in classes);
  • Get a solid foundation with your elbows, core and feet pressing up;
  • Keep the thighs engaged and turning in;
  • When you are first trying, get your knees to your chest before jumping all the way up;
  • If you can not balance with your knees in your chest or baby headstand, why do you think you would balance being all the way up? Don’t rush it, that’s how injuries happen!
  • Come out with control and as always keep the breath. 
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Ben Training Headstand in Hong Kong


We hope you found this short guide valuable. If you have any questions about yoga you can contact us and speak to our friendly trainers at anytime. 

Learn more about our Adelaide yoga classes here!

You can check out  our Mentorship Program here

10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Yoga

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Interesting facts about Yoga

Learn something new

The yoga most Australians practice today is a contemporary take on traditional hatha yoga. We often hear about the common benefits of a regular yoga practice, such as reducing stress and improving general health and wellbeing. However, here are 10 things you may not know. 

  1. Yoga originated in India and is one of the oldest physical disciplines in use. Although modern yoga is often quite distinct from the traditional, some aspects are still very similar such as the breathing, general postures and yoga binds.
    ..
  2. The word yoga means yoke or union (like egg yoke – what holds it together).
    ..
  3. Yoga breathing is called pranayama breathing. There are many types of yoga breathing that have been shown to positively effect health and wellbeing.
    ..
  4. Yoga hand positions are called mudras. Mudras can be used as a way of focusing the body and mind during yoga practice.
    ..
  5. Yoga can improve concentration and focus. Try the tree pose and see for yourself.

  6. The most popular type of yoga is hatha yoga. Hatha yoga is a form of yoga that originated in India. Most modern styles, such as the vinyasa style of yoga build on hatha yoga principles.
    ..
  7. About 70% of yoga practitioners in the US are women and 30% are men.
    ..
  8. Naked yoga is actually a form of yoga that is gaining popularity in the US and even in Australia.
    ..
  9. The practice can help improve weight loss by improving the metabolism.
    ..
  10. Yoga can improve your posture and balance. By building strength in the core and loosing up the body, many people find it easier to maintain a good posture after practicing yoga.

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of yoga feel free to contact us and try out our boutique yoga studio

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5 Tips to be more mindful in yoga!

Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Mindfulness in Yoga and Meditation

Mindfulness this, mindfulness that. What exactly is it? How does mindfulness work? And what are the benefits?

One of the many reasons more people are starting a yoga practice is for the self-improvement and discipline that comes with it. 

Yoga practices for mindfulness

As yoga is equally a mental practice as much as a physical practice, it is common to experience more mental clarity and self-discipline after a regular yoga practice. Here’s how it works! 

Yoga helps you cultivate mindfulness which helps us to understand the habits we have and how that effects us. Likewise, yoga can help us reduce stress and be more focused in our lives through the mindfulness aspect.

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So how do you include mindfulness in yoga

Don’t compare to others

Don’t compare yourself to where you want to be, compare yourself to where you started.

As yoga is a dynamic and fluid practice it is a good habit to focus on the present moment and not compare ourselves to where we want to be.

There will always be something to work towards on the mat.

Stop complicating yoga

Do not over complicate yoga.

Keep things simple, a dog or a cat is not thinking a million things when they practice the art of stretching and being in tune with the body and mind.

Bring it back to the breath, stay safe and make sure your alignments on point. Stay zen…

Focus on your own practice

Try not to compare yourself to others in yoga.

Everyone has a different story. Someone touching their toes might take 10x more work and energy than someone doing a handstand.

Focus on your own life and yoga goals as there is always going to be differences. It’s you vs you.

Stay with the breath

Bring the awareness back to the breath and the alignment during yoga practice. This helps you stay grounded and in tune with you and your practice. The physical practice is the meditation.

Set yourself goals

Set yourself goals in yoga so that you have something to work towards. Goals keep you accountable to yourself in the practice of yoga. Make sure the goals are suitable for your practice.

But wait, what about mindulness meditation – how does all that work?


So what about Mindfulness Meditation?

Mindfulness meditation is a proven way to increase focus and reduce stress. For this reason, all of our classes at Yoga Theory include meditation techniques. Researchers have recently found that meditation can reduce anxiety and increase our happiness.

Not only can it improve our concentration it increases your deeper levels of awareness. Because of this, it helps us to be more centred and in touch with ourselves. Accordingly, we live healthier lives with increased self awareness.

This not only helps us in our everyday lives but also in our physical yoga practice.  The skills help you improve focus and concentration. 

Improve overall health with mindfulness meditation

Meditation is also well known for increasing self-awareness, promoting emotional health and increasing our attention span. Even just a few minutes a day of focused attention can make a big difference in one’s life. 

Studies have shown that consistent meditation can increase your sleep and decrease chronic pain. Here is a recent study from Harvard that talks about some of the benefits of meditation. 

Experience the benefits of meditation for yourself. All of our classes include a short session that include mindfulness meditation. 

Adelaide Mindfulness Meditation

To learn more about our mindfulness, strength and flexibility techniques view our full class schedule, or become a member to start your practice today.

Contact us for a free trial

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Top tips on finally getting a handstand

Reading Time: 4 Minutes

Learn how to handstand in Adelaide

Mastering arm-balances and handstands

I will be starting to do more handstands and advanced yoga in abs, butt and arms and general vinyasa yoga classes. This is my strongest and most advanced yoga class and it is also good for yoga teachers who want a challenge.

The ideal situation is to get a few regulars to master the handstand and I will make that happen. The handstand is an important part of advanced practice and shows you are disciplined in the body and mind!

Top tips for doing a handstand

My tips in this short post are for the handstands. I am doing handstand in these pictures below. First, you have to get a strong foundation for this pose and you will see the hands have that tiger grip you could fit a pencil through.

You want that as that will control your balance and a strong core. Keep practicing tiger curls and those jump up and back exercises we do if you have been to my abs, butt class.

If you want to get a handstand then you need to practice it and practice it a lot. As in, get yourself up on a wall extend yourself and engage the abs, butt and arms and hold for a few rounds.

Take one foot off and keep the foundations and keep transitioning. Rest if you need to rest. You need to practice it and build the strength upside down by being upside down.

Practice more handstands

Don’t mess around and just do it once or twice when your in a class or you feel like it. You need to be doing it minimum 5 minutes more then three times a week consistently. You’ll see progress that way as your body will condition.

The main reason most people can’t do a handstand is they don’t train it or they do like one or two sets a week which is pretty much pointless.

Go all in and practice it about 5x a week and you will get it very quickly if your doing it properly and already have a strong foundation. Write a table up and keep yourself accountable or come and train abs, butt and arms.

If you really want to do it then you will, but don’t say you want to do it and not put in the work. It’s hard but it’s not that hard you probably just don’t train enough.

Handstand quick tips:

  • Work on your core strength by mastering poses such as plank pose, navasana and dolphin pose;
  • Start with the base, always. Get a solid foundation through the correct arm placement, fingers spread wide, with index finger pointing forward;
  • Take a bend in the knuckles for leverage and balance;
  • The elbows should be straight and arms elevated;
  • Keep the thighs engaged and turning in;
  • When you are first trying, practice the jump up and backs and one legged hops;
  • PULL THE BELLY IN AND UP! Pelvic floor lifts;
  • Toes pointed please.
  • Training exercise > Jump back and forward with one leg from down dog, handstand tucks, practice against a wall rotating sides (keep body facing wall not the other way or you will bend the back), keep same foundations as tadasana if agains the wall.

How to enter:

  • Option 1: Kick up with one leg
    • Errors
      • Don’t keep one knee bent, bring both legs together as soon as possible to keep balance;
      • Don’t let the heel move in front of the head when you are coming down, keep the control;
      • Shoulders starting too far over the wrists, not a good head position or good for the back.
  • Option 2: Tuck Jump i.e. jump from down dog into handstand (personal favourite)
    • Bring feet over shoulders then straighten the legs
      • Errors
        • Don’t have hands too close to feet;
        • start about halfway to a down dog.
  • Option 3: Straddle Jump i.e. forward fold press up
    • Errors
      • Not having the flexibility and trying;
      • Hands too close and dumping the shoulders.

When you probably should not do this pose, or take it slow:

  • If you have back or neck pain;
  • cannot do foundation poses like dolphin or tiger curls;
  • have not warmed up the wrists.

Learn more about my yoga classes in Adelaide! 

Showing option 2:

Adelaide Handstand Training

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Handstand Training

Learn about Ben Greenwood 

 

 

Come to my classes and tell me you want to do it and we will get it done.

View more in-depth handstand analysis here.

 

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Beginners yoga practice – getting started!

Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Beginners Yoga Classes in Adelaide

Starting a yoga practice can be hard, so here is our guide for getting started!

And no,

It doesn’t matter if you’ve never practiced yoga before.

beginners yoga

Ben Greenwood, Yoga Teacher

Bring it back to the breath

When practicing yoga, bring it back to the breath;

It is very important to be aware and in control of the breath in yoga; 

Ideally you should be breathing through the nose throughout the practice focusing on breathing techniques;

The breath helps us be calm and focused by relaxing our nervous system!

vinyasa yoga beginners

Almendra Rodriguez

Stay consistent

Consistency is one of the most important aspects of getting results in yoga.

You need to be consistent and patient to allow yourself to progress in the practice.

A good place to start is a couple of times a week.

Here’s how our members started there yoga practice!

Vinyasa Yoga Student Grace

Even water can break down rock, be consistent with your goals! Click To Tweet

It’s you vs you

Don’t worry what other people are doing.

Everyone has a different level of both experience, and physical ability.

The practice is about you and your goals.

So don’t expect to be able to master a handstand straight away! 

advanced vinyasa workshop

Lead Yoga Teacher, @benzenn

Make a home practice

A yoga class should be a place to learn the skills for a life long yoga practice.

It is important to practice what you learn at home, so that you can advance and achieve your goals in yoga.

Here’s a free yoga sequence to practice at home!

Pictured: Michelle Chee Yoga

Set goals

Goals give you direction in your practice.

Your goal might be to hold a pose, sit still for longer or to simply just practice regularly.

Goals keep you accountable and are a mental contract with yourself.

Goals are a mental contract with yourself! Click To Tweet
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What are your yoga goals?


You’re now ready to join our beginners yoga classes

Learn more about our yoga studio or our world-class trainers!

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