Since we have covered a lot of the foundation postures, we are going to start putting some pieces together! Ross demonstrates a series of postures that are great for building strength and getting a good stretch at the same time behind the Zebra Head Shop off Fry St, mural by Travis Sykes,
Beginning in Crescent Lunge, make sure the palms are facing in towards each other and you are distributing the weight evenly between the front and back foot. Find some stillness here, breathing into all the space this pose creates – the stretch in the left hip flexor and the extended back leg.
Bring the arms out wide like wings, since our right foot is forward we are going to wrap the right forearm underneath the left to come into an eagle arm variations. You can single or double wrap the arms, and then try to lift the elbows up to shoulder height to deepen the stretch in the upper part of the back. Feel the shoulder blades spread across the back, and you can even get into the outside of the shoulders by reaching the fingertips away from the face.
To move into Warrior 3, begin to shift the weight to the front foot and create a strong base by spreading the toes wide and rooting down through all four corners of the foot. Engage the core, bringing the navel up and in towards the spine. Think of lightness in the back foot, keeping it flexed, as you launch off and take flight. Keep a micro-bend in the front knee, but pull up and out of the hip crease so you aren’t dumping into the standing leg. Knit the low ribs in with each exhale, and reach out through the back heel with each inhale, letting the breath completely fill the lungs.
From Warrior 3, lift back up into standing and sweep the left leg in front of you. Bend the left knee, like you are stepping up on to a box. Be sure to keep the foot flexed and the core engaged, as you place the ankle just above the knee on the thigh of the standing leg. Sink the tailbone down into your Figure 4 chair pose. Draw the left knee down to help stretch the outside of the hip, and lift up from heart center. Think about hugging everything into the midline to create some stability, and root down through the heel for balance.