Alexzandra Peters is a Yoga Instructor amongst other things and she shows some great ways to get started in certain stretches and poses. These starting points can really help you get to the final stretch and to become more and more flexible. Remember though, it takes patience, commitment and consistency :) 

 

If This Is Your Goal, Start Here! Yoga With Alexzandra peters Pt1

 

Eka Pada Bakasana (one-legged crow)- aka the hardest forking pose ever for me. Seriously. Its why you never see me post it. ?? I struggle with it because I hardly work my crow/crow variations enough to gain the strength in my shoulders, also my core is actually pretty week and this variation demands a hard ass core.?? This wall drill is actually one of my favorites to do to build my core as well as shoulders. The wall is a HUGE support, as well as the straps. It actually makes the pose accessible for almost anyone. (beginners, put a pillow in front of your face, and expect to take a face plant, lol it’s just part of the practice??‍♀️! But try your best to keep your head lifted! Drills: *All the shoulder stretches you can think of- cat/cow, thread the needle, puppy pose, to name a few. *stretch out your wrist!!! – This is a must. •Heat up your core with boat pose, crunches, practicing crow on your back, crow •Warm up with some high/low lunges, pigeon, goddess pose. Get your hips open •Allow the strap to be a little more then shoulder distance apart to give you some room in the shoulders •Find your One-legged crow on the wall fist so you can find your distance for where you need to place your hands on the ground. XOX❤️❤️❤️

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Hey Friends, Good Morning & Happy Wednesday ???? I wanted do a post on bird of paradise because it’s actually the pose I disliked most when I started Yoga. It took me FOREVER just to be able to stay balanced, then another lifetime to get my leg extended. It’s still a work in progress for me but using the wall has been a HUGE help in this pose! Warm Ups: •High/low lunge•Revolved side angle•Revolved low lunge-Lizard pose•Lizard pose with bind(use a strap if you don’t have the bind)•Pigeon• Fire log pose•Chair with twist variation•Extended side angle w. Bind)•Extended triangle pose•Extended triangle pose with bind. •Focus more on the calmness of your breathe then then the pose itself. A calm breath will help with the balance as well as the extension of the foot❤️ Swipe left to see video :)

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I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have legitimate dreams of me in this beautiful backbend that the crazy talented @asanavanessa is in. It’s been a goal of mine for the last 3 years and I’ve been working towards it a little at a time (and clearly have a lot further to go ?). I’m honestly horrible at staying consistent with my practice. I’ll focus and deepen my practice in one area, then I’m like “Awesome, I’m where I what to be, time to focus on something else” – this mind set for sure sets me back in the area that I was focusing on, I end up loosing all my hard work that I put in. But I’m getting back on tract to focusing evenly on my body and not just in one particular part. Here’s what I warm up with before I get into this deed ass bend: -10 sun sals, high&low lunge + all the split warm ups I can possibly think of, cobra, seal, up-dog, all the puppy pose variations, shoulder stretches, bow pose, camel + variations, bridge, wheel, + practicing on my wheel for 10 minutes. Swipe left to see the video of how I got into the pose. Thank you for all the flexibility inspiration @asanavanessa !!? Super important: please understand that just by practicing the “practice this” photo won’t give your the direct flexibility and depth in the asana. It will for sure help you, but SO MUCH MORE goes into it. All the prep poses, work and breathe. That’s why I always toss in a lot of prep poses because that’s what’s going to deepen your goal pose❤️

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Hi Friends, I’ve been MIA for a few days because IG would t let me post but if I’m being honest, it felt kinda good to take a little breather. I actually had 2 date nights in a row and hardly reached for my phone ??. Any who, let’s get into #dancerspose today! I have an on again, off again love affair with this pose because our relationship isn’t consistent (on my end)?. WARM UPS: – Make sure you spend at least 15-20 minutes warming up before getting into this pose. – 5-10 Sun sals, cobra, seal, up dog, locust, camel, Hugh&low lunge, pigeon, mermaid pose, puppy pose (all variations: elbows on blocks, hands on wall), bow, bridge, wheel, all the shoulder stretches. – Block should be 3.5 inches below your collar bone. – The wall drill is to help you keep your chest lifted forward, hips squared, stabilize you & help you go deeper into the pose at your own pace❤️ – Please visit www.yogajournal.com for complete pose breakdown :) Swipe left to see the video of how to find your distance away from the wall.✨☺️ Wearing @lalalandcomfywear

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Good morning my beautiful, phenomenal, inspiring Friday, and happy Thursday!!☺️✨? Take a second for you self this morning to just be with your body, your breath and inhale light and love into your soul.? My Mantra for the day: Ain’t nobody got time for negativity (negativity in people, myself, stress, anxiety)! So lets look as this pose, because it’s a bit*h when you’re first trying to figure it out.??‍♀️ Key points: •The further your hands are away from the body, the more intense •Notice my hand placement, I’m on my fingertips and my thumbs are facing my feet. •Protract, protract, PROTRACT your shoulders. You want to push away as much as possible. •Hug the lifted knee into your body as much as possible. •This is a huge core pose so warm up with core exorcises: boat pose, plank, get a few crunches in •Also, Notice how deep my forward fold is – warm up your folds! •BLOCK LEVEL – try out different levels with the block and eventually work your way to the ground. Make sure the block is directly against the wall so it is stable •play with toe taps against the wall Swipe left to see modification video ✨ Wearing @craneandlion

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I’m beyond excited to teach an arm balancing workshop next month on Saturday, May 19th from 10:30am-noon, $35 at @gorhamyogacompany . (Here is one of the tricks that I’ll be teaching at the workshop for firefly! For more info on the Workshop, click the link in my bio and join me ? *Prep. work before you get into this pose: -warm up your legs – high & low lunges, forward folds, hammies and quads -Warm up your hips- goddess pose, frog, fire log pose (both sides), pigeon, center split, turtle pose, 15 squats ** Warm up your wrist, stretch them out! -Stretch your shoulders: thread the needle, variations of puppy pose, binds, anything you can think of. -Warming up is the key ingredient before hopping into any pose. So take your time ? If you swipe left and look at the video, you’ll notice that I try to get my legs over my shoulders as much as I possibly can (my hip flexibility is pretty bad, I can’t put my leg behind my head at all), that’s one of the key ingredients to this pose, it’s going to help you with your lift and take less pressure off of your back. Wherever your legs go, squeeze and hug your thighs in as much as possible, lower your booty as if your sitting on a throne ( AKA blocks ). Make a circle with your strap, about 3.5 wide, it will hang loose over your ankles at first but once you’re ready to extend the legs the strap will help support, lift you and keep the legs squeezed in! Collarbones and view lifted and forward.?✨❤️

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STANDING HALF SPLIT ? I’ve loved the looks of this pose ever since I saw it done 5 years ago. I can assure you that my standing half slip did not look anything close to the photo on the left ?. It took 5 years of work. Tips: – You want to warm up your splits and center slips as much as possible. Look at both of my videos on my page to get an idea of some! As well as forward folds! – Use the wall, it helps you square off your hips as well as, apply pressure to your split as you lean into the wall. (I do not have squared hips in the full pose, it’s super hard for me to square them because I have 10 years of cheerleader hips. I’m working on correcting them?) – Focus on keeping the top leg straight (it doesn’t matter if the lift leg goes past your hips the first time or 100 times you try this. His pose is huge and it needs a lot of Work to achieve full extension). – The deeper you can forward fold the higher your leg will probably be able to go. **** Work on pulsing the leg off and on the ground for a great exercise on strengthening the hips. ❤️❤️ Swipe left to see out I got into the pose :)

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Mayurasana .. oh boy, It took be FOREVER to figure this pose out. How is one suppose to balance their entire body on two tiny little elbows without puncturing your stomach?! The key to this pose is strengthening your core, as well as pressing through the arms while keeping your collar bone broad. Core is Key here! Tips: – Finger tips are facing your feet – Elbows are squeezing together, right at your solar plexus, just above the belly button. – Keep the core as engaged as possible throughout the entire pose. If you relax the muscles your coming to collapse. – Create the action of leaning forward, shoulders are about 3-4 inches off of the ground. – Legs are engages and booty squeezing. – There are two different variations to this pose, 1 being where the legs are higher then the body, 2. Where the legs are level with the body (harder option). – If you’re new to this pose, try with your legs a little apart, but traditionally you want the legs together – Blocks are there for support so you can get the feeling of what needs to be engaged. Practice holding, or taking one leg off of the blocks, or dipping the shoulders and taking both feet off of the blocks❤️ Warm ups: – Spend 5-10 minutes warming up & stretching your wrist – Core workouts – 30 crunches, 30 bicycles, 30 leg lefts, holding plank for 30 seconds, holding boat pose for 30 seconds. – Thread the needle on pother arms to give the shoulders some love Swipe left to see video of how I got into it :)

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?King Pigeon Pose Someone the other day asked me how long I’ve been practicing this pose and I replied,”years”. More specifically 7 years. This pose is a bi*ch for the first. Souls year and a half of practicing. SO much goes into it, Back flexibility, shoulder flexibility and movement, open hips, hamstrings and what’s. Just g pigeon stretches the entire body. • The leg against the wall provides more support and you crawl you hand down the strap and closer to your foot. • The strap is to help you 1. Flip your grip, 2. Work on crawling your hands closer to your foot. Warm ups for the legs and hips: -Forward fold, lunches, Warrior 2’s, straddle forward fold, goddess, fire log, pigeon. Warm ups for the back & shoulders: – Cobra, up dog, puppy pose, thread the needle, seal, locust, floor bow, standing backbend, camel, bridge

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Straddle lift is a pose that I believe is truly underestimated for the amount of strength that’s necessary in order to lift both legs. It forking hard. Like really hard. So if you’ve been practicing it and just can’t seem to get it, I hear you. I was once there experiencing that same frustrating and doubt. Until I started practicing them with blocks!?? I feel like props. Get such a bad rep. like their a sign of weakness. I assure you, that if you use props. Its not weakness. They allow and assist growth and for me it brought confidence. Tips for straddle lift: Start with two blocks under your heels Toes are pointed & legs are engaged the entire time (this helps make the lift feel lighter) Core is engaged entire time Push, push, push and push some more in your shoulders!!! ** Hand placement Beginners: One hand in front of the body, one in back Intermediate: Both hands in front. ** If the lift feels easy, try alternating feet and picking them off of the block and setting them back down **Also try removing one block and practicing the lift with a little more body weight ** When you’re ready, remove both blocks & practice, practice, Practice!!❤️❤️

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Hi Friends☺️ Good Morning & Happy Motivation Monday ? I’ve been getting a lot of questions regarding splits, like: “How long till I see progress in my split?” – well that depends, if you’re practice them every day for at lest 30 minutes… probably a week or two! If you want to gain flexibility in your split you should really practice them every day if you want to see progress. Deeping a split takes an extremely long time, the muscles are stubborn & still so you need to baby them and stretch them as often as possible. “What kind of stretches can I do to deepen my center split?” There are hundred of stretches you can do but I’ll name a few: Goddess, malasana, butterfly, forward fold, wide leg forward fold, goddess against the wall (show in this video), leg lifts (shown in this video), lunges, narrow center split(hold for 3 minutes), wide leg center split (hold for 2-3 minutes), center split against the wall, legs up the wall center split (hold for 3 minutes). ** Best advice I’ve ever received was: If you want to deepen your split always practice over splits. You’ll see me doing this at the end of the video. You’re probably thinking “I can’t over split like you” – that’s okay! Over split just means that your adding blocks or a prop under your legs, it doesn’t have to be as intense as I show in the video. You adjust to where you are in YOUR practice. You can do this even if you cant lay your belly flat, or even if your forearms can go down. – I’ll show you examples later this afternoon in my story ? ? ❤️ by @xavierruddofficial

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Good Morning & Happy Saturday my Friends ☺️?? Today is day 5 of #bloomintoyoga ans our pose is straddle forward fold. Feel free to take this pose standing up, or sitting down! Today I encourage you to take your straddle a little deeper, find an assist that takes you there. Maybe it’s a wall, a strap, or a human giving you a gentle push :) ?Helpful tips • Fold from the hips • Try to keep a flat spine and the dome out of the upper back(using the wall and folding into it, helps this and it also takes you deeper into the pose) • Stay in the fold for 10 rounds of breaths (the longer you stay, the deeper the stretch and improvement). • Be aware of your knees (mine are hyperextended in both photos – but I’m okay with that because I get a deeper stretch.. and it’s my body so I can do w.e I want ;) ❤️) but if your scared for you knees or you just want to be kind to them, keep a slight bend to protect them. Hosts: ? @thenortheastyogi @alexzandrapeters @meganjoy.m @vanessaandreah @amandastammy Sponsor: @aloYoga

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When I think of #chinstand I think of the amount of bruises it’s given me ?. When I started practicing I didn’t know if a prep pose for this asana and it was pretty freakin horrible and took me months to be able to figure it out. Not until I was able to do it, did I realize there was a prep pose. • Placing bocks under both shoulds is a game changer for beginners. It allows you you find your inversion, to feel what it’s like to hold the body without putting all the pressure! Helpful pointers: • Notice the placement of my hands and elbows. Hands are shoulder distance a part and the elbows are pointing directly to the ceiling. •Fingers, palms and arms are doing most of the support so keep them engaged the entire time and keep pushing up (there’s hardly any weight on your chin) • You want to try and get the feet stacked over the hips. Finding the straight alignment takes away the pressure and will feel lighter to hold. • The entire body need to be engaged for this to happen, so squeeze everything ☺️ •Breathe WARM UPS • Holding Chathuranga for a few breaths(regular or on your knees), push-ups, cobra, up dog, super man pose, shoulder stretches ❤️❤️

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I remember my first Yoga class like it was yesterday, and how the teacher asked us to get into camel pose. I looked around the room thinking “what the fcuk?”. – No I didn’t get into it. I was honestly scared of the pose. Until I started using the wall and blocks to ease me into it :). Be gentle on your bodies everyone, there’s no need to rush or force your body into a pose. It’s not worth the pain. Trust me ?. Tips: •DO YOUR WARMUPS FIRST – I can’t stress how important this is. Warm up with cobra, seal, up dog, twist, shoulder stretches, bridge, backbends, wheel! •Keep the hips pressed into the wall (if you’re a beginner, this will help you in the future to remember to keep pushing them forward). I see a lot of yogis leaning so far back, bringing the hips closer to stacking over the ankles. You want to keep them over the knees or pushing beyond the knees. • imagine a silk string pulling your heart up towards the sun. That’s where you want to keep your chest. • If your hands can’t touch the heels, ankles or floor, use blocks! Stack them to whatever height beat fits your body and practice! • Look a few post back in my Gallery where I’m using blocks + straps in a similar pose, you can also do that in camel (just your arms are reaching towards the ankles — now flipping for bridge arms). Happy cameling☺️?

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Boat pose…. one of the hardest asanas in the world of yoga ? – again, personal opinion lol. It’s taken me 7 years to get my boat pose to look like the photo on the left! For the practice photo, the wall is an amazing gift to the asana practice. How to: •Scoot into the wall until your feet are at shoulder height – or higher, and legs are straight & completely engaged. • Start in a hollow body position (with the upper half of the body) as your legs stay in place on the wall. Inhale, then exhale and engage your core and come up to a seated position trying to reach your fingertips to the wall. — if you feel like you can get up, scoot the booty back some more and bring the feet lower. • Breathe here in this pose and slowly starting to take your heels off the wall until your toes are just tapping. • Work on engaging the core even more so you can take both feet off of the wall. ☺️ Wearing @lululemon

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It’s no secret that the wall is my favorite prop? especially for scorpion stretching! * If you warm up your quads and hammies before you’ll notice a HUGE difference and that the feet will be closer to the head. • The further you’re away from the wall, the less compression you will feel on the back when you work on extending the arms. • Work on bringing the feet towards the head •A way to go even deeper is to work on leaving the belly button on the ground and this will work on the upper spine flexibility. •• PS it took me a year to get my feet to my head and I’m still practicing on my depth constantly. So it’s okay if your feet aren’t even close to your head, mine weren’t either when I started practicing ☺️❤️

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Well, friends.. today I show you how I gave myself a bloody nose in the first video??‍♀️ and take a “lemon head?” (As Eric puts it) in the second one trying to refilm the pose from earlier that I posted for you. To be honest I’ve had an off day, and I really didn’t want to get into this pose, nor did I warm up for it so I’m not shocked that both attempts went horribly wrong ??‍♀️. TIPS: ✨Do all the warm ups (dont cut corners like me or you’ll end up with a bloody nose ?): up dog, cobra, seal, puppy pose, standing back bend, bridge, wheel, hallowback pincha. ✨Block Height: Bottom block lays flat, the top one needs to be right in the middle (you’ll notice that’s why I took a lemon head in the second video, because Eric put it in the back of the block. Learn from our mistakes ?). ✨the tallest height will be the most intense, so try out different levels. ✨use a strap to work on crawling your hands towards the block. ✨if the block is shaky and keeps falling, have a kind human support it for you ❤️

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Good morning friends!☺️? I get so many questions asking me about split flexibility, so I wanted to share a quick video of some of my warm ups before I get into a split. Keep in mind that these are just a few warm ups, there are so many other poses and tricks to help you. Normally I hold each pose for 10 breaths, or longer (the longer you hold it the quicker progress you will see over time). Breathe fully into each pose Hips are activated for every pose Use props! Feel free to put blocks under your hands for any of it, or blocks under the hip for pigeon and the split. If you want to see progress, plan on doing drills and stretching for every day (or at the very least 4x a week). Doing it once a week won’t get you anywhere. It takes a lot of time and practice to be able to see progress. When stretching for splits, you want to make sure you're working on correct alignment, so head on over to www.yogajournal.Com and type in these poses to see detailed alignment: high lunge, low lunge, triangle, pigeon, king pigeon, forward fold, splits❤️

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