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Day 7 – Balance

Use it or Lose it!


BeginnerIntermediateAdvanced
Beginner
Video Transcript
Hey guys, its Dean. Welcome back to your free intro to Man Flow Yoga, today is day seven and this is your last lesson from the free intro to Man Flow Yoga, so far you’ve learned around twenty different postures and exercises, you’ve learned a ton about how your body, how it works, how everything is connected and you’ve also been able to notice immediate results from those postures and exercises but these immediate results will go away if you don’t continue to do these exercises. So at the end of this lesson I invite you to join me in the member’s area where you’ll get everything you need to continue to work on the progress that you’ve made so far, the mobility, the endurance, the core strength, the flexibility and of course what that comes with what we really care about which is the improved athletic performance, the injury prevention and also getting better at everything that you physically do no matter what the activity is whether it’s sports, whether it’s martial arts, running or just walking around the house and it’s just one dollar sign up, more on that later let’s get into the lesson for now.

All right so the last lesson from your free intro to Man Flow Yoga is balance and balance is something that is so beneficial for our health but very few of us actually work on it on a repeated basis regularly. So I’m going to talk about the importance of balance, I’ll talk about the challenges that most of us face when it comes to balance and then I’ll give you my favorite postures for working on balance and a plan moving forward. So balance; balance is important because it helps us to build strengthen our lower body, it helps to it helps it gives you tremendous injury prevention benefits, it helps with core strength and helps improve your body awareness, helps improve —– Balance is one of those foundational building blocks of your body that you need in order to have a solid physical fitness level. Again those tremendous injury prevention benefits I mentioned help with preventing injury in your ankles and your knees and that’s one of the most common injuries that we face. So what are the main difficulties when it comes to balance? Well the biggest is that we just don’t do balance enough, unless we are doing yoga or doing a type of exercise that specifically takes time to work on balancing on one foot right just something simple like this we’re missing out on all of those benefits that I mentioned before about balance, so that that lower body stability and injury prevention, the core strength, the body awareness, so unless we’re working on that that’s going to go out the window right the phrase the phrase use it or lose it is aptly applied here that we’re not working on balance we are not going to have balance eventually and this is true for people who are high level athletes and people who aren’t working out at all unless you’re actively working on balance you’re not going to improve it and you’re going to miss out on all of those benefits so now I want to show you my favorite postures for working on balance and these are cool because they actually form the foundation of all the other balance postures you’ll find in yoga, so once you learn these you’ll be able to not only work on your balance to improve your lower body stability to work on in the injury prevention but you also be able to progress from there to learn how to do more advanced yoga postures, more advanced balancing exercises and then go on to the course the goal of that is just make your body stronger injury prevention, body awareness, lower body strength, core strength and that’s what we’re really after so let’s get into it.

This is level one for balance so I’m going to show you three balancing postures and show you the most basic exercises, the most basic forms of those postures. All right so the first one is a high lunge and if you need to use a wall or some sort of external support please feel free to use that. So for the high lunge you’re going to have your feet about six inches apart, maybe your hand on the wall to help with balance and you’re going to step let’s go with the left foot going back, first the left foot to the back and let’s start with just about two and a half maybe three feet so however much you need to that you feel secure that you feel like you’re not getting a huge stretch in your left hip but maybe just a light stretch in the left hip and you can still maintain a straight spine so you’re not arching your back like this but you’re nice and straight up and down through the spine so this is the high lunge and this is the most basic balance posture we have and it’s the only balance posture that we’re going to be doing that’s on two feet, so your knee is going to be over your ankle and just like all the other lunges that we’ve done so far, you want to keep the weight in your hips and and keep the back knee slightly bent at first, maybe so I can get my spine neutral so I don’t want to have my lower back arching here and then once I have the core tight so I’m going to think of kind of reaching the tail bone down here or starting to lengthen the lower spine and then I can straighten the back leg, now I’m getting a stretch to the left hip and I’m working on the strength of my right leg, I’m working on core strength, I’m working on spine stability and this is level one so you can use that we use the wall if you need to, use your right hand, use your left on whatever you need to to help you balance and I really encourage you to work on getting the technique down first, even if that means using a wall so once you get the technique down, once you get the proper technique then we can move the hands away from the wall but if we’re building, if we’re using improper technique with your hand away from the wall or not using support that’s that setting up a bad foundation, that’s not a solid foundation so again use the wall at first and then from here just like the other ones you want to squeeze the legs toward one another, so my right leg squeezes back, my left foot squeezes forward and I want to bring my arms up like so into a high lunge so this is the first exercise, the high lunge. We’re going to do this for a minimum of thirty seconds on each side so again if you want to switch sides of me we’ve got knee over the ankle in the front foot, the legs are squeezing toward one another, my tailbone is reaching down, my abs are tight, so my lower back is an arching right and not doing anything like this I’ve got pretty much a straight line from my pubic bone up to my sternum, so that’s one way I like to think about it and then you can bring your arms up however you want if you want to do a goalpost arms if it’s uncomfortable to go all the way over head start with goalpost arms and work your way to arms overhead and again use that wall if you need to that’s fine.

All right so that’s the first exercise the high lunge, second we’re going to do is an airplane so the high lunge targeted your hip flexor mobility, the airplane is going to work on your hamstring mobility and we’re going to start off in that high lunge position to get into airplane. So I got my right foot forward and I get right back into that high lunge this is the easiest way to get into an airplane, we’re going to use the wall. Now I want to keep my tailbone reaching down, I want to keep this straight line from my pubic bone to my sternum the whole time, trying not to arch your back and again really keep the abs tight, from here we’re going to lean forward, you’re going to push down through your right foot, keep the hips squared forward, so don’t let your hips turn out to the side like this, you want to keep your hips and your front foot facing straight forward. I’m going to squeeze my right glute, so if you don’t have that awareness try using the wall at first or would you can also do is use a block or whatever you have to help support you have just been using a mat right now because that’s what I have, you can use a mat, you can use a chair, whatever you can to help make it so that your hips face straight forward. So notice this is what I want to do with my hips, I want to open up the lifted hip with the left hip so my goal here is to turn that hip in, turn my planted hips on my right hip out and that allows me to square my hips to at the front and now I’m getting proper glute engagement, I’m getting proper hamstring engagement and instead of having my hips back here like this my kind of behind the ankle I want to pull my chest forward and get my hips over my ankle, you can point the toes in the back foot and then you want to keep the chest open, your arms along your side, chin toward your throat, make sure that you’re not dipping your head down you want to keep a straight line as much as possible and then go ahead and come back up so that’s the airplane. Let’s go the other side to just to try that out again, so airplane for starting from the high lunge if you want you can also just start with your hand on the wall here with a straight leg and this is maybe a little easier. I would slightly bend the knee so don’t walk out your leg all the way, you want to keep a slight bend to that knee, that way you can control the leg more and then we’re just going to lift the back leg off the ground, tighten the abs, square the hips forward and start to hinge forward, so notice that I’m keeping a straight line from my back foot to my head and you don’t need to go that deep, you don’t have to go into an L-shape right away you could just come a foot off the ground at the back foot and lean forward a little bit. So my goal here is stretching through the hamstring engagement through the glute, my back leg stays lifted so I’m not letting this leg relax, I’m keeping an active and engaged, reaching the tail bone down and tightening my abs. So that’s airplane, we’re going to work on that for thirty seconds, both sides you can do two sets of those when you do them.

All right next one, final exercise is a standing bow and this works on your quadriceps. So the fronts your thighs and also your hip flexors, so from the knees to your abdominals so over this one we’re going to stand on one foot and you can use the wall to balance here, in fact I recommend using the wall to balance, push down to your right foot in a balance there and bring my left heel toward my butt like so and then grab the outside of the foot, so notice that my bicep is opening out to the side, my shoulder is open, I’m not turning in like this but I’m opening the hand out and then grabbing the inside of the foot. So this is the starting position and this is what I’m going to have you do and then remove your hand from the wall if you can and bring your right arm straight up toward the ceiling and there to work on getting as tall as you can here and this is our starting position, this is what I want you to do for today, it’s just working on pressing up and then keeping the tailbone reaching down so I’m not arching my back like this but I’m trying to get my hips as squared as possible and then if you want going just a little bit forward, so maybe six inches forward and six inches back. I’m going to push into the back foot backhand with my foot so the leg is active my hand is just along for the ride, I also make it a stretch to my left shoulder and my right arm is extended up and I’m actually arching my back here so I don’t want my hips up behind me like this, I actually want to push my hips forward keeping the hips above the ankle and I get a nice stretch through the front of the left hip. I’m going to get my right glute, my right leg is working a lot, and I’m getting structures through both of my shoulders, hips are facing straight forward, make sure that your hips aren’t opening up to the side like this, but they’re facing straight forward and then go ahead and release, let’s practice that one more time. So other side we’re going to again open up the right hands of the bicep faces out, grab the inside of the foot, if you found that difficult you can also use a belt or maybe use a strap to wind around your foot and that way you can hold the foot right, if you can’t grab it right this is another option you can do like so and then same thing again so I’m standing up tall, maybe using the wall for support, pushing down through the left foot, keeping my left glute active that’s going to help me balance here, bringing the left arm up breathing in, kicking back and reaching forward at the same time again my hips stay facing straight forward, I’m kicking hard into my backhand, my right shoulder is just along for the ride and my left arm is reaching up abs are tight to protect the arch in my back.

So those are your three exercises, again this is the beginner’s level when you’re feeling like you’re ready to move up to intermediate or advanced go for it. Use the wall at first again really use the wall, develop proper form and then we can move on to not using the wall but I want you to have proper form first before moving away from the wall. All these exercises you can do two sets of total at one time so in the morning, do two of each exercise on both sides, so four total and work on thirty seconds for each pose. Those are the exercises from the balance section I wanted to show you, if you found those exercises easy that’s great but we still need to work on them on a continual basis or you will lose that ability and if you found these exercises difficult that’s just an indication that there’s so much room to grow, that there is so much room for you to get stronger by doing these exercises and again the only way to do that is by doing them on a consistent basis by practicing them, by getting better at them, by learning about them and that’s exactly why we created the members area, so that you can get all of the benefits of yoga in one convenient place, whether you’re on the computer, on your phone, or on the go so I created the members area not just for the content because I wanted you to be able to improve the way that you feel, improve the way that you move and even improve the way you look. So the immediate benefits happen because we’re doing the postures because we’re stretching the muscles, we’re working your body in different ways, we’re countering what you do on a regular basis, so you notice those benefits immediately but the long term benefits right so things that you’ll notice maybe a few weeks down the road or a couple months down the road, the improved muscle definition, the improved performance and everything else that you’re doing the more you do this type of exercise and more you’re working on not just balance but on your mobility, on your core strength, on your body control the better you get everything you do, professional athletes are doing yoga, the division one college athletes are doing yoga, most high schools and a lot of high schools are now getting in to yoga but it’s still something that not all of us accept or not all the see is something that’s beneficial right we all like working out but we don’t necessarily do what we need to do we like the high intensity stuff all the time but we need to do that functional stuff, we need to work on mobility, we need to build a solid foundation of mobility and body control in order to do these more advanced exercises.

So if your goal is to be able to do handstands, if your goal is to be able to crow pose, or if your goals are more modest if you just want to be able to move better, feel better and maybe lose a few pounds, we’ve got everything you need in the members area, content, tutorials, workout programs, workouts we’ve got a workout library with over one hundred workouts with filters that allow you to search for the exact workout you need based on physical fitness focus, based on whether you want balance, strength, or flexibility based on if you want hips or ankles and even time so if you want to work out that’s only fifteen minutes long or if you’ve got an hour to workout got all of that in there and it’s just one dollar to sign up.

So even if you don’t sign up I hope that you got a ton out of this free intro to Man Flow Yoga, I hope you learned a lot about your body I hope you’ll continue to do these exercises so that you can continue to keep your body safe, continue to stay healthy, continue to work on injury prevention techniques. So thanks again for joining me on this free intro again please consider signing up for the members area, it’s just one dollar if you don’t like it you can cancel it, you’ll get your money back, it’s an amazing resource we’ve got hundreds of members from all over the world using it. I get e-mails every day from people who are experiencing the benefits of doing this stuff and I really hope that you will give this a shot, I think that it can help you, I think that it can make you better, I think that it can make you feel better and I know that in the long term this is the stuff that all of us need so again thank you for joining me on this free intro to Man Flow Yoga, I look forward to seeing you in the members area or if not hopefully I’ll see you on some of the other videos down the line.

Intermediate
Video Transcript
Hey guys its Dean. Welcome back to your free intro to Man Flow Yoga. Today is day seven and this is your last lesson from the free intro to Man Flow Yoga. So far, you’ve learned around twenty different postures and exercises, you’ve learned a ton about how your body, how it works, how everything is connected and you’ve also been able to notice immediate results from those postures and exercises, but these immediate results will go away if you don’t continue to do these exercises. So at the end of this lesson, I invite you to join me in the member’s area where you’ll get everything you need to continue to work on the progress that you’ve made so far; the mobility, the insurance, the core strength, the flexibility and of course what that comes with, what we really care about, which is, the improved athletic performance, the injury prevention and also getting better at everything that you physically do no matter what the activity is, whether it’s sports, whether it’s martial arts, running, or just walking around the house and it’s just one dollar to sign up, more on that later. Let’s get into the lesson for now. All right so the last lesson from your free intro to Man Flow Yoga is Balance and balance is something that is so beneficial for our health but very few of us actually work on it on a repeated basis regularly. So I’m going to talk about the importance of balance, I’ll talk about the challenges that most of us face when it comes to balance and then I’ll give you my favorite postures for working on balance and a plan moving forward. So balance, balance is important because it helps us to build strengthen our lower body, it helps to, it helps it, gives you tremendous injury prevention benefits, it helps with core strength and helps improve your body awareness helps improve. Balance is one of those foundational building blocks of your body that you need in order to have a solid physical fitness level. Again those tremendous injury prevention benefits I mentioned help with preventing injury in your ankles and your knees and that’s one of the most common injuries that we face. So what are the main difficulties when it comes to balance? Well the biggest is that we just don’t do balance enough unless we are doing yoga or doing a type of exercise that specifically takes time to work on balancing on one foot. Right just something simple like this we’re missing out on all of those benefits that I mentioned before about balance so that lower body stability and injury prevention the core strength the body awareness, so unless we’re working on that, that’s going to go out the window. Right the phrase ‘use it or lose it’ is aptly applied here. If we’re not working on balance we are not going to have balance eventually and this is true for people who are high level athletes and people who aren’t working out at all. Unless you’re actively working on balance you’re not going to improve it and you’re going to miss out on all of those benefits. So now I want to show you my favorite postures for working on balance and these are cool because they actually form the foundation of all the other balance postures you’ll find in yoga. So once you learn these you’ll be able to not only work on your balance to improve your lower body stability to work on injury prevention but you also be able to progress from there, to learn how to do more advanced yoga postures, more advanced balancing exercises and then go on to, of course the goal of that, is just make your body stronger. Injury prevention, body awareness, lower body strength, core strength and that’s what we’re really after. So let’s get into it!

This is the intermediate version; we’re going to start off with a high lunge. So the high lunge, just like all the other lunges, is going to work on your hip mobility but adding the balancing element to this. We’re going to work on your balance, as well. So I want you to start off with your feet about six inches apart, with your glutes slightly engaged and your knees just bent slightly forward. Take a big step back with your left foot, as much as you can. Knee over the ankle and we’re going to squeeze the right leg back, squeeze the left foot forward, push your right hip toward the ground and then pull your ribs up away from your hips. There shouldn’t be any pain in your back here so if you feel like there’s pinching your back, soften the back knee, reach the tailbone down, get that straight line from your pubic bone to your sternum and then you can try straightening the back like a little bit more to work deeper into the hip. So my back heel is off the ground, that’s what adding the element of balance to this and I’m still squeezing my legs toward one another. I’m really pressing down through the right foot, squeezing the back thigh as well, so both legs are very active. My left leg is not out on a picnic, I’m using this leg too and I’m pulling my ribs up away from the hips, to get an even deeper stretch through the back hip. From here you can bring your arms up, like so, and we’re going to work on holding this thirty seconds to start and work your way up to a minute. So this is the high lunge. Let’s go ahead and switch sides. Again, starting with your feet six inches apart or if you want you can also start in a low lunge. This is a cool transition, so knee over the ankle in the front foot, your legs are active, legs squeezing toward one another, and then I’m going to tuck the back toes and from here just lift the back knee while keeping everything else the same. So this is another way to get into high lunge, really good for working on strength in your back leg. It also makes it so that the high lunge, if you tend to lean forward more, and you use your front leg more, if you come up from the low lunge into the high lunge, you’ll get better engagement through the back leg and that will help you be more balanced in the high lunge.

So again the legs are squeezing toward one another, my tailbone is reaching down, my abs are engaged, there’s no pain in my lower back and my arms going to come up and again thirty seconds to start, working your way up to sixty seconds. One other thing I want to mention here, make sure that when you bring your arms up, you’re not arching your back to get your arms straight up. Keep your abs tight and that way you also work on shoulder mobility, as you get your arms back.

All right go ahead and relax. So that’s the first one, high lunge. Do that twice, so two reps, thirty to sixty seconds each, and I would do both sides twice when you do it. So if you do it in the morning, try it on both sides try it twice and then do it again in the afternoon or the evening. I would recommend doing it in the morning and then in the afternoon and go for about, let’s say, sixty seconds to one hundred twenty seconds total on both sides.

All right, next exercise is the airplane and this one is for your hamstrings. Very good for hamstring, very good for glutes, very good for core. So airplane, we’re going to start actually off in the high lunge. So we’ve got the knee over the ankle in the front foot, now before you take off in the airplane, squeeze your right glute. So we want to make sure the right glute stays engaged, you’re really tightening those external hip rotators so that you can keep your hips squared forward. If you’re not using those, your hips will tend to face out to the side, to the inside, and you won’t be squared up toward the front, so again glute engagement here. Bring your arms longer sides, your palms facing forward, and then from here we’re going to pull up with your chest, breathe in and then exhale, lean forward, drag your back foot forward like so, and then lift it off the ground, point your toes and then the hinge at your hips, arms along your sides, tailbone reaching down toward the back wall, and I’m going to make sure to keep my neck up. So you want to think of pushing the back of your neck toward the ceiling and almost like you can see a little bit of the chest in the in your peripherals. So you don’t want to be down here like this but you want to keep the chest, so you want to keep your neck lifted. And so I’m pointing the toes and I’m stretching my chest forward, my arms are along my sides, getting a stretch to my right hamstring, my left leg is super active here, I’m not letting this leg do nothing and I’m tightening my right glute to keep my hips squared forward.

Go ahead and come out of that. So we’ve got thirty seconds there, maybe work your way up to sixty seconds. The challenge there is keeping your abs tight so making sure that your back isn’t arching and you also want to make sure that you’re not letting your chest dip toward the ground, so a lot of people will do it and they’ll do something like this, where they’re leaning forward. So we want to make sure that we’re keeping the chest pulling forward and we’re trying to keep a straight line from the back toes, all the way to the top of the head, and you don’t have to go as deep as you saw me go there. You can start maybe with, you know, a foot back, with your foot, and a foot forward with your chest, and then just make sure that you’re keeping that line between your, between your back foot, and your head. So we’re going to do thirty to sixty seconds there.

Again just to review, second side we’re starting off in the high lunge once more, your arms are along your sides, palms facing forward, leg squeeze toward one another, want to make sure that my left glute is active now, that left hip presses toward the ground to help with that glute activation. Big breath in, exhale forward, keeping my core tight, the tailbone reaching back, toes point toward the back wall, noticed chest pulls forward, so I’m getting length, pulling the ribs away from the hips. That’s a theme that’s been discussed lot in this intro. Head pressing away from your body, arms along your sides, and the back leg staying active. Your back leg, make sure that that toe isn’t facing out to the side. So you want to internally rotate your back thigh so that the kneecap faces straight down, stretching through the hamstring, strengthening the ankle, strengthening the glute, strengthening your core, and then come back up. Again, thirty to sixty seconds there, I would do one rep total of that, I’d make sure to do it in the morning and then mid day or afternoon.

All right, last exercising I’m going to show you, part of the intermediate section, is high lunge airplane and standing bow, so this one, great for your hips, great for your glutes, great for your spine. Start up balancing on one foot, and going to bring your left heel in toward your butt and notice, pay attention here, open up your arm so that your bicep faces out, don’t rotate your arm in like this. Rotate it out. Grab the big toe, or the sorry the big toe side of your foot, again bicep faces out, make sure that you don’t have any shoulder impingements, so you are not internally rotating the shoulder. You’re externally rotating the shoulder. I’m going to square my hips forward, firm up my right hip, and bring my right arm straight up, breath in. Exhale. Kick back and reach forward, and we’re only going to go forward about a foot and a half. So I’m going to press my arm up, I really want to squeeze my right hip here so that my hips stay squared forward and I’m pressing hard into my back foot. So the strength of this posture is actually going to come from me pushing hard into my left hand. The left foot, the left leg is pressing back, so my quadriceps, my left thigh, is working here to do that and I want to keep my hips forward. So I’m not letting my hips go back like this, I’m going to keep my hips pressing forward, so I continue to get a deeper stretch through my left hip flexor and I’m going to hold this one for thirty to sixty seconds. You just need to do that one once.

Alight let’s try again and I’m going to aim straight forward now so you see what this looks like from a different angle. So starting with my feet about hip width apart, balancing on my left foot, bringing my right foot in, again bicep faces out, I’m going to grab the inside of the foot, so the big toe side of the foot, and I’m going to reach my tailbone down here, abs stay tight to protect your back, arm goes up. Breath in. Exhale, kick back, reach forward. So notice my hips are going out like this. My hips are going to stay facing straight forward, I’m kicking straight back, reaching my tailbone down, so protecting my spine, tightening the abs and reaching my left arm up, and again thirty to sixty seconds here. The easiest way to balance is to focus on a non-moving point, stare straight at it, and keep as many muscles active as you can. So I’m squeezing my left leg, I’m pressing hard into the back foot, I’m even tightening my abs, tightening my glutes, tightening my thighs, tightening my arms and breathing slow and in control and then go ahead and release. We’ve got sixty seconds starting at thirty seconds working your way up to sixty seconds there, as well.

All right all the balancing postures, thirty seconds up to sixty seconds and I would do these in the morning and then in the afternoon. You don’t need to do them at night unless it’s early evening, if you’re doing balancing postures that night, that’s actually going to elevate your heart rate, that’s going to activate your fight or flight response and that will keep you up. So it’s best to do the balancing postures in the beginning of the day with a middle of the day.

Alright so that is the intermediate portion, if you want to on to the advanced portion when you’re feeling confident here, please feel free to do so.

Those are the exercises from the balance section, I wanted show you. If you found those exercises easy, that’s great but we still need to work on them on a continual basis or you will lose that ability and if you found these exercises difficult, that’s just an indication that there’s so much room to grow. That there’s so much room for you to get stronger by doing these exercises and again the only way to do that is by doing them on a consistent basis, by practicing them, by getting better at them, by learning about them and that’s exactly why we created the members area, it’s so that you can get all of the benefits of yoga in one convenient place, whether you’re on the computer, on your phone or on the go. So I created the members area not just for the content, because, but because, I wanted you to be able to improve the way that you feel, improve the way that you move and even improve the way you look.

So the immediate benefits happen because we’re doing the postures, because we’re stretching the muscles, or working your body in different ways, we’re countering what you do on a regular basis so you notice those benefits immediately. But the long term benefits, right, so things that you’ll notice maybe a few weeks down the road or a couple months down the road, the improved muscle definition the improved performance and everything else that you’re doing, the more you do this type of exercise and more you’re working on not just balance, but on your mobility, on your core strength, on your body control, the better you get at everything you do.

Professional athletes are doing yoga. The division one-college athletes are doing yoga. Most high schools, a lot of high schools, are now getting in to yoga but it’s still something that not all of us accept or not all of us see as something that’s beneficial. Right? We all like working out but we don’t necessarily do what we need to do. We like the high intensity stuff all the time but we need to do that functional stuff. We need to work on mobility. We need to build a solid foundation of mobility and body control in order to do these more advanced exercises. So if your goal is to be able to do handstands, if your goal is to be able to do crow pose, or if your goals are more modest, if you just want to be able to move better, feel better and maybe lose a few pounds, we’ve got everything you need in the members area. Content, tutorials workout programs, workouts, we’ve got a workout library with over one hundred workouts with filters that allow you to search for the exact workout you need based on physical fitness focus, based on based on whether you want balance, strength or flexibility, based on if you want hips or ankles and even time. So if you want to work out that’s only fifteen minutes long or if you’ve got an hour to workout, we’ve got all of that in there and it’s just one dollar to sign up.

So even if you don’t sign up, I hope that you got a ton out of this free intro to Man Flow Yoga. I hope you learned a lot about your body. I hope you’ll continue to do these exercises so that you can continue to keep your body safe, continue to stay healthy, continue to work on injury prevention techniques. So thanks again for joining me on this free intro, again, please consider signing up for the members area it’s just one dollar. If you don’t like it, you can cancel it, you’ll get your money back. It’s an amazing resource we’ve got hundreds of members from all over the world using it. I get emails every day from people who are experiencing the benefits of doing this stuff and I really hope that you will give this a shot. I think that it can help you. I think that it can make you better. I think that it can make you feel better and I know that in the long term this is the stuff that all of us need. So again thank you for joining me on this free intro to Man Flow Yoga, I look forward to seeing you in the members area or if not hopefully I’ll see you on some of the other videos down the line.

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Video Transcript
Hey guys, its Dean. Welcome back to your free intro to Man Flow Yoga, today is day seven and this is your last lesson from the free intro to Man Flow Yoga. So far you’ve learned around twenty different postures and exercises, you’ve learned a ton about how your body, how it works, how everything is connected and you’ve also been able to notice immediate results from those postures and exercises but these immediate results will go away if you don’t continue to do these exercises. So at the end of this lesson I invite you to join me in the member’s area where you’ll get everything you need to continue to work on the progress that you’ve made so far, the mobility, the endurance, the core strength, the flexibility and of course what that comes with, what we really care about which is the improved athletic performance, the injury prevention and also getting better at everything that you physically do no matter what the activity is whether it’s sports, whether it’s martial arts, running or just walking around the house and it’s just one dollar sign up, more on that later.

Let’s get into the lesson for now all right so the last lesson from your free intro to Man Flow Yoga is balance and balance is something that is so beneficial for our health but very few of us actually work on it on a repeated basis, regularly so I’m going to talk about the importance of balance, I’ll talk about the challenges that most of us face when it comes to balance and then I’ll give you my favorite postures for working on balance and a plan moving forward. So, balance; balance is important because it helps us to build strengthen our lower body, it gives you tremendous injury prevention benefits, it helps with core strength and helps improve your body awareness, helps improve — balance is one of those foundational building blocks of your body that you need in order to have a solid physical fitness level, again those tremendous injury, those tremendous injury prevention benefits I mentioned help with preventing injury in your ankles and your knees and that’s one of the most common injuries that we face.

So what are the main difficulties when it comes to balance? Well the biggest is that we just don’t do balance enough unless we are doing yoga or doing a type of exercise that specifically takes time to work on balancing on one foot right just something simple like this we’re missing out on all of those benefits that I mentioned before about balance so that that lower body stability and injury prevention, the core strength, the body awareness so unless we’re working on that that’s going to go out the window right the phrase the phrase use it or lose it is aptly applied here, if we’re not working on balance, we are not going to have balance eventually and this is true for people who are high level athletes and people who aren’t working out at all, unless you’re actively working on balance you’re not going to improve it and you’re going to miss out on all of those benefits.

So now I want to show you my favorite postures for working on balance and these are cool because they actually form the foundation of all the other balance postures you’ll find in yoga, so once you learn these you’ll be able to not only work on your balance to improve your lower body stability, to work on injury prevention but you also be able to progress from there to learn how to do more advanced yoga postures, more advanced balancing exercises and then go on to the course the goal of that is just make your body stronger, injury prevention, body awareness, lower body strength, core strength and that’s what we’re really after so let’s get into it.

This is the advanced portion of balance let’s get started so we’re going to start off in a high lunge and for this I want you to start off in a kneeling position or in a low lunge position so we’ve already done the low lunge, your advance you know how to do a lunge the knees going to be over the ankle and squeeze the right leg back, squeeze the left knee forward, and press down hard through the right hip, now make sure the right hip is really pushing down here so you should feel the right glute tighten, your back should be level you should have one side of your back engaged and the other not, spine should be engaged, core should be evenly engaged, again facing straight forward with the hips. Now from here we’re going to tuck the back toes and keeping everything the same except the back leg so the hips stay the same, shoulders stay the same, core stays the same, now we’re going to squeeze the back knee and lift the back leg away from the ground and getting a deeper stretch through the back hips, so this the high lunges is working on balance but it’s also working on hip flexibility in the back hip, I’m really working on strengthening the hip in the front hip but again I’m using both legs here so the legs are still squeezing toward one another that’s going to target the inner thighs, that’s going to help strengthen the knees and I’m still working on the core here, I shouldn’t have any pain in the back right, so I want to keep the tailbone reaching down and my abs tight to protect my spine, arms are going to come up and then I want to add a little bit more to the challenge balance, so I’m going to have you look up and then close your eyes and now here’s the one of the real fun starts so closing your eyes look up at the ceiling, so not only does looking up also challenge you but closing your eyes especially challenges your balance so you really have to develop body awareness here and you’re developing more —– when you’re developing your balance skills as you close your eyes, the more muscles you squeeze together so the more you can squeeze your legs toward one another and keep your glutes tight, keep your thighs tight, keep your abs tight, the easier it is to balance. So just remember that more muscle engagement means better balance. All right go ahead and release when to hold that for a minute on both sides. So again let’s practice that so I showed you coming up from the knee down, now I’m going to show you coming from a standing position so feet about six inches apart, near the top of the mat, we’re going to bend the knees just a little bit, push your butt back make sure the weight is in the hips and then take a big step back with your right foot, a big step back knees over the ankle, leg squeeze toward one another left to push toward the ground tailbone reaches down so I don’t have an arch on my back I’m reaching lengthening the lower spine tightening the abs to protect the spine and then I’m bringing my arms up, now as you bring your arms up try not to arch your back just yet, so your arm should be able to go straight overhead without you arching, if you can’t do that that just means you need to work on your shoulder mobility but that’s and that’s a good indication of shoulder mobility being able to bring your arms straight up overhead without arching your back. Now for the advanced portion of high lunge again we’re going to look up at the ceiling and then close your eyes make sure you’re still squeezing your legs toward one another you’re still feeling a stretch of the right hip still thinking of lifting the ribs up away from the hips. Inner thighs engaging by squeezing your legs toward one another, ankles are active and we’re going to hold us for a minute so that’s first exercise, high lunge with a back bend and your eyes close because that makes it hard.

Second exercise, I’m going to show you and are going to work on that twice a day so I would say do that once in the morning, do that once in the afternoon, we don’t need to do that at night we actually want to avoid balancing at night unless that is your only time to exercise, early evening is fine, don’t do any balancing like nine or ten o’clock right before you go to bed because that’s going to keep you up all right. Second exercise is the airplane and I’m actually going to show you airplane and then the advanced version of airplane which is warrior three, so we’re going to start off actually in the high lunge because that’s the easiest position to get there from so your ankle your front foot right hip pressing down, hips squared forward, from here arms come along the sides, chest stays open this is important, so pull the shoulder blades toward one another, palms facing forward and keep your chest, keep your torso as long as you can. From here take a big breath then and as you exhale lean forward reach your tailbone down and then start to lift the back leg off the ground I’m going to point my back toes toward the back wall accidentally rotate my right hip so my right glute is engaged and then pull my chest forward, now the big error that people tend to make here is they bring their head toward the ground make sure you keep your neck lifted so you’re pressing the back of your neck toward the ceiling and your goal here is to make a straight line from your back toes to your head, your abs should be protecting your lower back, so make sure that you are reaching your tailbone toward your back toes and squeezing abs there shouldn’t be any pain your lower back, you can also think of lifting the belly button toward the spine. So this is airplane, this is level one advance, you’re going to hold this for thirty to sixty seconds that is fantastic for working on hamstring mobility, working on glue strength stability, and also working on your core and spine it’s also really good for your ankles, so really everything from your ribs down it’s very good.

Now we’re going to add in warrior three and this adds in a huge shoulder and upper back element which makes it very difficult but extremely effective. So before we go into it basically what we’re doing we’re doing airplane except we’re also going to interlace the fingers overhead and point the index fingers like this, so almost the exact same as airplane just interlace in the fingers overhead and pointing the index fingers as well. So let’s start off in the high lunge, so left knee is left leg forward now left it pushes down the leg squeeze toward one another tailbone reaches down and my abs tighten from here I’m brining my arms up overhead, interlaced the index fingers which are in a way as the fingers point my index fingers wrap the biceps in the shoulders pull down a little bit breathe in and then exhale come forward point your back toes back try to spin the left hip out and then try to make a T-shape with your body here. Now one big error here is that we tend to lean back with the hips make sure you’re pulling forward with the hips so you get a deeper stretch through the hamstring and also more engagement, bellybutton still sucking to the lower back, fingertips pressing forward, so making my body as long as I can ankle is engaged so my arches engaged, I’m not letting the arch collapse and every muscle in the body is engaged here. Go ahead and come back up now that last variation I don’t have to hold out for that long, I would go fifteen to thirty seconds tops in warrior three, it’s very difficult but it’s extremely effective, it’s going to challenge your hamstring flexibility more, it’s going to challenge your core strength, challenge your upper body strength and endurance and really challenge your balance, so you can hear I’m out of breath it is an intense exercise, so that when you can work on once or twice a day, morning and afternoon, maybe early evening is fine just try to finish your workouts by six p.m., you don’t want to work out later than that and disrupt your sleep.
All right catch my breath. Now standing boat, standing the last exercising going to show you and this is great for working on your hip flexibility and again the hip stability factor is there as well, the ankle stability there as well but instead of leaning forward we’re going to be working on arching your back, so strengthening your spine a little bit more, helping with injury prevention. So for this one you’re going to balance on your right foot on the face straight your for this and then we’ll bring my left foot in, turn your bicep to face out so notice my hand here I’m turning my bicep to face out, I’m not going to have my hand like this but external rotation of the shoulder and then grabbing the inside of my left foot pushing down to my right foot getting as tall as I can breathing in, lifting up and then exhaling kicking as hard as I can into my left hand reaching forward with my right hand and my right is very tight here and I’m really pressing hard into my left hand so most of the power from this pose comes from me pressing into my backhand, my right arm is extended up and forward, my abs are tight to protect my spine, I’m still trying to reach my tailbone down to help lengthen my lower back which will allow me to deep in my arch so this long as I’m protecting my spine I can keep going deeper into the arch and the abs are the key to that so keeping the abs tight, pressing really far back into the back foot reaching up with the hand and then coming out of that when you’re ready so that’s when you can work on for thirty to sixty seconds and I just want to show you what that looks like from the side as well. So other side I’m in a balance on my left foot, I’m going to bring my right foot in, grab the inside of the foot, bring the left arm up breathe in, exhale kick back, reach forward so you might start off right here maybe your start of right here but eventually working on pressing hard into the foot and start pressing hard into the hand reaching the tailbone down keeping the hips squared forward so you want to avoid this turning the hips out to the side, again so keep the right hip down and then pushing hard into the backhand reaching forward and up, keeping my hips forward so I’m not allowing my hips to go back like this but pulling the hips forward which allows me to get a better stretch of the right hip and also a better core engagement and again I’m holding this one for thirty to sixty seconds. Because I’m in a back bend for this one, I’m going to feel my energy increase, I’m going to feel my breathing increase and that’s all fine, just make sure that you’re trying to control your breath, notice that your breath wants to increase, your breathing wants to speed up and just try and control it as much as possible, so that we’re going to do for thirty to sixty seconds once in the morning, once in the afternoon.

All right so that is the advanced portion if that was too hard go on to intermediate, there’s no shame in that. These are difficult exercises they take time to build up to, those are the exercises from the balance section, I want to show you if you found those exercises easy that’s great but we still need to work on them on a continual basis or you will lose that ability and if you found these exercises difficult that’s just an indication that there’s so much room to grow, that there’s so much room for you to get stronger by doing these exercises and again the only way to do that is by doing them on a consistent basis by practicing them, by getting better at them, by learning about them and that’s exactly why we created the members area so that you can get all of the benefits of yoga in one convenient place, whether you’re on the computer, on your phone or on the go. So I created the member’s area not just for the content but because I wanted you to be able to improve the way that you feel, improve the way that you move and even improve the way you look, so the immediate benefits happen because we’re doing the postures because we’re stretching the muscles, we’re working your body in different ways, we’re countering what you do on a regular basis, so you notice those benefits immediately but the long term benefits right, so things that you’ll notice maybe a few weeks down the road or a couple months down the road the improved muscle definition, the improved performance and everything else that you’re doing the more you do this type of exercise and more you’re working on not just balance but on your mobility, on your core strength, on your body control the better you get at everything you do, professional athletes are doing yoga, the division one college athletes are doing yoga, most high schools and a lot of high schools are now getting in to yoga, but it’s still something that not all of us accept or not all the see is something that’s beneficial right we all like working out but we don’t necessarily do what we need to do, we like the high intensity stuff all the time but we need to do that functional stuff, we need to work on mobility, we need to build a solid foundation of mobility and body control in order to do these more advanced exercises. So if your goal is to be able to do handstands, if your goal is to be able to crow pose, or if your goals are more modest if you just want to be able to move better, feel better and maybe lose a few pounds, we’ve got everything you need in the members area, content, tutorials, workout programs, workouts we’ve got a workout library with over one hundred workouts with filters that allow you to search for the exact workout you need based on physical fitness focus, based on whether you want balance, strength, or flexibility based on if you want hips or ankles and even time so if you want to work out that’s only fifteen minutes long or if you’ve got an hour to workout got all of that in there and it’s just one dollar to sign up.

So even if you don’t sign up I hope that you got a ton out of this free intro to Man Flow Yoga, I hope you learned a lot about your body I hope you’ll continue to do these exercises so that you can continue to keep your body safe, continue to stay healthy, continue to work on injury prevention techniques. So thanks again for joining me on this free intro again please consider signing up for the members area, it’s just one dollar if you don’t like it you can cancel it, you’ll get your money back, it’s an amazing resource we’ve got hundreds of members from all over the world using it. I get e-mails every day from people who are experiencing the benefits of doing this stuff and I really hope that you will give this a shot, I think that it can help you, I think that it can make you better, I think that it can make you feel better and I know that in the long term this is the stuff that all of us need so again thank you for joining me on this free intro to Man Flow Yoga, I look forward to seeing you in the members area or if not hopefully I’ll see you on some of the other videos down the line.

This lesson covers

  • The versatile benefits of balance ability as they apply to fitness.
  • The basic balancing postures found in yoga.
  • A plan to improve your balance in just minutes per day.

Poses

(7 poses, 3 difficulty variations)

  • High Lunge
  • High Lunge with Eyes Closed
  • Airplane Pose
  • Warrior 3 Pose
  • Standing Bow Pose

View and download the free pdf pose guide here 


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You must be a member of the Man Flow Yoga Members’ Area in order to view.


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