Yoga is hard, and working out is hard, but fortunately Yoga for Athletes will make working out easy(er)! If your flexibility is making Toes to Bar more difficult than it should be, or your sense of balance is hindering your pistol squats and handstands, then these yoga for Athletes poses will definitely help you out.
Yoga for Athletes:
Yoga for Toes to Bar:
Forward fold big toe hold
Stand with your feet no more than hip width apart, hinge your torso forward at the hips, and reach for your toes. Let your head hang as you grasp your big toes with your fingers, and relax in this position.
If you cannot reach your toes yet, gain flexibility through this dynamic stretch: Bend your knees until your fingers touch the ground, then straighten your knees while attempting to keep your fingers on the ground. Bend and straighten your knees slowly, at your own pace until you feel limber.
Double big-toe hold
Lay on the ground with your arms and legs fully extended. Engage your core muscles to bring your arms and legs up to meet in the middle, and grasp your big toes with your hands. Balance on your sit-bones and use your arms to pull your legs closer to your body to complete the stretch.
Yoga for Pistol Squats:
Begin standing with your feet together, then bend your left leg slightly as you cross your right thigh over your left. Hook your right foot around the left calf and take a moment to find your center of balance. Next, raise & extend your arms in front of you so they are parallel to the ground, cross your left arm over your right, and bend them to create a 90 degree angle with your elbows. Your right arm should be wrapped around your left so that you can touch palms. Balance in this pose as long as you can, sinking further and further down on your standing leg to build strength.
Extended hand to big toe pose
Begin by finding your center of balance on your standing leg, and bringing the knee of your working leg into your chest. Bring your arm across the inside of your thigh and grip the outside of your foot (the palm of your hand is covering the top of your foot so your fingers can reach the outside). Slowly straighten your leg out to the side while maintaining your grip on your foot. Practice balancing in this pose, then switch sides and repeat.
Yoga for Handstands & HSPU:
This will help you get used to supporting your full body weight on your hands & balancing, while keeping you close to the ground. Begin by squatting down so that your feet are a couple of inches apart and your hands are flat on the floor in front of you. Then, slowly shift your weight forward, bending your elbows, until your shins are resting on the backs of your upper arms. Find your center of balance and slowly lift your feet off the ground until you have tucked your knees into your armpits, and your thighs are pressed against your torso.
Feathered peacock pose
This will help you get used to supporting your full body weight on your shoulders & balancing. Begin in a forward-fold pose, then walk your hands forward (leaving your feet where they are) until you can comfortably lower yourself onto your forearms. From there, inch one foot forwards, closer to your head, leaving one foot behind. Bend the leg closest to your body, and then push off it, using the movement to bring your back leg up, quickly followed by your front leg. It is recommended that you practice this against a wall first before attempting to do a Forearm Stand on your own.