The Extreme Urban Yoga Barcelona team created this video as a motivation for beginner yogis. The video aims to showcase the beautiful surroundings of a city, and also to interest newcomers to the budding lifestyle of yoga. The participants in our video are actually all yoga newcomers themselves. The Urban Yoga revolution is catching fire, so stay on the lookout for new groups springing up around you!
The first pose in our video is the standing pose of parsvakonasana, which has benefits of strengthening and stretching much of the lower body, as well as stimulating abdominal organs. This pose is a great beginner pose because it does not require much complex physical strength, however serves as a great pose to branch off of in the future. For beginners, it is important to focus on two things: first, try and keep the back heel anchored to the floor when bending into the pose; and second, work on lowering the fingertips of your bottom hand to the floor. After these two difficulties are mastered, the pose will become second nature.
Next, we move onto the inverted pose of halasana, where we created a new modifying element of suspension from the ground. This pose has benefits of stretching the shoulders and spine, and stimulates both the abdominal organs and the thyroid gland. Our modified pose aims to reach a deeper stretch in the shoulders than the normal grounded pose, and also requires more abdominal strength when suspending the legs parallel to the ground. This is a great pose for newcomers to the yoga field because it has an element of excitement and interest; commonly, newcomers are turned off to yoga due to a conception of monotony.
Now we have salamba sarvangasana, which is an inverted shoulderstand that has an appearance of advanced ability, but in actuality is a relatively beginner pose. The pose serves to calm the brain (many inverted poses have the same effect) and tones the legs and buttocks. This pose also has a strong impact of stretching the shoulders and neck. Beginners who attempt this pose often tend to let their elbows slide apart on the ground, which causes the arms to roll inward and the torso to sink, collapsing the pose. This is another pose that grabs attention, and is very popular among beginners.
Afterwards, we transition into a garudasana (or “eagle”) pose that is modified in order to suit the needs of a beginner yogi. This is one of the most recognizable yoga poses, and yet serves to be a little troublesome for many beginners due the to inflexibility when first starting yoga. We decided to do a pose with the hands together in place of the wrapped arms, in order to reduce the tension that is placed on the shoulders and elbows when attempting this pose without prior experience. This pose strengthens and stretches the ankles, calves, and torso, and also clearly improves the sense of balance.
Next we go into an arm balance pose, bakasana. This is the most difficult pose used in the video, but it is still a pose that could be performed by most beginner yogis provided they have enough upper body strength. This pose noticeably strengthens the arms, wrists, and abdominal muscles, and stretches the upper back. Beginners generally have trouble transitioning into the “hands-only” position, but if the body is tucked tight there is less of a chance of imbalance. This is another pose that looks quite complex at face value; however, it is an average pose that intensely works the arms and upper torso, and can be quickly mastered with practice.
One of the final poses is virabhadrasana ii, which is a very basic pose that is perfect for beginners. This is a standing pose, where the groin, chest, and legs are stretched and strengthened. It is known to relieve backaches, and is therapeutic for flat feet and sciatica. When bending the knee to a right angle, a good practice is to aim the inside of the knee towards the outside of the foot, deepening the stretch on the groin and legs.
To finish off your yoga session, an important framework is dhyana, which is a pose of meditation. Here, it is very important to get grounded and comfortable, maintaining your usual posture. When meditating, deep and strong breaths are a necessity, and a usual routine is common. This regular meditation cycle completely relaxes the body and allows for introspection. There are many approaches to meditation, and finding the right routine for you is an important process. Beginners should begin by focusing on finding the correct posture and comfort, and then moving onto more abstract concepts.
This video aims to bring in a new group of yogis that may not be participating as of yet, but with non-daunting poses and beautiful visuals there is a hope that new interests are sparked.