I was googling around and I found the YAA blog. I recently started yoga, but without a teacher. However I have gone to a few classes only to later find I found it more peaceful to stretch alone. But I’m in need of some professional advice. I need back/core strengthening tips to help perfect my dolphin pose so I can work on my forearm stand and eventually my scorpion. (which is my ultimate goal) any tips? I can’t seem to get my back straight enough.
Firstly, Welcome to the YAA blog! It is really beneficial to start your yoga journey in a guided and supported class. One of the reasons for this is that yoga is far more than a “stretching” practice. I admire the goal of perfecting your dolphin; and at the same time hope that you get a chance to come back to the supportive environment of a class that not only teaches you about the various postures and how to get into them, but also some of the yogic awareness and philosophies that are so much a part of the yoga journey. Also learning from a trained teacher will help you avoid injury, and getting into bad habits.
Having said that, there are some good postures to help dolphin pose for example, standing forward side plank pose (Vasisthsana). One beginners tip for dolphin is to press the wrists into the floor whist lifting up the elbows, which will help you open up the shoulders. If you have neck problems it is wiser to bend the knees initially. In order to work on the abdominal regions you can also try the dolphin plank pose (Makara adho mukha svanasana). Remember that scorpion is an advanced practice that can take some time to perfect, so again I would urge you to find some time for some classes.
Beginners to scorpion can attempt the posture next to a wall or some other form of support in order to first be comfortable with a sense of balance here, and then over time, bending knees into scorpion pose. Some other postures that help you prepare for scorpion are headstand, wheel, shoulder stand, cobra, and downward facing tree pose. These postures, amongst many others are part of the integrated system of yoga. When are guided through a class we learn that each posture supports the other postures. So your entire yoga practice will support the journey to scorpion. And of course, over time the goal is far more than the asana. The asanas are there to help us learn to find a still centre inside of us, whether we are in a class or out of it, and whether we can perfect a posture or not.