• Emilie Fincher

Step Through In 5 Steps!

Stepping forward into a high lunge from a downward facing dog is something we often encounter in yoga classes. It's also something a lot of us can struggle with. Why is it, that the moment a teacher asks you to step your foot up between your hands, that our feet weigh what feels like 500 kilograms? That step from back of the mat to the front of the mat can feel so far away!

So how do we get that foot forward? We have to make some space for your leg to move. I've broken it down into 5 steps.

Step 1: Know how to modify Don't feel left behind in class! Modifications are a great thing to know for when you're still learning a skill, or if you're just plain not feeling like doing something. Get to know these while you're learning to step through.

Use block under hands to create some more height and space to step through. You can also step to the outside of your hand (so when right foot steps forward, you step to the outside of the right hand) and rearrange your hands and foot when you've stepped up. You can come down to the knees, and step up from there. Lastly, you can practice stepping up as far as you can, and then reach down and help your foot forward!

Step 2: Protract the shoulder blades Come into a table top position. Press your hands down into your mat and push the floor away as hard as you can. This about making space between your shoulder blades- this is called protraction. When We push the floor away press our upper back towards the sky, we create a strong upper body and make more space between the chest and the floor. That's more space for your leg to step through! You want to keep the hands driving into the floor and shoulder blades protracted as your step to the top of your mat. Step 3: Strong core

When our core muscles are disengaged, it means our mid section is kind of hanging out in space, but if we engage it (yep, you guessed it) it gives us more room to step through. Not only that, but having an engaged mid section help step that leg to the top of the mat. Double win! You can practice this stepping forward action from table top first- practicing tucking one knee in towards the chin, think like an upside down crunch. When you feel good doing that, you can practice from a plank, and then from your down dog.

Step 4: Stretch it out

Lie on your back and draw one knee into your chest. This is a stretch for our glute max- this stretch almost looks like an upside down lunge! When you've done both sides, extend one foot up to the sky and grab onto the leg behind the thigh, looking for a nice hamstring stretch. Step 5: Trust the process Trying something new can be frustrating! Remember you are awesome exactly as you are. Setting goals and trying new things are great things to do- but remember your practice is beneficial when you listen to your body and treat yourself with respect. Have fun, take your time, and trust the process.

More of a visual learner? Check out my latest YouTube tutorial that breaks it down!

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