Yoga is just part of who i am- living my yoga on and off the mat. There are many postures that i feel are essential to almost everyone on a daily basis. i wake early before my boys wake to do a morning energizing practice. i do all my "essential" postures here so that when i go to class later or practice later i can go even deeper into that practice in mind, body and spirit. since my physical body is awakened i'm able to go deeper on the other levels. i will be sharing with you over many blog posts the postures that i feel are essential and other "essentials" of living your yoga in mind, body and spirit.
Practice "Plank" everyday!! plank is a fabulous dynamic strengthener of the whole body- specifically the core and upper body. once you have this pose then you can work on properly flowing through a vinyasa sequence. Here are some points to think about and experiment with when practicing plank:
Palms are pressing into the mat with fingers spread wide. Slight external rotation in the shoulder joint allowing the pointer finger to point forward. Slight bend in the elbows to prevent hanging out on the joint and increase the work of the muscles. Create a broad upper back by spreading shoulder blades (shoulder blades are wrapped on the rib cage). Pull abdominals up and in and connect the ribs at the front of the body (feel the back of the ribs go up towards the ceiling). Tailbone is lengthened towards the heels. Balls of the feet are pressing into the mat. Create slight internal rotation in the hips/thighs and be sure legs are firm. Heels reach back and crown of the head reaches forward- create as much length in the body as you can. Gaze is just in front of your mat (or you can slightly tuck the chin to create more length in the back of the neck). If you have a neck injury or tightness in the shoulders/upper back then keep the chin slightly tucked to create as much length as possible.
work on holding this posture as long as you can while maintaining your breath. To progress shift forward and back a few times and then shift forward and lower down just one to two inches with elbows clipping the body. press back to the start position slow and controlled with your breath. build up the number of mini-press-ups you do every day.