In Plank Pose with the knees elevated: use the core to lift the hips in-line with the shoulders. Press the palms into the ground in order to broaden across the chest and upper back. Lengthen the tailbone towards the heels and draw the low-belly in towards the spine. Firm the shoulder blades to the back and keep the gaze down, creating more the length in the back of the neck.
Drop down to the knees to come out of the pose. Come down into Child’s Pose to rest. Bring the knees to the wide edges of the mat and bring the big toes to touch, if available. Sink the hips over the heels. Walk the palms forward and allow the forehead to rest on the ground or on a blanket or block.
To move into Forearm Plank: Bring the forearms to the ground, shoulder-width distance. If the shoulders are not open enough to keep the palms facing straight forward, or parallel, option to bring the palms together to form a triangle with the palms and forearms. Walk the feet back to bring the body in one-straight line. Notice if the hips sag, option to come down to the knees to build strength in the body.
Press the forearms to the ground in order to broaden through the chest and upper back. Firm the shoulder blades onto the back. Lengthen the tailbone towards the heels and draw the low-belly in. Reach the crown of the head forward to extend more through the spine. Press energy through the heels.
Stay here and breathe for 3-5 breaths, long and smooth inhales and exhales. Notice the subtle changes in the body. On each inhale, feel the belly rise, notice the chest expands, and the back-line of the body opens, similar to blowing up a balloon. Notice the subtle changes on the exhale, notice the chest contracts, the belly softens, and the body and the mind relax.
To come out: slowly drop down to the knees. Come into Child’s Pose to rest. Come back to a natural state of breathing. Notice how you feel after coming into this challenging pose and bringing balance back to the body by tuning into the subtleties of the breath.
Check with your doctor before performing any form of exercise including yoga and breathing techniques. Always honor your body. If a posture gives you pain, gently come out.
Christi Iacono, owner of In Rhythms Yoga
IRY offers regularly scheduled classes on, Sat., Sun. and Wed. mornings as well as a Tues. evening class. Meditation classes start the last Thursday in Oct., from 6-7 p.m. and run for 4 weeks, consecutively. Go to www.inrhythmsyoga.com to see the full schedule, instructors and for private lessons.