Monday, October 27, 2014

In Rhythms Yoga: Monday Morning Forearm Plank

Press up into Forearm Plank and build strength throughout the body, including the core, shoulders, chest, low-back, and the legs. Use the breath to soften in the pose. Bring a balance of ease and effort into the pose, or as Patanjali describes in the yoga sutras, verse 2.46, “sthira sukha asanam.”

Come into Plank Pose as a preparatory posture. Come to the hands and knees. Bring the palms shoulders-width distance apart, and bring the palms under the shoulders. Walk the feet back in order to bring the body in one straight line. Bring the feet hips width-distance apart and lift into Plank Pose. Lift the knees off of the ground. If the hips begin to sag, option to come back down to the knees in order to build strength in the body.

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.


Create length from the crown of the head and all the way down through the heels. Press the backs of the knees towards the ceiling. Stay here and breathe for 3-5 breaths.  Create long and smooth inhales and exhales. Rely on physical and mental strength as well as the breath, in order to find alignment and the balance of ease and effort in the pose.
Child's Pose

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.

Namaste,
Christi Iacono, owner of In Rhythms Yoga

Christi Iacono is a certified yoga teacher, at the 500 hour level, and she is the owner of In Rhythms Yoga, in Clairemont. IRY is a small neighborhood studio in Clairemont, S.D., located in the Mount Streets. Christi has experienced many positive physical and mental transformations from her regular yoga practice. She enjoys sharing her experience, passion, and dedication with her students. She believes that yoga is accessible to all. Rather than forcing someone’s body into a pose, Christi carefully works with each individual to find the variation that will best serve their body. Contact christi@inrhythmsyoga.com for more info.

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.



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