Sunday, 24 May 2015

Here comes the sun - bare toned arms!

There is definitely some warmth in the sun now, even in Yorkshire!  Time to shed jumpers in favour of t-shirts.

Here are a few poses to help you strengthen and tone your arms.

Before you start - do a few rounds of Sun Salutation and warm up your spine with Cat/Cow.

Plank to Side Plank- from all 4s take your right leg back and drop the right hip slightly. Bring your left leg back and press your heels back.  Your shoulders should be directly over your hands.  Make sure your bottom is not sticking up or your hips dipping down. From Plank move onto the little toe side of your right foot, big toe side of your left foot, taking the left arm up.  To modify bend the left knee as shown.  Repeat 2nd side, taking a rest between sides if you wish.  Return to Plank.


Side Plank

Modified Side Plank

Chaturanga dandasana - from Plank breathe out and bend your elbows back and lower.  To modify bring your knees to the mat before lowering. More advanced yogis might want to press back up to Plank and repeat. Rest with your forehead on the back of your hands.   

Locust variation - when you are ready to continue, interlace your hands behind your back, breathe in and lift your head, chest and arms. Press your tailbone back and down. Gaze is down at the mat. Breathe out and lower.  Repeat twice more then press back into a Child pose with your arms reaching forward, tailbone pressing back to lengthen your spine (Swan). 

Dolphin - from Swan and leaving your hands in position on the mat, come onto all 4s.  Take your hands a hand length forward.  Now place your elbows where the heels of your hands are and interlace your fingers. Tuck your toes and as you breathe out lift your hips. To intensify walk your feet forward a little. Hold for a breath or two then breathe in lower your knees and fold back into a Child Pose.  


To intensify walk the feet in

Crow (not for the faint hearted!! This is a more advanced pose.  I recommend placing a couple of pillows in front of you when you first practice this pose in case you tumble forward) - come into a squat, feet at hip distance, toes pointing out, your hands on the mat in front, fingers spread.  Come onto your toes and bring your elbows into your armpits.  Look forward so that the weight of your head does not pull you forward, lift your feet as you bend your elbows back.  To modify lift one foot at once.  

Reverse Plank - come into a seated position with your legs outstretched and on the mat. Take your hands behind your hips fingers pointing back towards your hips.  Breathe in and lift your hips rolling the soles of your feet towards the mat. Keep the back of your neck long. To modify have the knees bent. 

Reverse Plank

Modified Reverse Plank (Table top)

Have a great summer!

Janet x

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