While we here at Joy Yoga always view our Yoga practice as a whole-body approach doctrine, occasionally we like to showcase a particular body part or area that you might want to be giving a little extra attention during your workout. This time we want to focus on our upper body and most specifically our arms. To help you hone in and define this area we put together a list of poses that engage every part of the arm and are excellent for targeting these specific areas to incorporate into your regular workouts.
A well-known staple in your practice, this pose is great for your upper body. Once in the position, take a deep breath in, lower your hips, coming on to the toes with your torso aimed forward and your shoulders directly over your wrists. Make sure to contract the abdominals and keep your arms straight and body in a straight line from your head to your heels.
From the Plank position, exhale and rotate your middle as you stack the right foot on top of the left. Keep your body in a straight line and your abdominals tight. Reach for the ceiling and look towards the sky. Return to plank and alternate sides, always focusing on our breathing.
Always a challenging pose, this one really uses your body weight as a powerful strengthening tool. AS you exhale, keep your body as straight as possible and bend the elbows to 90 degrees as you slowly lower yourself towards the floor. Pay attention to your shoulders to not round them and continue to keep the abdominals contracted.
Begin lying on your stomach, arms at your sides, resting your forehead on the mat. Take a deep breath and raise your head to look forward using your inner thighs to lift your legs up toward the ceiling. Keep your chest lifted as you widen across your collarbones lift your gaze upwards and hold for one minute.
An advanced pose, Crow is not easy, but if you can master it provides an excellent workout for your arms and upper body as after you pitch forward you be balancing your body’s entire weight on just your hands. Since this a more complex pose than the ones above, here is a step by step instruction.
- Squat down with your inner feet a few inches apart trying to keep your feet flat on the floor, knees wider than your hips and lean forward between the inner thighs. Stretching your arms forward place your hands on the floor resting the back of the upper arms on your shins.
Separating your knees, a bit further, lift onto the balls of your feet.
- Let out a deep breath, lean forward even more so the balls of your feet leave the floor. The torso and legs should be balancing on the back of the upper arms. Beginners might want to stop here. As a beginner at this pose, you might want to stop here, perched securely on the bent arms.
- For non-beginners, squeezing the legs against the arms, pressing the inner hands firmly to the floor, straighten your elbows. Seen from the side the arms are angled slightly forward relative to the floor. Try to keep the inner knees glued to the outer arms, high up near the armpits and the head in a neutral position with your eyes looking at the floor and don’t forget to breath.
Hopefully you can incorporate these moves into your Yoga practice and no matter where you are, you can always keep your Yoga game in top form by downloading the My Joy Yoga app today!