In the past, I shared with you the fundamental sequence of yoga postures called Sun Salutations. This sequence of yoga postures can be practiced five times, holding each position for five breaths. This sequence warms up the muscles and allows you time to connect your movements with your breath.
Many days I do not have time to complete a full yoga practice so I go into a quiet room and practice my five sun salutations. One section of the sun salutation is when we move from the "plank position" to "hovering plank pose" to "upward facing dog" to "downward facing dog."
This section of the sun salutations builds upper body strength, core strength and stretches front body (anterior muscles) as well as the hamstrings and shoulders. I love the plank sequence because it builds upper body strength, something most women can improve upon. Let's take a closer look at this sequence of the sun salutation:
Downward facing dog
Begin on all fours, hands placed slightly wider than shoulder width apart, fingers spread wide and your entire hand on the mat.
Curl your toes under and lift your hips off the floor. Feel as if you are pressing the yoga mat towards the front of the room. Try to straighten your legs and press your heels towards the floor.
Note: Relax your neck and focus your eyes towards your quads. Hold for five deep inhalations and exhalations.
Note: until you have the core and upper body strength to maintain a stable plank position (without the low back sinking towards the floor, modify the pose by placing your knees on the floor).
Shift your shoulders over your hands. Pull your navel towards your spine and imagine that your legs and arms are "hugging" the mid line of your body. Your body should be in a solid plank position.
Hold for one to three breaths.