Here’s a quick practice to do at home, to get your arms, wrists, shoulders and core really fired up! Please work with caution and within your abilities.
Clockwise from top left:
1.Downward Facing Dog
This pose helps to stretch the entire back of the body, especially the hamstrings, calves and Achilles tendons. It creates strength in the shoulder girdle and upper back and lengthens the sides of the body.
2. Knee Scoop
From Down Dog, exhale to bend one knee and scoop it towards your chest. Keep it as high off the ground as you can. Stay a few breaths, rocking a bit if you want to, then ease back to Down Dog to rest before repeating on the other side.
3. Plank Pose
This pose challenges you to stabilise through your arms and shoulders while keeping your core engaged. Make sure your legs are working too, so your whole body is activated. If you have wrist issues, work on your forearms.
4. Side Plank Pose
This is a great pose for building total body strength with a focus in your core, wrist and shoulder. If you have any pre-existing wrist issues, you can practice on your forearm. Come into it from Plank by shifting your weight onto one side. Stay a few breaths, then do the other side. You can add extra challenge by moving into side plank on exhale, then back to plank on swapping sides with the breath.
5. Downward Facing Dog
You can use this pose as a rest stretch now (haha! some of you will be saying. Child pose is fine too). Stay broad across the shoulders and keep your legs active and your belly slightly tucked under while you BREATHE!
6. Child Pose
A final rest after the strength work. If this hurts your knees or ankles, lie on your back and hug your knees. If you do this sequence a few times a week you will notice significant gains in upper body and core strength.