Saturday, August 18, 2007

In Remembrance of Things Past...

Maybe I am just torturing myself, but I thought it might be nice to think about Plank and some variations for a few days. I haven't offered much in the way of Yoga Practice lately, and its always good to pay some attention to the core. Of course, I'm not doing anything abdominal right now--or maybe I am only doing abdominal work, depending how you look at it (the Youngster is due in 2 weeks)--but I am looking forward to the future.

Here's a little something to hold you (borrowed from last summer)...for the next post I want to talk about vairagya (non-attachment) again and will be back to more Thoughts.

Variations for Plank Pose

Basic Plank: Set up in Table Pose as you would for Dog; heels of the hands are beneath the shoulders, knees are beneath the hips. From here, straighten the arms and stretch the legs out behind to bring the torso into a straight line from the ankles to the shoulders. Keep the shoulders away from the ears and the neck long. Notice the work in the torso--the abdominals do most of the work in this pose, more than the arms and legs, because they are responsible for keeping the spine long and the torso lifted. If your hips sag, or the body is bent, lower one or both knees to the floor, so that the abs are still engaged, but you can lengthen the back. Try to hold for 5 breaths and work up to 10.

One-Legged Plank: In this version, come into the Basic Plank and then lift one heel. Keep the weight balanced between both hands and stretch out thru the lifted heel. This requires even more work from the torso, so don’t try it if you need do the Basic Plank with one knee on the floor.

Tripod Plank: Make a tripod by interlocking the fingers, bending the elbows and resting the forearms on the floor with the elbows under the shoulders. Then lift the torso and straighten the legs. This version works the upper chest and triceps.

Ball Plank: If you want to take your Plank to an even more challenging level, try it on an exercise ball. Come into the Basic Plank with the legs resting on the ball, and walk your hands forwards until the lower shins and ankles are on the ball, while the shoulders are over the wrists. Notice how you have to engage the side body to keep your balance on the ball—this is in addition to the work that keeps the hips lined up with the legs.
©Brenda K. Plakans. All Rights Reserved.

1 comment:

Total Health Yoga - Kris said...

I like the ball idea. Thanks. Another variation that I've seen is take the one-legged version and bend the knee that's off the ground toward the arm pit. From a bird's eye view, it looks like a frog swimming with one leg :-)