Disclaimers: Consult a doctor before beginning an exercise regime. Never force a pose. Stop if you feel pain or intense discomfort. Yoga is meant to be yummy.
I love vinyasa yoga and I am obsessed with good alignment. This obsession doesn’t stem from a need for perfection, which would be very “un-yoga-like” of me, but from a passion for protecting the body from injury. Most bodies can safely practice yoga on a daily basis, but maintaining sound alignment is essential to your physical wellbeing. In this series, I will break down some common poses—explaining how to stay safe and fully enjoy each posture. Finally, remember to BREATHE consistently while practicing yoga to receive the full benefits of the practice … otherwise, you’re just stretching in Sanskrit. Today’s pose is Low Plank, or Chaturanga dandasana.
- Start by lying on your stomach. Bend your elbows at 90-degrees, and bring the hands to rest on the mat near the top of your ribs. Fingertips are spread wide and gripping into the mat.
- Elbows are hugging in towards the midline, with the shoulders rolling down the back and shoulder blades coming together.
- Hover around three inches off the ground. The spine is straight, the legs are strong.
- Gaze at the mat, or straight ahead. Whichever is more comfortable for your neck—depending on where you are in the pose.
- Release any unnecessary tension in your neck and face.
- This pose is great for strengthening the abdominals, and creating strength in the arms.
Practicing yoga on your own can be a ton of fun, but taking a class is a great way to explore new poses under the tutelage of a trained yoga instructor; check out MINT’s yoga offerings, here.