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Yoga Journal - - YOGAPEDIA -

BEN­E­FITS Strength­ens your arms, legs, wrists, shoul­ders, and back; en­gages your core; pro­motes healthy bones; builds self-con­fi­dence

IN­STRUC­TION Come to your hands and knees. Spread your fin­gers wide and walk your knees slightly be­hind your hips. Root your fin­ger­tips firmly into the earth. On an ex­ha­la­tion, stretch your legs straight back be­hind you so that you re­sem­ble a plank. Lift your thighs, waist­line, and head. Draw your tail­bone to­ward your heels. Avoid dip­ping your lower back to­ward the floor or round­ing it up to­ward the ceil­ing. (You will know your back is in the right place when you feel your core en­gage.) Your neck should be in line with your en­tire torso. Main­tain this line as you imag­ine that your arms are straws drink­ing en­ergy from the earth—with en­ergy mov­ing up your fin­gers to your wrists, el­bows, and shoul­ders. Squeeze your feet to­ward each other as if there were a block be­tween your heels. Make sure your arms are per­pen­dic­u­lar to the floor and your shoul­ders are over your wrists. Press evenly into your hands, and imag­ine that your thighs are mov­ing slightly up to­ward the ceil­ing. Look down at the floor. In­hale, and shift to your tip­toes. Imag­ine that the top of your yoga mat is a cliff and you are peer­ing over the edge of it. Iso­met­ri­cally drag your thumbs to­ward each other and your hands to­ward your feet to fur­ther en­gage your core. Hold for 3–5 breaths.

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