Today, we will focus on the upper part of our body and we will give a review of the best Yoga postures to improve the strength of our arms.
As a general rule, all those involving balancing ourselves on our hands will be beneficial for our arms and shoulders, such as the crow pose. But it is not necessary to go to such complicated postures to train our arms with Yoga: These postures are simpler and more affordable and will make your work anyway.
Table Pose or Phalakasana
We start with a basic that we should all practice: the plank, plank, or plank posture, also called phlakasana in Sanskrit. To carry it out, we place our hands directly below the shoulders and support our body's weight on our hands and tips of the feet, with the abdomen well activated (through axial elongation ) and our body forming a straight line.
A common failure to perform this pose is to hyperextend the elbows, “pulling” them out: the arms should be straight but not forced.
Like the previous position, but much more demanding, it is chaturanga, a position that you can perform combined with the plank or the downward-facing dog. In the chaturanga position, we continue to keep our hands just below the shoulders and our body aligned in a straight line, but this time our elbows are flexed and pointed back as if we were doing a tricep curl.
Perhaps the most common mistake when performing chaturanga is to spread the elbows instead of pointing them back. Keeping the hips aligned with the spine and legs is also important.
Side Plank Pose or Vasisthasana
Among the plank or plank variations, one of the best known is the lateral plank or vasisthasana. In vasisthasana, we support only one hand and place our body on its side, forming a straight line with legs and a trunk. The hand that is free we direct it towards the ceiling to open the chest wide.
It is possible that we feel pain in the wrist of the hand that is supported when performing vasisthasana: to avoid this, we can use the special grips in the form of a bridge and perform a proper warm-up.
Inverted Plank Pose or Purvottanasana
Another variation of the plank, this less common one, is the reverse plank or purvottanasana. Again we place our hands just below the shoulders, but we do it by lying on our back. We place our feet' soles well on the ground and push with our hands while raising our hips to form a straight line with the body.
A common mistake, especially if we are beginners, is that the hips fall downwards with time. To avoid this, we have to concentrate on pushing up with the buttocks. Similarly, as in the side table, we can use the special grips if we feel pain in the wrists.
Downward Facing Dog Pose or Adho Mukha Svanasana
Finally, one of the star postures of Yoga could not be missing, as it is one of the most versatile: the downward-facing dog or adho mukha svanasana. Our arms are stretched and activated in a downward-facing dog, and our spine is elongated as we bring the hips toward the ceiling.
A good trick to activate the arms' muscles in the downward-facing dog position is to spread the fingers of the hands wide and push the ground with them. Remember also that the shoulders should be relaxed and away from the ears.