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Open your chest and shoulders and strengthen your arms, back, and core with these prep poses for Ganda Bherundasana.
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Stretches the hip flexors and quadriceps; opens the chest, back, and shoulders; lengthens the spine
From Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose), inhale your right leg up to the sky. On an exhale, draw your right knee toward your nose and step your foot between your hands. Release your back knee to the floor. On an inhale, lift your chest and reach your arms up, wrapping your triceps forward. Isometrically draw your back knee forward toward your front heel, and your front heel toward your back knee. Lengthen your sides up out of your pelvis to prevent sinking into your hip joints. Visualize energy rising up from your pubic bone to your navel. Gently hug in the front ribs. Hold for 5 breaths.
Four-Limbed Staff Pose
Strengthens the arms, shoulders, and legs; increases wrist strength and mobility; creates core strength and stability
Begin in Plank Pose, with your shoulders stacked over your wrists, fingers spread wide. Corset your ribs, firm your quadriceps, and direct your tailbone toward your heels. Keeping your core and legs active, shift forward on the balls of your feet or toes, reaching your sternum toward the top of your mat, while keeping heels above toes. On an exhale, bend your elbows; keep them stacked over your wrists and hugged in toward your ribs. Maintain a straight line as you slowly lower to your belly.
See also 3 Prep Poses for Eagle
Strengthens the spine, upper back, arms, and shoulders; stretches the chest and abdomen; opens the lungs
Lay prone, with legs reaching back and toes pointed behind you. Plant your palms under your shoulders and spread your fingers. Hug your elbows in toward your rib cage. Press into the tops of your feet, firm your thighs, and press your pubic bone down into the mat. On an inhale, press into your hands and lift your chest off the mat as you begin to straighten your arms. Keep a bend in your elbows as you extend through your spine and draw your chest forward. Hold for 3–5 breaths.
See also 3 Prep Poses for Wild Thing
About Our Pro
Teacher and model Liz Arch is the creator of Primal Yoga, a fusion of vinyasa yoga with the artistry of kung fu and the grace of tai chi. She has more than 10 years experience in various yoga and martial-arts styles, including Northern-Style Kung Fu, Yang-Style Tai Chi, and Self-Healing Qi Gong. She is the West Coast Director for the Purple Dot Yoga Project, a nonprofit that raises awareness about domestic violence, and she travels the world teaching. Learn more at lizarch.com.