This week’s yoga duo strengthens our wrists, hands and ankles while alternately strengthening and stretching our abdominal muscles. It also improves movement of the shoulder sockets, expands the chest, and tones the thighs and buttocks. The magic combination? Crab Pose (Purvottanasana or Front Body Stretch) to Balancing Stick pose (Danda Tulasana.)
To practice this enticing duo, see our video here. Begin in Stick Pose (Dandasana), seated on the floor with your legs outstretched and your hands placed on each side of your hips, away from your body. Bend your knees and place the bottoms of your feet on the ground. Exhale fully. On a deep inhale, lift the front of your body up to open your chest and throat to the sky. Inhale all the way, feeling your pectoral muscles and shoulders open wide. Exhale slowly as you drop your tail between your hands and roll from the bottoms of your feet to the backs of your heels. Press through your hands to keep your body lifted off the earth. Exhale all the air in your lungs by pulling your belly toward your spine and engaging your abdominal floor. On an inhale, roll back onto the soles of your feet and lift the front of your body to the sky to repeat.
Do this duo three times or more before returning to Dandasana. Try adding an affirmation such as “I am healthy in body, mind and spirit.” Inhale as you think “I am healthy” and exhale thinking “in body, mind and spirit.” Namaste!
Crab Pose / Balancing Stick Graphic with Affirmation by K. Mae Copham. Video “Yoga Duo” by K. Mae Copham, shot by Robert Oakley in New Paltz, NY June 2019.