Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Day 15 of 22: Plank to Pike/Down Dog

Wednesday is core focus day in Gentle Yoga, and a good plank-to-downward-facing-dog-at-a-chair can help tune in to engaging the core in a supportive role for the back. It's also our way of joining the #22pushup challenge today. This particular exercise in a standard mat yoga class is a serious "core burn" and shoulder strengthener. This adaptation makes it accessible and enjoyable for those that can do some weight bearing on the arms (hands or forearms) in a standing position.

As I always say, yoga is for every body, but not every pose is for every one. So, adapt as needed. I took the forearm variation to intensify the core work, but also it gives my hands (that struggle with some arthritis/overuse issues) a much needed rest). 

This can absolutely be modified to include a step forward for a more upright plank and a step back for the down dog to make it even more gentle for the back and reduce any strain on the spine/sacrum.

An adaptation from a seated position would be to place the hands on the back of another chair or a table and slide the hands forward for the fold, and up for the plank. All these versions will activate not only the core but the latissimus dorsi (the muscles that bring the arms close to the body) and the core. 

Once set of eleven with a few pausing breaths in down dog then a final set of eleven complete our 15th day of the challenge!

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