Four Limbed Staff Pose
From Ardha Uttanasana: Keep your back as straight as possible. Press your hands into the floor so your hands are beneath the shoulders. With a long, strong and straight spine, lift your torso until it is parallel to the floor. You can also come onto your fingertips if you can't keep your palms on the floor.
Then move into Uttanasana: Gently fold forward from the hip joints. Your tailbone and hips will move slightly back to help balance out the weight as your torso moves forward in a folding motion. Your arms will follow the trunk of your body. Your torso connects with your legs. Your hands will come down to the floor. The heels of the hands will be in line with the heels of the feet.
From Uttanasana, you will place your hands onto the floor and jump or step back to plank position. Your shoulders, elbows and wrists will be aligned. Your back will be straight.
As you exhale, press into your toes so your torso will move slightly forward, then lower your chest down to the floor by bending your elbow. Your chest should be parallel to the floor. Your elbow should make a perfect 90 degree angle. Your elbows will be directly above your wrists.
Your arms should be hugging your chest in this pose and your shoulder blades will be firm against your back.
Option 1: You can bend your knees and place them on the floor
Drishti (Where you should look):
Why we do it:
This is a great pose to gain core strength.
About the picture:
Pictured is yogini, Jenn Gaskin. She has been teaching yoga for over 10 years and I am honored to have her as a friend.
Her classes are a combination of beautifully flowing asanas, strength and flexibility. Her sequences move students in and out of asanas in a safe and natural way that bring confidence to the practitioner while also giving them proper alignment, and builds body awareness. I highly recommend her classes.
Check her out at http://jenngaskin.com/ or take one of her classes at Menlo Pilates and Yoga in Menlo Park, CA.
Also, a big "thank you" to the talented photographer, Rebecca McCue, for taking the photo. Rebecca can be found at http://cuerebecca.wordpress.com/ and contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.