3 linked postures to improve strength and flexibility

3 linked postures to improve strength and flexibility of your arms, legs and core that are great at relieving back and knee pain and giving great energy.

In this sequence you can see me rolling my spine and trunk in a way that strengthens my core and regulates my breath for enhanced heart rate variability for enhanced energy and internal health.

I move through 3 main linked postures and their variations:

***Balancing on your right leg and hugging one knee to the chest (in Sanskrit called Eka pada pavan muktasana):
* Bring your left knee as close to the chest as you can.
* Keep a sense that your right knee is bent and then start to straighten your right knee, subject to your left knee staying close to you.
* You’ll feel your hamstrings become engaged in a way that stabilises your knees and relieves knee pain.
* In order to get the best effect for your core and your arms, expand your abdomen, and move your navel forwards and upwards to enhance the pulling action of your arms.
* And push your pubic bone away to enhance the pushing action of your left thigh (with your left hip extensors).
* The strength of your core and limbs and the mobility of your trunk is enhanced if you breathe into your abdomen while creating resistance between your arms and your legs.
Staying here in this position is enough for most people.
* This posture alone is great for relieving back in several ways, including that it lengthens and releases your hip flexors (especially your psoas); also relieves knee pain by activating your hamstrings and inner thighs; and gives you great energy because it makes your blood really flow while you can stay calm and open the back of your core around your sacroiliac joints and your lumbosacral joint.

*** If you wish to work on a version of the standing splits and your hamstring flexibility (in Sanskrit called Eka pada padangusthasana):
* Hold your left heel and push your left hip towards your left heel as if you are trying to compress your left thigh.
* Try to turn your left thigh outwards.
* As before, start with your right leg bent and lean back
* Then extend (open the front of) your right hip.
* Breathe into your abdomen to help release the front of your hip.
* Stay here or in the pose before is enough.

*** If you want to work on arm-balancing and strengthening your arms and your core:
Release your leg and get a sense that you are pushing your left leg (shin bone) against your left armpit or outer shoulder.

* Stay here, or, keeping your left leg against your left armpit or outer shoulder, place your hands onto the floor, with your palms flat, and your fingers gripping the floor.

* If you are comfortable, lift your right knee and leg off the floor and balance full on your arms.

* Stay here, or if you are still comfortable, move your body weight forward and slowly take your right thigh backwards (In Sanskrit this is called Eka hasta bakasana)
* Turn the right thigh inwards.
* This activates your right hamstrings and strengthens your right knee, and also to release your right sacroiliac joint.

If you want more, then this is the type of posture movement and breathing instruction that we teach in our Yoga Synergy Online Classes. Access over 40 classes by Bianca Machliss and Simon Borg-Olivier for a monthly fee of $30. Find out more here.

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