Build strength in the shoulders, arms, chest, and upper back and improve your flexibility with this upper body strengthening yoga flow. Breathe deeply, keep your body balanced and engage your core for stability as you move through these challenging poses.
UPPER BODY STRENGTH YOGA ESSENTIAL FLOW
Start this upper body strengthening sequence with 4 rounds of the sun salutation flow.
1. Downward facing dog pose: 30 seconds. Place your hands on the floor, extend your arms and legs, and lift your hips up and back. Breathe deeply, open your shoulders and push your heels down.
2. One legged downward dog pose: 15 seconds + 15 seconds. Inhale as you lift one leg up.
3. Plank pose: 30 seconds. Exhale as you walk your hands forward and go into plank pose.
4. Side plank pose: 30 seconds + 30 seconds. Bring your feet together and roll onto your left side, placing the outside edge of your left foot on the mat. Stack your right foot and leg on top of the left, reach your right arm toward the ceiling and gaze at your right thumb.
5. Full side plank pose: 15 seconds + 15 seconds. Lift your right leg up and grab your big toe. Stay in extended side plank for 15 seconds and then repeat poses 4 and 5 on the right side.
6. Bridge pose: 30 seconds. Lie on your back, place both feet flat on the floor, inhale and lift your hips and chest up.
7. Upward plank pose: 30 seconds. Sit up with your knees bent, place your hands on the floor with your fingers pointing forward and exhale as you lift your hips off the mat.
8. Wheel pose: 15 seconds. Lie on your back, place both feet flat on the floor, bend your elbows and position the palms of your hands on the floor beside your head with your fingers pointing toward your shoulders. Press the feet and hands into the floor and, as you exhale, lift the hips up and straighten the arms.
9. Staff pose: 30 seconds. Sit on the floor with your feet together and your legs extended. Place both hands on the floor and stack your spine vertically.
10. Standing forward bend pose: 30 seconds. Stand up and exhale slowly as you bend from the hip joints, draw your belly slightly in and lengthen your torso.
11. Firefly pose: 15 seconds. Position your shoulders behind the calf muscles, bring your feet closer together and hug your thighs in. Place your palms on the floor behind your feet, lower your hips and lift the feet off the floor.
12. Child’s pose: 60 seconds. Sit on your heels, relax the spine, neck, and shoulders and feel the stretch in your lower back.
13. Mountain pose: 30 seconds. Stand up tall with your feet together and distribute your weight equally between both feet. Keep your spine long, your body soft and bring your palms together in front of the heart.
14. Garland pose: 30 seconds. Squat, open your thighs, lean your torso forward and press your elbows against the knees.
15. Crow pose: 30 seconds. Place your hands flat on the floor and spread your fingers wide. Bend your elbows, shift your weight forward and position your knees onto your triceps. Lift the feet off the floor and straighten your arms as much as possible.
16. Plank pose: 30 seconds. Place your feet on the floor, exhale, walk your hands forward and go into plank pose.
17. Dolphin pose: 30 seconds. Press your palms and forearms into the floor, straighten the knees and lift your hips up and back.
18. Bound headstand pose: 30 seconds. Interlace your fingers, tuck your chin and place the crown of your head in front of the hands. Walk your feet in toward your elbows as much as you can, bend one knee at a time and bring it toward your chest. Find your balance and then straighten the legs up the wall.
19. Child’s pose: 60 seconds. Sit on your heels and relax.