Blog: Journey into the Self - HealerGeorge
by FlyingSwan

How can I Strengthen my Upper Body

When changing from a desk job to a more physical kind of work, where you need upper body strength, I would recommend Daily Yoga Stretches, as this builds flexibility and tone.

Date:   5/4/2007 12:21:14 PM   ( 15 y ) ... viewed 1870 times

There is a good set of Yoga exercises for upper body strength and flexibility called: "Salute to the Sun." This is a flowing sequence of 12 stretches and you can repeat it 3 to 5 times morning and evening:

1. Stand with your feet slightly apart, palms together, thumbs against your chest in the prayer position.

2. Inhale deeply while slowly raising your hands over your head, and bend back as far as possible, while tightening your buttocks – hold for three seconds in the backward bend.

3. Slowly, exhale and bend forward, keeping your knees soft but straight, until your fingers touch the floor outside your feet. (If you cannot touch the floor, go as close as you can.) Bring your head in toward your knees.

4. Slowly inhale, bend your knees and, if your fingertips are not outside your feet on the floor, place them there. Slide your right foot back as far as it can go, with the right knee an inch or so off the floor – a lunge position. Now look up as high as possible, arching your back.

5. Before exhaling again, slide your left foot back until it is beside the right one; and, with your weight supported on your palms and toes, straighten both legs so that your body forms a flat plane. Make sure your stomach is pulled in.

6. Slowly exhale, bend both knees to the floor, bend with your hips in the air, lower your chest and forehead to the floor.

7. Now, inhale slowly and look up, bending your head back, then raising it, followed by your upper chest, then lower chest. Your lower body – from the navel down – should be on the floor, and your elbows slightly bent – hold for three to five seconds.

8. Exhale slowly and raise your hips until your feet and palms are flat on the floor and your arms and legs are straight in an inverted V position or down-dog – hold for three to five breaths.

9. Inhale slowly and bring your right foot forward as in position 4. The foot should be flat on the floor between your fingertips. The left leg should be almost straight behind you, with its knee slightly off the floor. Raise your head, look up, and arch your back.

10. Slowly exhale and bring your left foot forward next to your right one. Straighten your legs and stand, trying to keep your fingertips on the floor, and try to touch your head to your knees as in position 3.

11. Slowly inhale, raise your arms up and stretch back as in position 2. Do not forget to tighten your buttocks. Hold for three seconds.

12. Slowly exhale, lowering your arms to your sides. Relax. Repeat the series stepping back with the opposite leg this time.

Please ensure that you have a Yoga mat to do this exercise on, or practice on a deep-pile carpet.

I am suggesting this rather than going for a workout on all the exercise machines at the local fitness club because of the toning effect, flexibility, and inner body strength that is developed.

If you lift weights or pump iron, you build muscle, and you may become muscle-bound and put on weight. With Yoga, you stay flexible and naturally toned.

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