Esalen's Foundational Yoga Teacher — Teaching yoga since 1968


photo of pose


This is an abdominal exercise from Pilates, not traditional yoga.

  1. Lie on your back, anchor your lower back to the mat. Throughout the exercise, keep the back of your waist pressed against your mat, to protect your back.
  2. Put your fingertips behind your head and lift your head and shoulders off the mat. Your hands are there to protect your neck; do not use them for pulling your head up.
  3. Check to see if this hurts your neck. if it does, do just the leg part, with your head and shoulders on the mat, as Helga, in the front, is demonstrating.
  4. With your shoulders off the mat, and not bringing your elbows forward, lift one armpit higher, and bring your opposite knee toward your shoulder.
  5. Return to center, but do not let your shoulders drop back to the mat.
  6. Still up, lift your other armpit, and bring in your other knee up, as you straighten your first leg.
  7. Continue for as long as you can, criss-crossing knee toward opposite shoulder, then other knee toward other shoulder.

Check to see that your elbows are staying back. It is about your shoulders, not elbows. Keep your ears parallel to your shoulders. Maintain a fist-size space between your chin and your chest.

Please be careful. Let your body be the boss of your yoga.
A good stretch should feel good--avoid anything that causes sharp pain.
When you feel comfortable in a pose, push yourself a bit until you feel challenged.
These lessons are free. Use them cautiously and at your own risk.

You can do these yoga/pilates poses in any order you want, or just click on the "Next" link (above) to get the recommended sequence.

Intro Hip Tilt Bridge Knees2Chest Shoulders
Crocodile Twist Leg Stretches Alphabet Shoulder Press Criss-Cross
Roll-Up Rolling Like a Ball Cross-Legged Stretch Arm and Side Plank
Cobra Cat Dog Child Spinal Twist
Standing Sun Salute Sun Salute Summary Meditation Review, Links, & Credits

© copyright Pam Portugal Walatka, 2021 with Nancy Portugal Jamello.



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Pam Portugal Walatka's yoga fitness classes
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