I love to feel strong.
Is that an odd way to start this post? Maybe, but whatever. I do. I love to feel strong.
I grew up playing sports. Sweating and pushing my body to its limit really fueled my little Leo rising heart. There's something about feeling your muscles and walking with this extra confidence knowing you pushed yourself post-yoga session or workout. I live for that feeling. So it's no surprise that when I step on my mat I usually want to push myself.
Poses that target my shoulders are my favorite. I find they help with posture and they usually engage my whole body. From my abs to my legs, ya girl loves a well rounded yoga pose.
Here are a few of my go-to poses when I step on my mat.
1.) Ardha Pincha Mayurasana (Dolphin)
Target: This pose targets and strengthens your shoulder, arms and core.
When you are in this pose you want to press down in the space from your wrist to your elbow, this will give you more stability and tightening your core. Lifted heels are totally fine here. For this If you want to bring some added heat and strength move from a Forearm plank to dolphin. Repeat this a few times and ooh girl, you’ll feel your shoulders getting toned in real time.
2.) Forearm Plank
Target: Shoulders, arms, core and legs.
So it does’t have a Sanskrit name, but I still consider forearm planks to be under the yoga umbrella. To modify, you can always come down to your knees. Like I mentioned, I like to move from a Forearm plank to Dolphin, but also just hanging out here for a bit will make you sweat. Try rocking back and forth on you toes to feel a little extra somethin somethin.
3.) Balasana (Child’s Pose)
Target: Stretches your shoulders, hips, thighs and ankles.
Oh beautiful Balasana. This is one of those postures can can be passive and relaxing when you need a beak, but really stretch those arms out and sink into the mat and you’ll feel your shoulders open up.
4.) Salabhasana (Locust)
Target: This helps strengthen shoulders, spine, butt, chest and stomach.
Be mindful of your neck here. Maintain a straight line and keep those shoulders away from your ears. No crunching. This is a go-to pose when I want immediate results. When I want my shoulders to feel open and I want to build up some back muscle … chef’s kiss to this MVP right here. By engaging the lower half of your body the second you lift up, you are targeting all those muscles at the same time.