This is a yoga flow I use to open up the front half of my body and cue a more extended, expressive position. In our Western culture we are continually curled into a protective flexed position. This series translates for the desk worker and the athlete, especially those that are in these forward flexed positions, like my BJJ brothers in arms.
The focus on extension also helps to lengthen out the spine as a whole and create a more resilient structure against gravity. It can be seen in most bodies how gravity is pushing us more forward into the dirt. But if we take the time to partake in these types of practices we can build a structure that will be resilient and solid, allowing us to perform our best in our endeavors.
We start the flow by communicating to the fascia of the hand, wrist and forearms to lengthen. By cuing the end of the lever the tissue along the rest of this "track" running from the fingers through the forearms and all the way to the back of the shoulders will lengthen too.
As always focus on long, slow, deep, relaxed breaths. This is how we encode this length in our body's nervous system - by being relaxed!
This series is a tremendous way to open the wrists and is great for people who spend much of their days typing. It works wonders at counteract carpal tunnel syndrome and tightness of this area of the body.
This also preps arms and shoulders for what's known in yoga as the chaturanga flow, which is the next part of the flow. This involves a pushup into cobra (extension) into child's pose. This is where we work the core and full body stability to lower into a pushup. We then extend the body in the cobra position before using the child's pose as a reset and relaxation point.
I like using these different pushup variations because they target the shoulder girdle and chest in different lines of tension. Also, the shoulder is the most mobile joint of the body so it's always a good idea to work it in different angles so we can express its full capabilities.
This focus on extension in this series is great for all people regardless of sport, interest or if training for overall health. Because most people.are forced into forward flexed positions during their days this can be instrumental therapeutic work for the modern Western worker. Even if you hold sound structural integrity this flow will help you grow and become a better mover, and ultimately person. For the mind, body, and spirit are all intertwined at a deep level. And that's a thought to begin another piece... PEACE!!!