Yoga for Queenly Tribal Arms & Posture
Students often complain of arm fatigue when dancing tribal style. This is super common because we spend so much time typing at desks and driving cars with our shoulders hunched forward and chest collapsed. This makes the front body tight because it's constantly contracted and the back body weak because it's overstretched. After eight hours of this, you're holding tension everywhere in your neck, back, and shoulders and you're begging your nearest and dearest to rub your shoulders for you. Releasing that tension will make you feel better even if you're not a dancer. In addition to better posture, dancers will see improved stamina and grace in their snake arms.
I've created a simple sequence you can do to improve your upper body carriage whether you're a dancer or a desk jockey:
Start in Balasana/Child's Pose: Reach your arms overhead and press into the very tips of your fingers. Lift your wrists and arm bones off the mat, allowing your heart to sing between your shoulderblades. Breathe deeply here for a few moments.
Cat/Cow: From hands and knees, exhale and curl your tailbone in, lift your ribs and look to your knees. Inhale and point your tailbone up, heart melts, look forward. Repeat 10 times.
Chakravakasana: Add downward facing dog to this action. Exhale to down-dog. Inhale to Cow, Exhale to Balasana, Inhale to Cow. Repeat at least 5 times.
Downward Facing Dog to Plank: Inhale to Plank, Exhale down-dog. Repeat at least 5 times.
Balasana/Child's Pose: Knees wide with arms above head, or knees in with arms along sides. Rest as long as you like.
Sphinx: Lie on your belly and prop yourself up, shoulders over elbows. Claw the floor with your hands and gently pull your chest forward. Relax your shoulders down and back away from your ears. Hang out here as long as you like.
Salambasana/Locust: Lie on your belly with arms along by your sides. Keep your pelvis pressing into the mat and with an inhale, peel your chest and legs off the mat. Hold at least five breaths. Repeat 2-3 times, then press back to balasana to round your spine.
Ardha Matsendrasana: Take an easy twist, first to the right, then to the left. Inhale and grow tall, exhale and twist more. Relax your shoulders down away from your ears.
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana: Use a block under your sacrum for support if you like. Exhale and lower down one vertebrae at a time, then hug your knees in to your chest and rock side to side.
Savasana Rest in Savasana for at least 5 minutes to soak it all in!