The long-term effects of doing yoga are no secret — it can relieve allergies, treat some medical conditions and help you find peace, to name a few — but did you know that you can also benefit from this powerful practice in a few short minutes?
Yoga trainer and teacher Alexandria Crow stopped by the web series #OWNSHOW to demonstrate some of her favorite yoga moves, including one particular position that leaves you feeling empowered and more confident.
“Your posture says a lot about who you are. Standing up tall and having an open posture is something that gives you the feeling of being the boss — it also makes people think that you’re the boss,” Crow says in the above video. “This pose is here to strengthen your upper back and the backs of your arms so that you can stand up tall, stand up with confidence and feel really good about yourself.”
First, Crow says to lie face down on your mat with your feet at hip distance (or wider, if you’re prone to lower back issues). Keep your toes down, your knees straight and your tailbone pulled toward the ground.
The next part, she admits, feels a little silly.
“Nose to the mat, interlace your hands behind your head. Lift your elbows up so that they’re in line with your ears,” Crow instructs. “Toes pushing again, tailbone down, inhale [and] arch your upper back — just a little bit of work there — [then] exhale, lower down.”
Do five reps, she says, and hold the last one for a full ten seconds before lowering. Be sure to use your upper back as opposed to your rear end throughout this exercise. Even though it’s not easy, it’s well worth doing.
“It’s not even easy for me and I do it all the time… So give yourself time to strengthen that part,” Crow says. “I would suggest you do it at least a couple of times, a couple of sets of that, I would say every day… just to give yourself that chance to build the part of your upper back strength that you need so much to stand up tall and to really own the room when you walk in.”
Looking for an all-over yoga move? This single position strengthens the entire body.
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