By Kellie Mathes
The physical foundation of yoga poses
Plank transition to Chaturanga
With your eye gaze forward, bend your elbows so they are pointing directly behind you and shift the weight from the ball mounds of the feet to the backs of the toes. Pull the low belly in and up toward the spine and slide your shoulders away from your ears. Hug the leg muscles in toward the bones. Stop lowering when the elbows are in line with the rib cage and the whole body is level to the earth. Maintain level hips and shoulders as you bend your elbows to point behind you.
Some common misalignments and how to avoid them
One of the most common misalignment happens when we release the core and the hips either dip toward the mat or up toward the ceiling while our chest dives down toward the mat. Keep the core engaged by pulling the low belly in and up toward the spine. Another common misalignment to avoid is driving the shoulders up toward the ears. Instead, squeeze the shoulder blades back and around the spine, while spreading the fingers wide.
Kellie Mathes, a Baptiste and Yoga Alliance Certified Yoga Teacher (E-RYT 200, RYT 500, YACEP) and founder of Go Yoga! Express and Go Yoga! Express Belleville, teaches yoga classes and workshops, leads yoga teacher training programs and provides continuing education for yoga teachers.