Preparation 1 (pictured top) is commonly known as the Forearm Plank. This position begins to build strength in the chest, shoulders and arms with the body in a very supported position. Only about half of the body’s weight is in the arms, and we use the large pectoralis muscles of the chest. At this stage, it is of vital importance to setup your hand, arm and shoulder position well. This is the foundation that we will build upon.
Preparation 2 (pictured bottom) shifts the weight of the body forward and up, gradually moving us toward Tiger. The position of the shoulders is different from Preparation 1. Now the body is upward and the shoulders are flexed more. The muscles that get used will shift. Keep the arms, elbows and shoulders stable and engaged.
It is important in both of these exercises to move the shoulder blades away from the spine. The chest muscles engage to move the shoulders forward (toward the chest). As the shoulders flex, like in Preparation 2, the shoulder blades rotate and come onto the side of the ribcage like wings.
In Preparation 1, the breath will be small. The muscles are tight, so breathing is nearly impossible. Stay calm, keep the body tight, and take small breaths. Don’t relax the body (especially the belly) to enable large breaths.
In Preparation 2, the body is not quite as engaged. The breath will still be short, but less than in Preparation 1.
Excerpt from the Ghosh Yoga Practice Manual - Advanced.
Scott & Ida are Yoga Acharyas (Masters of Yoga). They are scholars as well as practitioners of yogic postures, breath control and meditation. They are the head teachers of Ghosh Yoga.
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