Yoga for Paddling: Table Top Pose

(Excerpted from Yoga for Paddling with Anna Levesque)

Core strength is an important element of effective paddling technique. A strong core assists us in sitting up tall and helps to protect our low backs from risk of injury. According to yoga, we are not striving for a “six pack.” In fact, yoga advocates for a soft, supple belly that allows room for our organs to function optimally and for our breath to be full and easeful. The optimal expression of a pose, according to yoga texts, includes both steadiness and ease. Core strength contributes to being able to hold a challenging pose with steadiness while also breathing with ease.

Table top pose is a gentle core strengthener.

Photo credit scottmartinimages.com
  • Come to hands and knees on the mat, placing your hands mindfully underneath your shoulders. Spread your fingers. Press the fingertip pads and the balls of the index fingers into the mat, taking the weight out of the heels of your hands.
  • Bring your left knee to the center line of the mat, and inhale your right leg up and back, lifting from the inner thigh to the right leg.
  • Take the sitz bones back and apart as you continue to lift the inner thigh of the right leg.

Photo credit scottmartinimages.com
  • Take your front ribs down, expand the back ribs, and lengthen through the upper spine and out the crown of the head. Notice how this action engages the core.
  • Hold for five deep and easy breaths.
  • If you want more challenge, extend your left arm forward.
  • Hold for five and deep easy breaths.
  • Come back to all fours. Pause and notice the sensations in your body and mind.
  • Switch sides and repeat.

To learn more about how yoga can improve your paddling and balance your body, check out Anna’s new book Yoga for Paddling. Order through the Mind Body Paddle webstore before December 31st, 2017 for a copy signed by Anna and receive free shipping! Also check out our other holiday specials on  kayak and SUP instruction and Ayurveda Wellness Counseling packages. Save up to $100 while giving a meaningful gift this Holiday Season!

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Meet Anna Levesque

Anna Levesque is the leading expert on paddling instruction for women and yoga for paddling, including SUP Yoga. Named one of the most inspirational paddlers alive by Canoe and Kayak Magazine, Anna’s twenty-plus years of experience as an accomplished international competitor, instructor, coach and author has landed her in mainstream publications such as TIME, SHAPE and SELF.

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