Beach Ready Arms and Abs In Just a Few Breaths

07.23.2013

Summer is here! If you haven't already, dust off that bikini and head to the beach. This simple series of postures, recommended by Joann Burnham, founder of Dharma Yoga Nantucket and the Nantucket Yoga Festival, will get you beach ready in just a few breaths. In the sequence, you will have to connect with your tapas (fiery determination) when holding these postures, but your body will thank you! Remember to lengthen the breath as much as possible to keep calm and steady.

Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Stand with your big toes touching, heels slightly apart find all four corners of each foot evenly connected to the mat. Relax your face. Soften your eyes. Allow yourself the luxury of standing still and breathing for 30 seconds.

Uttanasana (Folded Forward Bend)

Inhale the arms up overhead, exhale fold forward. Take a slight bend in the knees and connect the chest to the thighs. Hold on behind the ankles with the hands. Connect to the breath. On each exhale create some space by walking the heart gently toward the toes. Stay here for 5 full breaths. Place the hands on either side of the feet and step back into downward-facing dog.

Downward Facing Dog  (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Set your knees directly below your hips and your hands slightly forward from your shoulders. Spread your fingers wide and feel your fingers connected to the mat. Keep your head between the upper arms.  Without moving the hands, press the seat and hips back. Stay here for 5 full breaths.  Inhale and shift the torso forward into plank.

Plank

Press your outer arms inward and press your index fingers into the floor Press the shoulder blades down and back.  Let the gaze float down.  Reach back through the tailbone and the heels.  Reach the belly button towards the spine.Stay here for 10 full breaths then press back into downward facing dog.

Vasisthasanan (Side Plank)

Shift all the weight forward come back into plank. Shift onto the outside edge of your left foot, and stack your right foot on top of the left.  Lift the hips and open the heart raising the right arm to the sky. Find the body in one long line from the heels to the crown. Let the gaze float up. Stay here for 5 full breaths.  Return to plank, roll over onto the opposite side of the body and repeat for 5 full breaths. Return to plank. Press back into downward-facing dog for 3 full breaths then press all the way back into Balasana (Child’s Pose) Rest here for 10 full breaths.

About Joann Burnham

Credit: Kit Noble

Certified yoga instructor Joann Burnham thanks her lucky stars for the day she arrived at the doorstep of the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center in New York City more than 20 years ago. An interest in Ashtanga brought her to The Shala, a studio owned by former Jivamukti teachers Barbra Verrochi and Kristin Leigh. Ultimately, she received her teaching certification under the guidance of Dharma Mittra at the Dharma Yoga Center in New York City. She is an experienced registered teacher with the Yoga Alliance and a certified Yoga for Golfers instructor. She is responsible for creating, developing and teaching the annual Yoga program at The Sankaty Head Golf Club, a world-class, members-only golf club. In 2012, she and her husband Ted produced the first annual Nantucket Yoga Festival. She lives on Nantucket year-round. 

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